SnapChat Quick Add Friend Suggestions: Why No Mutual Friends?

Here’s why Snapchat Quick Add shows friend suggestions you don’t have any mutual friends with:

This can be based on location data, common interests, or contacts in your phone book.

While Quick Add will prioritize people who have friends in common with you, it is not limited to such suggestions.

If you don’t like the Quick Add suggestions, you can simply refrain from adding any of them to your friends list.

So if you want to learn all about why Snapchat Quick Add suggests people you have no mutual friends with, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s jump into it!

SnapChat Quick Add Friend Suggestion: Why No Mutual Friends?

What Is Snapchat?

Sure, many of you reading this are intimately familiar with Snapchat and how it works.

You can skip ahead to the next section.

But, for anyone who is new to Snapchat or just trying to learn more about it, I’ll start from the beginning.

Snapchat is a social media platform that makes it easy to send messages, pictures, and videos to other people.

What separates Snapchat from other platforms is that Snapchat communications are automatically deleted after a period of time (depending on settings).

You can save communications if you want to, and you can adjust some of the settings, but the general appeal of Snapchat is that it breaks that old internet rule.

Things on Snapchat are not forever.

Snapchat is also known for camera filters.

You can use more filters than I can count when creating photos or videos using the app.

It makes for a lot of fun variations on the old ideas of video communication.

What Does It Mean to Be Friends on Snapchat?

Since Snapchat is ultimately a social media platform, it runs on the idea of connecting users with each other.

Like many other platforms, Snapchat uses a friend system.

When you add someone as a friend on Snapchat, it makes sending them messages and chatting a whole lot easier.

Many times, people have their settings configured so they won’t even get your messages unless you are on their friends list.

When you are friends on Snapchat, you can send each other snaps (with pretty much every variation of settings).

Snaps, for those unclear, are messages sent through the Snapchat platform.

They can be videos, pictures, or purely text messages.

Snapchat friends can also play games together and view each others’ Stories (which are where you can post things that are generally visible, rather than directly sent to a single user).

Friends can also create groups on Snapchat, making it easier to share messages with everyone in the group, all at the same time.

How Are Friends Normally Added on Snapchat?

Ok. Now that we know some of the basics of Snapchat, we can get deeper into the Quick Add feature.

The best way to understand that is to differentiate Quick Add from other friending mechanisms.

There are multiple ways to add friends on the platform, and one of the easiest is to use your phone contacts.

Snapchat (with your permission) can look at all of the contacts you have saved on your iPhone or Android and see which ones are already on Snapchat. 

When the app finds contacts who have an account, it can initiate a friendship on the app.

You can also add friends by searching for them on the Snapchat app.

Once you find a user, you can add them as a friend, and that’s all there is to it.

You can even add people who are in your physical proximity by using QR codes.

Basically, if you can find a way to identify a Snapchat account, you can add that account as a friend.

It all ultimately happens in a single tap of the app, once you find the potential friend.

What Is Quick Add on Snapchat?

Quick Add is intended to make it easier than ever to find new friends on the app.

There’s a Quick Add menu option, so if you tap on it, you’ll be in the Quick Add section of Snapchat.

By default, you’re going to see people listed here.

Basically, these are Snapchat recommendations for people you might already know or want to befriend on the platform.

Anyone on the Quick Add list can be added to your friends by simply hitting the “add” button when you see it.

That’s all you have to do.

So, this brings up the first major question.

How is Snapchat choosing people for this list?

There are a few criteria that go into it.

First, any Snapchat users who are also contacts in your phone will be listed here.

That doesn’t mean you have to add these people, but Snapchat is assuming that you want to keep in touch with the people in your phonebook (silly Snapchat!).

Second, Snapchat will list friends of friends here.

In this way, Quick Add is basically the networking component of this social network platform.

Any time you add a friend, presumably you extend the “friends of friends” network available to you on Snapchat.

Why Are People With No Mutual Friends Showing Up in Quick Add? (2 Reasons)

So, if Quick Add is built from your phone book and friends of friends, shouldn’t you have friends in common with anyone you see there?

