Navigating the Snapchat app and all of its features can sometimes be tricky — especially when you see a weird blue ring around someone’s Snapchat Story. If it seems like every big social app has a ‘Stories’ feature these days, that’s because they do. Whether you’re on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, WhatsApp, or YouTube, social media Stories are everywhere.

But before any of that happened, Snapchat was the first app to make the Stories feature go viral. Snapchat Stories was added to the Snapchat app in October 2013. If you don’t want to send a photo/video directly to a friend, the Stories option lets you make that post visible to all of your contacts for a limited 24-hour period. In the nearly 10 years since then, Stories have remained an integral part of the Snapchat experience. There’s a dedicated ‘Stories’ page on the Snapchat app, posting to your Stories is easier than ever, and it’s a feature that doesn’t seem to be going anywhere any time soon.

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Despite the popularity of Snapchat Stories, that’s not to say the feature is 100 percent self-explanatory. Stories are readily accessible and prominently featured on Snapchat, but knowing how everything works is another challenge entirely. A prime example of this is the blue ring that sometimes appears around a Snapchat Story. From the Stories page on Snapchat, new uploads from friends appear with a purple ring around them. So why does that purple ring occasionally turn blue? The answer is actually quite simple — even if Snapchat doesn’t clearly explain it.

The Meaning Behind The Blue Snapchat Stories Ring

Snapchat logo on a smartphone

The various pages in the Snapchat app have different colors. You can see this on the app’s bottom navigation bar. The camera page has a yellow accent color, the Snap Map has a green color, the Spotlight page is red, etc. Since the Stories page has a purple accent color, new Stories from your friends appear with a purple ring around them. You’ll also see Stories on the Chat page. If a friend has a new Stories post to watch, it appears next to their name with a blue ring around the Story. Why? Because the Chat page gets a blue accent color.

Tapping a Snapchat Story with a blue ring lets you see the Story exactly the same as if you tapped it on the Stories page. After watching the Story, you’re redirected to the Chat page and the blue ring disappears — being replaced by an arrow icon indicating you can rewatch the Story.

That’s really all there is to it. If you see a Snapchat Story on the dedicated Stories page, it shows up with a purple ring. If you see a Story on the Chat page, there’s a blue ring around it. There’s no secret meaning or anything like that. It’s just a design choice on Snapchat’s part. Nothing more, nothing less.