Social media apps all have their own language. “They friended me on Facebook.” “What’s your Insta?” “You should follow me on Twit…sorry, X(?)” And of course, “Add me on Snap.” And that last one is especially unique. Since its launch in 2011, Snapchat has racked up almost 400 million global daily active users.* More than just an instant messaging app, Snapchat offers fun filters to enhance photos & videos and works as a valuable source for news across all popular topics. However, it first gained popularity with stories: photos & videos uploaded by users that would disappear after 24 hours. But how much data does Snapchat use? Let’s take a look at just how many MBs are disappearing along with those messages.
Does Snapchat use a lot of data?
As with other apps on your phone, data usage can vary with Snapchat depending on how you’re using it. Tests have shown that if you’re just using it to text your friends, Snapchat uses about 20 KB of data per message.** So sending 50 text-only Snap messages would use approximately 1MB of data, which is 1/1000th of a GB. If you want to really dig into data measurements, we’ve got a whole blog about how many MB are in a GB just filled with that kind of data…er, info. It’s safe to say that just texting your friends on Snap from time to time won’t eat into your data too much. However, the whole point of Snapchat is photos, especially with the fun filters. So, your Snapchat data usage will go up a bit more when you start sharing photos & videos with friends.
Sending an image without using a filter uses about 1 MB of data**, while each story you upload uses about 2 MB of data. This of course will increase if you’re taking your time scrolling through the dozens of filters Snapchat has to offer.
How to reduce Snapchat data usage
The good news is, reducing your Snapchat data usage is doable. There are features on your phone and within Snapchat itself that can help you keep more of your mobile data.
1. Use Snapchat’s built-in data saver
By default, Snapchat preloads filters and your friends’ stories so they start playing immediately for you. Enabling the data saver feature will stop this from happening automatically.
- From the Snapchat app, go to your profile (your profile photo in the top left corner)
- Tap the gear in the top right corner to access Snapchat’s Settings
- Scroll down to Features and select “Data Saver”
- Check the box to enable Data Saver
- Choose how long you’d like Data Saver to stay on (3 days, a week, or until you turn it of
2. Reduce the number of photos & videos you send
When using Snapchat’s popular chat feature to have a lengthy convo with your bestie, it can be tempting to send images back and forth the whole time, but photos & videos use significantly more data than text-only messages.
3. Use Snapchat when connected to Wi-Fi
When you’re connected to Wi-Fi, your apps won’t pull from your mobile data, so we recommend connecting to Wi-Fi whenever possible. Tapping through your friends’ Snapchat stories while you’re out and about is a nice way to pass the time while waiting in line, but if you can wait until connected to Wi-Fi whenever possible, your data usage will go down quite a bit.
How to check Snapchat data usage
So now, as long as you know exactly how many stories you’ve uploaded and how many messages you’ve sent in the past month, you know exactly how much data you’ve used on Snapchat. Oh, you don’t know those exact numbers off the top of your head? Well, fortunately for you (and the rest of us, because same), your phone will show you how much data Snapchat has used in just a few clicks.
1. Checking Snapchat data usage on iPhone
- From Settings, select “Cellular”
- Scroll until you see “Snapchat” and select it
- “Current Period” doesn’t automatically reset each month, so scroll to the bottom of the Cellular menu and select “Reset Statistics” to refresh this
2. Checking Snapchat data usage on Android
- From Settings, select “Apps”
- Select “Snapchat”
- Under “Usage” you’ll see the amount of mobile data Snapchat is using on your phone
- These steps may vary slightly from phone to phone, so check your user manual for help locating this information
This concludes Snapchat Data Usage 101
Now you know how to track your Snapchat data usage and keep it to a minimum, so when your friend asks “How much data does Snapchat use?” (probably via Snapchat) you’ll be able to drop some knowledge on them…in a snap (we had to). Keep in mind, while Snapchat may be the app you open most often, you’re probably doing other things on your phone that use data too.
Streaming music, watching YouTube, surfing the web, Google Maps and Netflix all require data as well. How much? Well, feel free to take a peek at our other blog all about MB, GB, and how much data other applications use. And let’s not forget those apps idling while you’re not using them, updating and pushing out notifications all day long. It’s called background app refresh and of course we have another blog all about it too.
With that, we’ll let you get back to tapping through your favorite fitness guru’s Snapchat story and sending your bestie selfies of you as a robot and/or animal (we’re partial to foxes). And when you’re ready to snap a selfie of you as someone who just saved a ton of money on wireless, you don’t need Snapchat for that. Just check to see if that phone of yours is compatible with Mint Mobile’s network.