Hopped onto the Snapchat Stories section and found someone’s story with a purple or grey lock icon next to it? Consistently finding yourself wondering what the heck does the lock icon next to someone’s Snapchat story actually mean?

Look no further! 

To help you better understand the significance of the Snapchat Story Lock Icon, I’ve put together this blog post, where we’ll be discussing:

I’m so excited to share this with you. 

So, without further ado, let me help you dive into it straight away.

How Snapchat Stories Work

To better understand how Snapchat Stories work, let’s look at the three types of Snapchat Stories:

My Story

Snapchat allows you to share your beautiful moments with your friends and loved ones in the form of Snapchat Stories. 

So, let’s say you’re hanging out with your friends and would like to share this precious moment with every single person you’ve added on your Snapchat.

You can go ahead, take a snap, and add it to your Stories via the My Story feature.

That’s the normal way of sharing stories with your friends.

Custom Stories

But now, you want to take it one step further and let some of your friends add collaboratively to it as well.

Yes – you can collaboratively add stories with Snapchat’s Custom Stories feature. Not only can you choose the people you’d like to add to the story, but you can also choose who these stories will be visible to.

Private Stories

Lastly, if you just want to make sure that only a selected few people are able to access your story rather than just about everybody, then you can tap into Snapchat’s Private Story feature. Here, even though your selected few friends view your Story, they’ll not be able to contribute to it.

So, if you’ve shared a private story with someone, they’ll be able to see a lock icon next to it. 

Let’s learn a bit more about the lock icon.

What Does the Lock Mean on Snapchat?

The padlock icon on Snapchat means that the user has shared a private story with you. This means – it’s only visible to a selected few. Snapchat wants you to know that you’re the selected few the person has shared the story with.

And that’s the reason you’re seeing a lock next to their story.


What if you’re seeing a purple lock next to it? Or maybe a grey one?

What do these colors actually mean?

What Does the Purple Lock Mean on Snapchat?

If you’re seeing a purple lock next to a Snapchat story, this means you haven’t viewed the person’s story yet. As soon as you click on it, it’ll turn grey.

What Does the Grey Lock Mean on Snapchat?

Grey lock means that you have viewed the person’s private story. Now, the story will be visible for 24 hours from the moment the person shared the private story with you. 

Custom Stories vs Private Stories on Snapchat – The Difference

If you are wondering what the difference(s) between both custom and private stories on Snapchat are, look no further. Allow me to share the differences with you:

  • Only you and a selected few can view a private story.  Even though these people will be able to view your story, they’ll not be able to collaboratively add to it. Whereas, with the Custom Stories feature, you can allow a selected few friends to add to your Story. At the same time, you can choose who can view your Custom Stories.
  • A padlock icon will appear next to your private story. Whereas the same is not the case with public stories.
  • The Custom Stories feature isn’t available for Android Users. However, Android users can access the Private Stories feature. 

How to Create a Private Story on Snapchat

Want to create a private story on Snapchat that a limited few can view? Look no further. Follow these exact steps as listed down to create and share a private story on Snapchat:

How to Create a Private Story on Snapchat

Step I – The first step is to take a snap. You can do this by launching Snapchat and clicking a Snap via Snapchat camera. As soon as you are done taking the snap and editing it, select the “Send To” button in the bottom-right corner. Click on “+ Private Story” as visible in the screenshot. Select “New Private Story.”

How to Upload a Private Story on Snapchat

Step II – From here, you can search and select the name of the friends you want to share your private story with. Next, type in the name of your private story and select “Done.” As soon as you share the story, they’ll see a Purple lock icon next to your Story. And when they click on it and view the story, they’ll see the Purple color change to Grey – which means they have viewed the Snapchat Story.


And that’s what the Lock icon actually means on Snapchat. 

So, if you are seeing a Purple lock icon next to someone’s story, that means you’re one of the selected few the person has shared his/her Snapchat story with. And if you see a Grey Purple lock icon, that means you have already watched his/her Private Story.

I hope I was able to address your query. And if I were, don’t forget to smash that love button and add your valuable comment.

Thanks for reading!