Why Strangers Keep Appearing in My Snapchat Recent List

As a small business consultant who assists entrepreneurs with social media marketing, I often get asked about managing Snapchat connections. In particular, many users are confused and concerned when strangers suddenly begin popping up in their recent conversations list.

After researching Snapchat‘s algorithms extensively and troubleshooting this issue with clients, I have some clarity to offer. In this guide, I‘ll analyze the main reasons random people enter your Snapchat recents and provide tips to refresh your connections list.

Snapchat‘s Algorithm Prioritizes Engagement

According to 2021 statistics, over 90% of Snapchat‘s daily active users interact with the recents list feature. As the primary portal for conversations, Snapchat specifically designs their algorithm to showcase people you engage with frequently.

This means that if you consistently view someone‘s public story or happen to have overlapping friend groups, Snapchat may assume an interest and promote them higher in your recents.

The goal is to connect you with more people to potentially interact with. Strangers entering your recents are often just Snapchat‘s way of introducing you to new friends or business connections.

The Pros and Cons of Open Connections

As a consultant focused on entrepreneurship, I always advise weighing the pros and cons of an open friends list:


  • Discover new business connections
  • Increase chances of going viral
  • Allow organic networking and growth


  • Overwhelming to manage contacts
  • Security and privacy risks
  • Spam or unwanted chats

With over 25% of Snapchat users opening Snapchat multiple times per day, visibility is extremely valuable for small businesses looking to expand their reach.

However, unwanted interactions can quickly become a nuisance. Ultimately, it comes down to your personal preferences and priorities.

Who Are These Strangers in My List?

If you want to identify the strangers entering your recent chats and evaluate whether to keep them, here are some possibilities:

  • Friends of Friends: With Snapchat‘s friend suggestions, friends of friends can easily find and add you without your knowledge.
  • Public Content Consumers: If you have a business account, customers who view your stories could be entering your recents.
  • Spam Bots: Like other platforms, spammers sometimes create Snapchat accounts and add users in bulk.

Check your full friends list and watch for any suspicious activity to deduce where the strangers are coming from. This can help inform your decision to either remove them or leverage the new connections.

Refreshing Your Connections List

If you want to clean up your Snapchat recents list, here are my top recommended actions:

  • Review Privacy Settings: Adjust who can view your profile, content, and location for more control.
  • Limit Quick Add: Restrict Quick Add to "My Contacts" or disable it altogether.
  • Remove Suspicious Friends: Delete any questionable accounts you don‘t recognize.
  • Block Repeat Offenders: Prevent spammers and unwanted chatters from contacting you.

By regularly pruning your connections list, you can create a Snapchat experience with more meaningful interactions.

As you grow your business, I also advise checking in on your social media algorithms frequently. Tweak privacy and settings over time to balance growth with control.

Hopefully this guide gives you a better understanding of Snapchat‘s recents behaviors and how to refresh unwanted contacts. Let me know if you have any other questions!