On Snapchat, nothing was supposed to be permanent. Users, particularly the sexters, were surprised to find out that wasn’t exactly the case. And while ephemeral messages and videos are still Snapchat’s main appeal, there are ways it can hold on to your memories.
So maybe you’ve lost interest in Snapchat because of how many brands are begging for your attention between Stories. Or you just don’t understand the hysteria surrounding Snapchat Spectacles.
Perhaps privacy is a concern. Your snaps may disappear, but your data does not. Snapchat collects your user name, password, email address, phone number, and date of birth. It also monitors your activity on the service: the filters you view and use; channels you watch; search queries; who you communicate with and when and how much; what device and carrier you’re using; the contacts in your device; your location; and when and how you access the service.
Even a service that originated as a cheeky way to send dirty pics must comply legal and government requests. “Law enforcement requests sometimes require us to preserve Snaps for a time, like when law enforcement is determining whether to issue a search warrant for Snaps,” Snapchat said in 2013.
“Delete is our default,” Snapchat says today, but unopened snaps, for example, are saved on the company’s servers for 30 days; unopened snaps sent to a Group Chat remain for 24 hours.
Whatever the reason, you’re done with Snapchat and you want to make sure your snaps don’t pop up at an inopportune time. But simply deleting the app from your phone doesn’t do the trick. There also isn’t a way to delete your account from within the app. But all is not lost.
On the Web, go to Snapchat’s Delete Your Account page and log in. You’re going to have to prove you’re not a robot with a Captcha and then re-enter your password on the next page.
Then you just click Delete My Account and your long, sordid (or probably not-so-sordid) history with Snapchat is over.
Your information will remain on Snapchat’s servers for 30 days, in case you regret the decision and want to return. But your data and account will not be visible on the service.
For more, check out:
- How to Delete Your Facebook Account
- How to Delete Your Twitter Account