Here's Why "Subscribed" Comes up on Snapchat Instead of "Add Friend"

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Mar. 19 2021, Updated 10:01 a.m. ET

Source: Snap Inc.

Popular mobile applications are constantly updating their services and adding new features in order to stay ahead of the curb and not fall to the wayside when it comes to the competition. Take TikTok's software dominance, for instance. 

Vine was pretty much out of the game after Instagram debuted video on its platform, but then the 'Tok came along to fill the hole left by Vine. 

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Then IG debuted Reelz, and now Snapchat's got Spotlight, but why does it now say "subscribe" instead of "add friend?"

Why does Snapchat say "subscribe" instead of letting you add a friend? It could mean several things.

With Spotlight, you can follow your friends as you would normally follow a person on TikTok, YT, IG, etc., allowing individual people to have subscriptions to their Snapchat accounts and garner a following of people they don't necessarily "friend" or follow back. 

While there are tons of "premium" Snapchats and business profiles that have had this feature, Snap Inc. is expanding their social-messaging platform to more of a broadened application where folks can show off their talents, daily lives, jokes, dance moves, etc. to followers.

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why does snapchat say subscribe instead of add friend
Source: Twitter

So there are a few reasons the "subscribe" option is there instead of "Add Friend." The first and most gut-wrenching reason could be that someone who used to be your friend decided to just unfriend you and doesn't have any desire to be your friend on Snapchat, but want that sweet follow from your own account to try and gas up their own social media profile. 

Sorry if that's tough to hear, but this could very well be the case.

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Sometimes people can accept your friend request and then un-add you, which is why "subscribed" will show up. It's a dirty tactic that's existed on social media for quite some time, where people will use bots in order to follow folks and then they'll strategically unfollow them over the course of a few weeks and hope to retain some of the new accounts they've managed to secure. 

But there's another, less emotionally devastating reason: public Snapchat accounts just appear as subscriptions. So if you've decided to make your account public, then you'll come up as a subscription to people who are trying to add you as a friend. If that public account wants to make you their friend, they'll manually have to go and send you a friend request. 

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How do you subscribe to an account on Snapchat?

It's fairly simple: just head over to the Discover tab and Snapchat will populate a few accounts you may want to take a gander at. Or you could search for particular outlets, people, or subjects with related themes, and accounts that touch on that (if you search for "fighting" for example, the UFC and boxing accounts will pop up on your screen).

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What's interesting about "Spotlight" subscriptions is that Snapchat promises its algorithm highlights engaging Snaps from users and doesn't automatically promote "influencer" accounts or those who have a huge following. This is done in an effort to give folks an equal shot at exposure and not make Snapchat posts a popularity contest.

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As per Snap Inc.'s site on how recommendations to users are made: "Our content algorithms work to surface the most engaging Snaps you’d be interested in. We focus on serving the right Snaps to the right person at the right time. We do this by trying to understand your personal preferences. Our ranking algorithm looks at factors that show people are interested in a particular Snap, like: the amount of time spent watching it, if it is favorited, and if it’s shared with friends."

It continues, "It also considers negative factors, including if the viewer skipped watching the Snap quickly. Snaps that appear in Spotlight can be from Snapchatters with private, personal accounts, or from Snap Stars with public profiles and millions of Subscribers."

So if you've been trying to get another shot at e-stardom, you may want to check out Snapchat's Spotlight feature, as TikTok and IG's Reelz are probably already being over-saturated with popular folks by now.

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Oh and if you're wondering what WCW means on Snapchat...

It pretty much means the same thing on every other social media platform: "Women Crush Wednesday," where people make appreciation posts dedicated to ladies they're attracted to. It's pretty much the same concept as MCM (Man Crush Monday) or SCS (Salamander Crush Sunday), where social media has more posts about cute amphibians than anyone knows what to do with. It's always upsets me when I see a newt in the feed, it's a completely different kind of animal and people just don't get that.

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