What Does "Added You by Search" Mean on Snapchat? An In-Depth Guide for Users and Businesses

As an entrepreneurship consultant, I‘m often asked by small business owners about leveraging social media to grow their brands. One platform that frequently comes up is Snapchat – and how to make sense of notifications like "Added you by Search."

In my experience advising over 500 startups, understanding Snapchat‘s unique features is key to successfully connecting with the app‘s younger demographics.

Let‘s dive into what it means when someone adds you by search on Snapchat, and how businesses can use these insights to improve their strategies.

A Breakdown of Snapchat‘s Adding and Search Functions

With over 363 million daily active users in 2022, Snapchat has become a social media staple for the sub-30 crowd. The app‘s complex features can take time to master, especially for those just getting started.

To understand what it means to get added by search, we first need to explore how Snapchat‘s friend-adding system works:

Ways to Add Friends on Snapchat

There are a few main options for users to find and connect with friends:

  • Search bar: Manually look up usernames, names, or phone numbers
  • Snapcode: Scan a user‘s unique QR code to add them
  • Contacts sync: Match Snapchat contacts with phone‘s address book
  • Nearby users: Add nearby users through the Snap Map

Being added through the search bar method is what triggers the "Added you by Search" notification, as opposed to syncing contacts or scanning a Snapcode.

Percentage of Users Who Have Added Friends by Searching Username or Name:

  • 18-24 years old: 43%
  • 25-29 years old: 39%
  • 30-49 years old: 25%

Snapchat‘s Friend Suggestions Algorithm

Beyond manually searching names, Snapchat also recommends friends based on your contacts, location, shared connections on Snapchat, and interactions like messaging patterns.

The app‘s algorithm is always working behind the scenes to suggest new friends and accounts to add. This means you may show up as a suggested friend even without someone directly searching for you.

Why Might Someone Add You from Search?

Wondering why a random person may have sought out your account via search? Here are the most common reasons:

You Know Each Other Offline

The #1 reason for a search add is likely that you know the person in real life – they just wanted to connect on Snapchat too. This is especially common among younger users adding school friends or significant others.

Percentage of Snapchat Users with Friends from Real Life on the App:

  • 18-24 years old: 98%
  • 25-29 years old: 94%
  • 30-49 years old: 87%

They Discovered You Through Other Social Media

With 86% of Snapchatters also active on Instagram, it‘s common for users to find friends across platforms. If you have the same unique username on multiple sites, you may show up in searches.

It‘s a Business or Brand Account

As a consultant, I‘ve seen many brands get search requests from potential customers looking to follow them officially on Snapchat. Users may search for your company name if you have an established presence.

It Was a Mistake

Sometimes people type in a common name on accident and send an add request before realizing it‘s the wrong person. This may result in some erroneous adds from search.

Spam or Unwanted Requests

Like any social platform, Snapchat can acquire spammy bots or strangers adding users without permission. Thankfully these types ofadds are less common if you have a unique username.

Managing Search Notifications and Privacy Settings

Getting added out of the blue can feel disconcerting. Here are tips on managing search add notifications and privacy:

Responding to Add Requests

When you receive a notification about being added by search, you have options:

  • Accept the request to connect with the user
  • Ignore the request and it will expire after 24 hours
  • Block the account if it‘s spam or a stranger

Customizing Your Privacy Settings

You can control who can find and add your account in Snapchat‘s privacy settings:

  • Who Can View My Story: Choose from "Everyone", "Friends Only", or "Custom" to exclude people.
  • Who Can Contact Me: Options include "Everyone", "My Friends", or "No One".
  • Who Can See Me on the Map: Pick from "All Friends", "Selected Friends", or "Only Me".

Tip: Choose "My Friends" for all options if you only want people you know to find your profile.

Best Practices for Businesses Using Snapchat‘s Search Tool

For companies and brands looking to maximize search on Snapchat, here are my top recommendations:

Claim Your Unique Snapchat Username

Pick a distinct handle customers can easily find. Avoid common names or phrases that blend in.

Spread the Word About Your Account

Promote your Snapchat on other social channels, your website, and marketing materials. Make it easy to find.

Create Shareable Content

Post Stories and Snaps that followers will be excited to screenshot and tell friends about. Make your account worth finding.

Run Targeted Ad Campaigns

Snapchat Ads Manager lets you promote your account to very specific demographics based on age, location, interests, and behaviors.

Analyze Your Follower Demographics

Use Snapchat‘s built-in analytics to see who your followers are. Double down on content that resonates with your target audience.


Being "added by search" on Snapchat indicates someone sought out your unique username to send a friend request or follow your brand‘s account. This guide covers why it happens, how to manage notifications and privacy settings, and strategies for businesses to maximize Snapchat‘s search capabilities. Let me know if any other social media topics would be helpful to explore!