These days, the word “subscription” carries different meanings on different platforms. Subscribing to a Twitch streamer is not the same as subscribing to a YouTube creator, nor is it equivalent to subscribing to Netflix. It’s no surprise, then, that there is some confusion about subscriptions on Snapchat. Let’s take a closer look at Snapchat subscriptions, how they work and how you can leverage them as a creator.

What are Snapchat subscriptions?

Snapchat subscriptions allow you to share Snapchat Stories with more fans — without flooding your friends list with random people. When you subscribe to a creator or brand on Snapchat, Stories from that creator will appear in your Subscriptions feed within the Snapchat app. This content is separate from the Friends Stories feed, the Discover feed and from individual and group chat messages.

Why can’t we be friends?

On Snapchat, subscriptions are not the same as friend requests. Adding someone as a friend means both your Stories and theirs will appear in each other’s Friends feed. Subscriptions, by contrast, are one-sided; you can subscribe to a creator and see their Stories without them adding you back.

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This helps distinguish content meant for a few close friends from content meant for mass consumption.

How to subscribe to a Snapchat creator

Like subscribing on YouTube or following a streamer on Twitch, subscribing to a creator on Snapchat is free. Hitting the Subscribe button simply means you want content from that creator to show up in your Subscriptions feed along with content from other creators and brands.

Here’s how to subscribe to a creator on Snapchat:

  1. Find the Snapchat account you want to subscribe to
    • You can either scroll through the Discover feed or tap the magnifying glass icon at the top left to search for an account by name
    • The search page also offers a list of Quick Add and Trending search suggestions
  2. Once you’ve found the correct Public Profile or Creator Account, tap the Subscribe button to the right of their name in the search results
    • Or, navigate to the account profile page and tap the Subscribe button that appears below the profile name

Stories from this account will now appear in your Snapchat Subscriptions feed.

And here’s how to unsubscribe (just in case):

From the Subscriptions feed:

  1. View a Story from the relevant account
  2. Tap the account name in the top left to bring up the options menu
  3. Unsubscribe directly in the option menu
    • Or, tap the account name again to navigate to the profile page and tap the Unsubscribe button under the profile name

From the search bar:

  1. Type in the relevant account name
  2. Unsubscribe using the button to the right of the account name on the search results page
    • Or, navigate to the account profile page and tap the Unsubscribe button that appears below the profile name

After unsubscribing, Stories from that Snapchat profile will no longer appear in your Subscriptions feed.

How to get a Subscribe button on your Snapchat account

For creators, enabling the Subscribe button on your Snapchat account is a great way to grow your fan base. However, you’ll notice this button isn’t enabled on your default Snapchat Account. To get a Subscribe button, you’ll have to create a Public Profile.

Here’s how to create a Public Profile on Snapchat:

  1. Access your Snapchat Profile via your Bitmoji or Story icon
  2. Scroll to the Spotlight & Snap Map section
  3. Tap the Options button to the right of that section
  4. Choose ‘Create a Public Profile’ and follow the in-app instructions

Once you’ve completed these steps, a Subscribe button will appear on your Public Profile and fans will be able to subscribe to keep up with your content.

Content from your Public Profile will also sometimes show up in the Snapchat Discover feed, expanding your content’s reach even further.

What about Snapchat Creator accounts?

If you’re serious about growing your presence on Snapchat, you’ll eventually want a Snapchat Creator Account. Like Public Profiles, Creator Accounts have a Subscribe button, and Creator content also appears in the Discovery feed. However, Creator Accounts have access to additional features like account manager roles, insights and other tools to help you engage with a larger audience.

Public Profiles are upgraded to Creator Accounts on a rolling basis as accounts meet the eligibility requirements. To become eligible for a Creator Account, your Public Profile will need to have at least 100 subscribers. Your account will also need to be at least a week old and have at least one bi-directional friend.

Snap Stars: getting verified

Top-tier creator accounts may eventually be verified. These Snapchat stars receive a star icon on their profile. This means the account has met certain criteria with regard to engagement, growth, authenticity, content quality and cultural relevance.

Are Snapchat subscriptions right for you?

If you use Snapchat mainly to share funny pictures and videos with your close friends, Snapchat subscriptions may not interest you. However, Snapchat subscriptions can be a powerful tool in connecting creators and viewers. If you’re looking to grow a community on Snapchat, creating a Public Profile and activating that Subscribe button is absolutely the place to start.