As social media companies begin to age, new questions are cropping up that didn't seem hugely important in the early days of the social media boom. One of the biggest questions that's come up recently is: What happens to inactive accounts? Some users are wondering about this with regard to Snapchat in particular, and are worried that the company may begin deleting inactive accounts.
Does Snapchat delete inactive accounts?
Although users have recently begun worrying that Snapchat deletes accounts that are inactive for a certain period of time, that doesn't seem to be the platform's current policy. Instead, most users who sign up for an account have that account registered to them indefinitely. This is true even if a person dies and their accounts are not deleted beforehand.
This remains true even if you remove the app from your phone. One reason that Snapchat doesn't automatically delete accounts is that it's better for them if the total number of accounts is larger. It makes them seem like a more robust service, although they would obviously prefer their users to be active on the platform. This may be true for now, but it's unclear how long it will remain the case.
Snapchat's policy could change in the future.
Although Snapchat is not currently deleting inactive accounts, that doesn't mean they won't begin to do so at some time in the future. Although there are theoretically an almost infinite number of usernames, it's possible that some users will want to claim usernames that have already been taken by an account that is now, for whatever reason, inactive. Once this begins happening with more frequency, there may be more pressure on Snapchat to change its policy.
Snapchat will delete the accounts of users who violate their terms of service.
Although Snapchat is not deleting inactive accounts, they will delete accounts for other reasons. This includes any violation of the terms of service that users agree to when they sign up for Snapchat, like illegal activity or abuse. Snapchat will kick users off of its service, but a lack of activity is not one of the reasons that they take that step, at least not yet.
You can also delete your own account.
Snapchat may not delete your account just because you don't use it, but you can delete your own account any time you want. All you have to do is go to Snapchat, click on Support, then Community, and then My Account & Security. From there, select Delete My Account, and follow the instructions after the app or website prompts you.
Of course, many users who don't use Snapchat frequently want to lock down their username just in case they eventually return to the service. It's better to set up an account and forget about it than to have to set one up again down the road. As long as Snapchat isn't deleting inactive accounts, there's no real risk to setting up an account, even if you don't wind up using it.