Social media is largely something we do for fun: We like to stay in touch with friends, send and receive interesting pictures, and explore new worlds. But some platforms have brought an element of competition into the picture — like Snapchat. This app has its own unique scoring system, and whether you just want to increase your own score or you're looking to beat a friend's, everyone loves earning more points. But exactly how do you get more Snapchat points? It's a bit of an unsolved mystery to everyone, because Snapchat hasn't really confirmed a whole lot. Apparently, the draw is in the mystery.
Before we go any further, though, let's talk about how to find your Snapchat score in the first place. If you haven't found your own score yet, simply open Snapchat (which should open the camera), and click the ghost at the top of the screen. This should bring up your main profile page, where you'll see your name, with your username below it. To the right of your username is a number — that's your score!
While there are some proven methods to upping your score, much of it is still a guessing game — so I decided to take one for the team and see what I could find out about the whole shebang. We'll use my Snapchat profile as an example, although just to be clear, I'm definitely not the most devoted user. Here — take a look: I've earned six points. I'm so special.
Now, let's look at where my points are coming from, and how I can improve my sad number. Here are a few of the theories floating around out there for increasing your score — and an examination of whether or not they're likely to work.
1. Sending And Receiving Snaps
We know for sure that there's at least one way to earn points: by sending and receiving snaps. You get one point for every snap you send (regardless of how many people you send it to), and one point for every snap you receive. In my case, we can see how this makes perfect sense. You'll remember that my score is six. Now, when you open Snapchat (which should bring you to your camera) and swipe left to right, it'll bring you to a new page. Click "Chat" at the top of the screen, and it'll reveal two numbers. Mine says 2 | 4. This perfectly reflects my activity. The first number is how many snaps I've sent (two) and the second number is how many I've received (four). And that explains why I have six points. Voilà!
So, if you want more points, start snapping away. The more you send and receive, the higher your score will be.
2. Send Snaps To People Who Won't Open Them
And already, I've run into a roadblock. I have one friend in my Snapchat: my sister. I'm never going to increase my score just by Snapchatting with her alone. How do people get so many points? Do they really have that many friends, or are the points coming from somewhere else? Snapchat isn't very helpful in explaining the apparent discrepancy, merely stating, "Your Snapchat score is a special equation combining the number of Snaps you've sent and received, Stories you've posted, and other factors." OK then.
One trick many people use is to send snaps to celebrities who will never actually open them. (Sorry, but it's true.) You can send them a blank image, and it doesn't matter. You'll still send a snap, and you'll still get a point each time you do. I added Paris Hilton, and she's about to get a whole mess of snaps from me. Mwahaha! You now have a way to send a bazillion snaps, without having to rely only on your IRL friends. Hooray! More points.
Just remember: You get one point per snap, not per person. So sending the same snap to 20 people means one point, not 20.
3. Just Say No To Bots
Because social media is such a huge factor in life today — even certain kinds of jobs want to know how many followers you have — people will go to great lengths to increase their number of points, followers, likes, and so on. That means that there's a demand for a shortcut to increase your presence, and that means that all sorts of services are popping up promising to automatically give you extra points, followers, likes — sometimes for a nominal free, other times completely free of charge.
Think of people who buy Instagram followers — there's a reason their number jumped from 253 to 10K overnight.
And therein lies the problem: When you purchase your social media following, you're opening yourself up to scams and theft. A lot of these services are very buggy, or flat-out have bad intentions. While it might be tempting to simply pay for a higher Snapchat score, take it from this gal, who's spent many years working in social media: Just don't.
A final note...
Even with sending and receiving plenty of snaps — combined with sending snaps to lots of celebs, and even getting the help of bots — there are still people who will have 90,000 points and no clue how they got there. That, my friends, remains an air-tight mystery.
Images: Megan Grant/Bustle (3); Giphy