Why certain people you follow on Snapchat now have random emojis next to their names

You may have noticed a small change in Snapchat over the past few days.

Celebrities, such as Justin Bieber (“rickthesizzler”) and Kylie Jenner (“kylizzlemynizzl”), have special emoji displayed next to their account names.

It turns out that Snapchat has started verifying accounts for widely followed celebrities and notable personalities in its app.

The change is similar to the way Twitter and Facebook verify accounts with blue check marks, except that Snapchat is making things more playful with a series of emoji to designate an “Official Story.”

If you see a crown, cactus, siren, pear, or folded hands emoji next to someone’s story on Snapchat, it means that their account has been verified.

It’s unclear exactly how Snapchat is carrying out the verification process, but for now it seems to be done on a case-by-case basis for the most popular people using its app, like actor Jared Leto (“jardleto”).

“At this time, Official Stories are being rolled out to a small group of Snapchatters,” the company notes in a support document. “Over time, Official Stories may become more widely available.”

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