Snapchat Notifies Contacts When Joining: True?

Here’s everything about your contacts getting notified when you join Snapchat:

When you first create a Snapchat account and sign in, no notifications are sent to anyone.

If you add someone as a contact, they will be notified. 

Additionally, Snapchat will offer to send mass notifications to your contacts if you choose.

Anyone selected in this case will be notified in the same manner.

So if you want to learn all about which kind of notifications Snapchat sends, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s get started!

Snapchat Notifies Contacts When Joining: True? (Do This)

What Happens When You Join Snapchat?

Pretty young woman taking a photo with mobile phone while sitting on the sofa, a dog laying on the floor and the woman's lap

This whole journey starts when you install Snapchat and/or create an account for the app.

When you go through that process for the first time, you get a notification for “New to Snapchat.”

This includes a button that walks you through the sign-up process.

As you might expect, this process asks for your name and other contact information.

It also lets you create a unique username and set your password. 

You will also need a phone number and/or email for account verification.

When you get through all of that, you get to the first major point of notification.

Snapchat will offer to add friends from your device’s contact list.

If you use this feature, it will pull up your contacts list, and you can manually select who you do or don’t want to add. 

When you’re done selecting, the Snapchat app will automatically use your phone’s contact list to send notifications and ask people to accept your contact request.

Let’s make this perfectly clear.

Anyone you select will receive a direct notification that you want to engage with them on Snapchat.

Anyone you do not select will receive zero notifications.

Also, you can repeat this process to add more friends later, if you want. Just tap the icon for your profile.

You should see an option to “Add Friends.”

Tap “All Contacts,” and you get the same list you saw the first time.

Are Your Contacts Notified When You Join Instagram?

Man and woman dating at a cafe with a phone.

What about Instagram?

Does Instagram notify your contacts if you create an account?

Instagram makes your profile and content available to your contacts in some form or another when you join. 

Instagram will promote your account to anyone in your contacts list if you grant it permission. 

It is possible that your contacts will find you on the app even if you don’t use that feature.

Check out how Instagram notifies your contacts when you join the app here.  

How Do Snapchat Notifications Work?

Man stopping at the park to check his phone.

One of the major selling points of Snapchat is privacy.

It’s different from other social media platforms in that it does not build the experience around a public profile. 

In fact, Snapchat is quite the opposite.

Most of the default settings will leave your profile and information in a private setting.

That makes it a little harder for strangers or distant acquaintances to find you.

There are public options, and we’ll touch on those later.

Assuming you stick with the privacy settings, most interactions between you and other users will be based on notifications.

So, let’s go over a quick list of things that are going to alert other users to your presence.

We’ve already covered adding friends.

Obviously, that sends an alert, so we can move on.

You can actually go into the notifications settings on Snapchat.

There, you’ll see a list of notifications that are available to you. 

Keep in mind that these settings determine what notifications come to you.

You can’t control what notifications other people receive. That’s up to them.

But, this list shows you everything that might alert another user to your activity or presence on the app. 

You’ll see notifications for new stories, trending public content (which depends on settings explained in the next section), mentions, messages, and reminders.

Mentions are a big one. Similar to tagging someone on Twitter or Facebook, you can use a mention to try to draw another user’s attention to content on Snapchat.

Messages on Snapchat are comparable to any other social media app. You can have a direct conversation with another user.

By default, Snapchat alerts users any time they are mentioned or receive a direct message.

Reminders are there for unviewed content.

If you leave these notifications on, Snapchat will alert you periodically to try to draw your attention to said content.

So, if you mention someone, message them or have public content, then other users will potentially receive notifications related to those actions.

How Do You Control Who Can See/Find You on Snapchat?

smiling woman checking social media in the night at home

That last point on public content is a big one.

As you’ve already seen, the default settings for Snapchat do not make your Snaps public, but you can change that setting as you see fit.

In fact, Snapchat has multiple layers of privacy, and you can customize your experience.

In the Snapchat settings, you can enable a “Public Profile.”

If you choose this option, then the content you upload to Snapchat will run through their trending filters and be available to users in general. 

A lot of content creators and influencers use this to grow their outreach—other people just like the idea of connecting with a larger number of people on the internet.

If you choose this option, then other people can choose to follow you on Snapchat (they use the term “fans”).

Any fan of yours can choose to receive updates when you upload new public content.

You cannot directly control who is or is not a fan of your content.

One quick note: in order to have a public profile, you must be 18 years or older.

Here’s an important thing to remember.

Even if you create a public profile, the gist of how Snapchat works still applies. 

The content still disappears after a set time, and the overall experience holds true to the Snapchat idea of “living in the moment.” 

The major difference here is that literally, anyone on Snapchat can potentially see the stuff you publish.

Increasing Privacy on Snapchat

You can also go in a completely different direction.

You can increase privacy options beyond the standard settings. 

Once again, you will find these settings under your profile. Specifically, go to Profile > Settings > Who Can.

In this list of settings, you get to control a lot of things about how you interact with other people.

Here’s the list of primary interactions you can control from “Who Can.”

  • Contact you
  • View your story
  • See your location
  • Use cameos selfie
  • See you in quick add

That last one is particularly important for anyone worried about who might be alerted when you join Snapchat.

While widespread alerts aren’t part of the platform, people can try to search for you if they think you are on Snapchat.

With the “see you in quick add” setting, you can make it so that other users won’t see you if they try to search for you.

How Do Snapchat’s Friend Suggestions Work?

attractive brunette dressed in beige sweater using phone at home

Have you ever wondered how Snapchat’s friend suggestions work?

Snapchat suggests friends based on the information you provide to the app.

This includes your contacts, existing friends, and user data that is generated every time you interact with the app. 

All of this data is run through sophisticated software, and the result is a list of suggested friends.

Learn all about how Snapchat’s friend suggestions work here.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.

    View all posts