Well, there’s more going on under the hood.

Snapchat does not release the full algorithm that runs Quick Add.

We know for sure that Quick Add includes phone contacts and friends of friends, but there seems to be more going on under the surface.

Basically, anyone in Quick Add who doesn’t have mutual friends has a Snapchat-discovered connection to your existing social network.

It could be that they work at the same place as some of your friends, even though they aren’t friends on the app.

It could be that some of your friends’ contacts are showing up.

It could be any other connection that Snapchat is trying to make.

Depending on how accurate the algorithm really is, some of the Quick Add suggestions might feel pretty random.

Other times, they might be creepily accurate suggestions, even though you don’t have any overt ties to those people within the context of Snapchat.

Here’s the bottom line.

People in Quick Add are not already friends, so you have discretion in how you use the feature, and I’m going to show you some things to help you understand that.

First, I’m going to discuss a couple of other things that might be driving Quick Add recommendations.

#1 Location Data Affecting Quick Add Suggestions

If you let it, Snapchat uses location data.

On a convenience level, this makes it easy to geotag pictures and videos that you upload. 

Deeper under the hood, Snapchat is probably using location data to make suggestions to you, and that can include Quick Add.

Let’s say you’re a student and go to class with the same group of people every day.

Snapchat has location data on you and other users in that group.

So, even if you aren’t friends on Snapchat with the other students, the app knows that you’re physically around each other a lot.

It might recommend them to you as Snapchat friends based on that information alone.

The same can be applied to coworkers, real-life friends, and things like gym regulars.

If you’re physically close to the same people on a regular basis, Snapchat might assume that you want to be friends.

#2 Common Interests Affecting Quick Add Suggestions

Another thing running under the hood is an idea of common interests, and this probably makes more sense with an example.

Let’s say that you’re really into cooking and you watch a ton of cooking videos on the app.

Maybe, you also send out pictures and videos of some of your cooking adventures to your friends.

You might even post Stories of your cooking.

Well, Snapchat is paying attention to how you use the app, and the algorithms can likely figure out that you enjoy food and cooking a lot.

So, Snapchat might start recommending friends who are also really into cooking, and those friends might not be super closely connected to you.

Snapchat might recommend influencers with a lot of cooking content.

It might recommend professional cooks or chefs in your area.

It might recommend fellow students or coworkers with that same shared instance.

Clearly, cooking is just one example.

Any of your hobbies or interests can show up in the Snapchat algorithm, depending on the type of content you prefer when you use the app.

Needless to say, if Snapchat finds users with very strong similar interests, then it’s more likely to recommend them in Quick Add.

What Should You Do When Someone With No Mutual Friends Shows Up on Your Quick Add?

Ok. That covers most of how Quick Add works.

Now, we can get into some of your control over it so that you have a little more discretion and power over your Snapchat experience.

Does it matter if someone shows up in your Quick Add even though you don’t know any of their friends?

Not really.

This is still just a suggestion, and it’s up to you whether you add them or not.

If you want to use Snapchat to meet strangers with similar interests, feel free.

If you’re not into that, then don’t add them.

The end result is entirely up to you.

Also, if you add someone and then regret it later, you can unfriend them or even block them as needed, so you’re not married to this decision.

What Does It Mean When Quick Add Says Someone Has Recently Joined?

Now, we can get into the other part of the original question.

What does it mean when someone has recently joined?

Basically, it means that the person in question has a new Snapchat account.

They haven’t been on the platform for very long, and Snapchat is trying to find them friends to improve their engagement with the app.

The recently joined category is just there to draw your attention, and if it happens to be someone you already know, you won’t have to wonder why you weren’t already friends.

This more or less encourages people to add recognized suggestions when they’re new to the platform.

The goal here is simple.

Snapchat succeeds when lots of people use the app for many hours.

So, if Snapchat can find friends for new users, those users have more reasons to check the app frequently and spend more time engaging with it.


  • 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.

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