How We Use Your Information
Our services are made to be simple and easy to use, but a lot of work goes into keeping them up and running! One of the key elements that powers our products is information that’s either shared or intuited — so here’s a quick walkthrough of the information we use, and how we use it!
Develop New Features & Improve Existing Ones
First stop: development. Our teams work closely together to develop fun, imaginative new features. You actually help out our development team every day, just by using our products!
For example, we look at the Filters and Lenses that Snapchatters use the most to decide which ones we should create next. We develop a lot of our features with the same approach, so we can stay on top of our game and build new things you love!
We’re always looking for ways to improve our services too. Sometimes, we’ll change how a feature works or how the app looks. Your information can help us decide what kind of improvements we should make. For example, Snapchat can guess who your best friends are, based on who you talk with the most — so the app can place them right at the top of your Send To screen to make Snapping with them that much easier. Studying data from a lot of Snapchatters can help us see trends in the ways that people use the app. This helps inspire us to improve Snapchat in big ways, on a larger scale!
Keep Things Up & Running
Next up: operations. Our products work by sharing some information you ask us to — like a Snap you want to send to a friend or add to Spotlight. Specific features, like Snap Map, can use your location data to help you explore the Map and share your location with friends. You can also use Snapcodes to share websites, Lenses, and friends with other Snapchatters.
To keep things running, we also monitor the way our products and features are used, analyze trends, and listen to your feedback to help improve them every day! For example, we might analyze how long you’re in the app, what Filters or Lenses you use the most, and the Discover and Spotlight content you like to watch. This helps us better understand what’s resonating with our community — and lets publishers know what content people are enjoying the most!
We also use some of your information to help keep our products up to date. As a camera company, it’s important to make sure that our camera can record in high quality, across as many different devices as possible. So, if you got a new phone on launch day, we might assess the performance of your device to make sure that we’re optimizing Snapchat for it!
Similarly, when we release new versions of the app, we need to make sure it works well on different operating systems and devices. Over a billion Snaps are created and shared every single day, so we also analyze the volume of Snaps to make sure we can deliver them all quickly and securely.
Personalize Your Experience & Give Things Context
No two people are the same, so we use some of your information to tailor your Snapchat experience especially for you! For example, we personalize the Discover and Spotlight content you see — so if you show interest in sports, you might see more sports related content.
We can also personalize the Search screen to highlight content you might be interested in, and present you with a personalized overview of your Memories. If we know it’s your birthday, we can give you and your friends a special Lens to help celebrate! We can also personalize ads, Search, Filters, Snap Map, and Lenses to really make your Snapchat experience unique.
We also use information to help give your Snaps some context, based on where you are and what’s going on around you! This includes stickers that can show the time, location, the weather, or special Lenses and Filters made for an event you’re at. Also, we use this information to sort your Memories, so they’re organized for you based on when and where they were captured.
Keep Our Services Safe & Secure
It’s important to us that you’re as safe and secure as possible when you’re using our services, so we use some of your information to enhance these aspects of our products too! For example, we provide two-factor authentication to secure your account and can send you an email or text message if we notice any suspicious activity. We also scan URLs sent on Snapchat to see if that webpage is potentially harmful, and can give you a warning about it.
Provide Relevant Ads
We think ads are best when they’re relevant — advertisers prefer them and we think you’ll like them more too. So, we use some of the information we learn about you to try and select the right ads at the right time. For example, if you’ve clicked on a bunch of ads for video games, we might keep those ads coming! But we also use your information to avoid showing you ads you probably won’t like. For example, if a ticketing site tells us you’ve already bought tickets for a movie — or if you bought them through Snapchat — we can stop showing you ads for it. Learn more.
Reach Out to You
Sometimes we’ll get in touch with you to give you a sneak peek of new features we’re releasing, promotions, and other things like that. For example, we sent out a Chat to many Snapchatters to let them know that Group Video Chat was released. We mainly do this in the app, but sometimes we’ll send you an email or text message if it’s really important. For example, when you request a copy of your data or reset your password. We also use your information to get back to you when you’ve reached out to our Support team. We definitely don’t like spam ourselves, so we try to limit the emails and messages we send.
Enforce Our Terms & Policies
The last category is legal. This usually is the most boring category, but it’s an important one! In some cases, we use your information for legal purposes. For example, when unlawful content is posted on Snapchat or another one of our services, we may need to enforce our Terms of Service and other policies. In some cases, we may also use or share your information to cooperate with law enforcement requests or comply with our legal obligations. Check out our Transparency Report to learn more.