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What Every Snapchat Symbol Means

by on December 10, 2020
in Mobile Apps, Phones and Mobile, Android Apps, iPhone/iPad Apps, Photo / Video Sharing, Tips & How-Tos :: 20 comments

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You can say a lot with a snapshot, and that’s the beauty of Snapchat. You can capture quick images or short videos, add captions or filters, and then send them off to as many friends as you’d like. And because your Snaps, by default, get deleted after 24 hours, that makes Snapchat conversations more spontaneous than those on other social networks.

But spontaneous doesn’t always mean simple. Though you can send Snaps with just a few clicks, Snapchat’s interface — particularly the many emoji and symbols it uses as indicators — isn’t quite as straightforward. If you’re confused about what those multicolored hearts next to your friends’ names means, we’re here to help. This is what every icon and symbol in Snapchat means.

Snapchat friend emoji

The emoji that show up next to your friends’ names on your friends list aren’t random — they say something specific about your relationship. This is what each one means:

  • Gold heart: You’re #1 best friends with each other, meaning you’ve sent the most Snaps to them and they’ve sent the most Snaps to you. You can have other best friends, but Snapchat’s heart emoji are just for your very best friends, based on how many messages you send back and forth.
  • Red heart: You’ve been #1 best friends for two weeks.
  • Pink hearts: You’ve been #1 best friends for two months.
  • Grimacing face: You share a #1 best friend, meaning you both send most of your messages to the same person.
  • Smiling face: You’re best friends, but not #1 best friends. You can have as many as eight best friends, so you’ll see smiles next to the eight friends you send the most messages to.
  • Sunglasses face: You share a best friend, so you have a close friend in common.
  • Fire: You’re on a Snapstreak! The fire emoji will show up next to the number of consecutive days you’ve sent Snaps to this friend.
  • Hourglass: You Snapstreak is about to end, so if you want to keep your fire emoji going you need to send a Snap fast.

Don’t like the default emoji? You can change most of them to anything you would like. To edit your friend emoji, just:

  • Tap the profile icon in the top left to open your profile
  • Tap the gear icon in the top right to open Settings
  • Scroll down and select Manage under Additional Services
  • Tap Friend Emojis and click on each friend status to pick a custom emoji to use

What about the purple boxes next to my friends’ names?

If your friend has entered a birthday in Snapchat, their zodiac sign usually shows up as a purple box — though depending on the system you're using, they may look a little different than the one above. As long as you realize what you're looking at, these icons give you an idea of when their birthday is, even if you don’t know the exact date. If it is your friend’s birthday, a birthday cake emoji will show up as well.

From left to right, top to bottom, the symbols above indicate Aries (March 21 – April 19), Taurus (April 20 – May 20), Gemini (May 21 – June 20), Cancer (June 21 – July 22), ### (July 23 – Aug 22), Virgo (Aug 23 – Sept 22), Libra (Sept 23 – Oct 22), Scorpio (Oct 23 – Nov 21), Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 21), Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19), Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18), and Pisces (Feb 19 – Mar 20).

Message status icons

Snapchat also has color-coded icons that give you an at-a-glance rundown of your message status — as long as you know what they mean. The icons above will show up on your Friends screen, indicating the status of the most recent Snap or Chat you've sent. From left to right, they mean:

  • Red solid arrow: You sent a Snap without audio to this friend
  • Red unfilled arrow: Your friend opened your Snap without audio
  • Red solid square: This friend sent you a Snap without audio
  • Red unfilled square: You viewed a Snap without audio from this friend 
  • Red double unfilled arrows: This friend took a screenshot of a Snap without audio
  • Red circle with arrowhead: This friend replayed a Snap without audio
  • Purple solid arrow: You sent a Snap with audio to this friend
  • Purple unfilled arrow: Your friend opened your Snap with audio
  • Purple solid square: This friend sent you a Snap with audio
  • Purple unfilled square: You viewed a Snap with audio from this friend 
  • Purple double unfilled arrows: This friend took a screenshot of a Snap with audio
  • Purple circle with arrowhead: This friend replayed a Snap with audio
  • Blue solid arrow: You sent a Chat message to this friend
  • Blue unfilled arrow: Your friend opened your Chat message 
  • Blue solid square: This friend sent you a Chat message 
  • Blue unfilled square: You viewed a Chat message from this friend 
  • Blue double unfilled arrows: This friend took a screenshot of a Chat message 
  • Gray solid arrow: You sent a Snap that is pending, which may mean that you're sending to someone who hasn't accepted your friend request
  • Gray unfilled square: A Snap or Chat message is pending and may have expired

Story icons

Snapchat story icons

When you post a photo or video to a story (or feed), it's usually visible by all of your friends and they can share your story. Snapchat also lets you choose to share a private story that is limited to your friends whom you allow to view it, but not contribute to it. To know if you are viewing a private story, you will see a lock symbol on it. When the stories are laid out on your Discover tab, you will see a lock on the bottom of each private story. If you are viewing them in succession, you will notice a small lock on the top left of the screen. You do not know who else is able to view private stories, and you cannot post to another person's private story or view or modify their viewers. 

Snapchat also lets you share a story with a select group of friends who can view and contribute to it as a custom story. You'll know if you are viewing a custom story when you see a multi-person icon on it. When stories are laid out on your Discover tab, you'll see three dots on the bottom of each custom story. If you are viewing them in succession, you will notice three dots on the top left of the screen. If someone is a contributor on your custom story, they can view the other contributing members and post their own content, but they can neither add nor remove friends. 

Verified account emoji

While Twitter shows a verified account with a checkmark, Snapchat shows a verified account with a custom emoji. If you see an emoji next to a story, it’s because the person posting it has been verified, so they’re who they say they are. This is generally reserved for celebrities.

For example, Ariana Grande has a crescent moon emoji by her username and Arnold Schwarzenegger has a flexing bicep emoji next to his username. Even though they look different, both of these emoji mean the account is verified.

Updated on 4/9/2020

[Image credit: using Snapchat on phone via BigStockPhoto, Snapchat, Techlicious/Snapchat screenshot]

Discussion loading

What does an explanation sign

From Jacqueline healy on September 18, 2020 :: 10:20 am

What does an explanation sign on the full face of my fit bit mean


Yellow dot on bitmoji

From Jennifer on October 04, 2020 :: 9:03 pm

What does it mean if you have deleted a person from snapchat and ignored the subsequent ‘requests’ but it still shows a yellow dot on their bitmoji and they continue to appear in the ‘added me’ section?


Hi Jennifer,You can only get

From Alanna K. on February 26, 2021 :: 3:24 pm

Hi Jennifer,

You can only get rid of this notification by declining their request or blocking them.



From Gita on December 21, 2020 :: 5:19 am

What are the squiggly lines on snapchat that people post on their stories


Can you describe in more detail?

From Josh Kirschner on December 22, 2020 :: 6:13 pm

We’re not sure what lines you’re referring to. Can you describe in more detail what you’re seeing?


Line thru memories/stories button

From Red94 on February 26, 2021 :: 2:44 pm

There is a line that runs semi diagonal from NW to SE thru the meomories/stories button.  This button appears ti the left of the main capture button and filter button.  What does the line mean?


Hi Red94,Have you saved any

From Alanna K. on February 26, 2021 :: 3:23 pm

Hi Red94,

Have you saved any pictures or stories on Snapchat before? If not, the line may be showing that you do not have any saved content you can view. Let me know if that’s the case!


Squiggly lines lol

From Chris on April 29, 2021 :: 2:49 pm

Iit kind of resembles an S?  This means streak. They want you to keep a streak with you.

Profile colours

From Shaz on March 24, 2021 :: 1:22 pm

What does it mean if I view someone’s profile (not friends) and their background is yellow, but when my friend searches for the same person, their background is blue?


There isn't a story but the ring is still purple

From Nells2 on April 26, 2021 :: 10:58 am

Hi one of my friends stories is outlined purple and on her story and her story was only a picture no audio and I click on it and only the one picture then story is done I took a screen shot to show you guys but I can’t add it on here . Does this mean she blocked me from her story?


Snapchat stories

From Caitlyn on May 20, 2021 :: 11:02 pm

When you swipe up and see the Snapchat story section some of my photos and videos have two little arrows going around in a circle at the top right hand corner of the picture and or video, what does this mean?


Chat with friend

From June on June 22, 2021 :: 9:09 pm

I have a friend who said he was going to remove me at a certain time and then add me back on a specific day. Since then, there is a blue empty chat icon with the word pending next to it beneath my friend’s name. What does this mean?


Hi June,This means that your

From Alanna on June 23, 2021 :: 8:37 am

Hi June,

This means that your friend has already removed you. Since you did not remove them, your relationship on Snapchat will look like you have requested to connect pending your friend’s approval. I hope this helps!


How to know how long

From Saru on June 27, 2021 :: 7:17 am

How to know how long have the person seen my snap


Text after the sent status on a friend's chat in the chat area

From Christina on July 06, 2021 :: 11:59 am

So there is this “3🆒” after on the last line of my friend’s chat box in the chat area after where the status of the message and then the amount of time since the last status change is but the lettering is in black and the status is in grey. For example:

(Blue Arrow) (In Grey Lettering—>)Delivered (grey dot) (In Grey Lettering—>)3m (grey dot) (In Black Lettering except the icon)3🆒


Sorry... Clarification of Last Question

From Christina on July 06, 2021 :: 12:01 pm

I am so sorry I didn’t explain will but that was in receive for Snapchat and I was just wondering if anyone know what that 3🆒 meant it why it is there suddenly and no one else has something in that place in their chat boxes. Please help. Thanks bunches!


clarification please

From Ursula on July 13, 2021 :: 10:49 am

what does this notification from SC mean?

“Jim Smith and Sue Snow are on Snapchat”

Are these active users and using SC at the time of notification or is SC trolling my contacts?


Silhouette colours.

From Frank on July 16, 2021 :: 10:59 pm

Profiles which don’t use an emoji selfie are given the default silhouette. These vary in color. Is there any significance in the color of the silhouette? Does it indicate anything?


Bitmoji's Avatar colors.

From Jae Ro on September 25, 2021 :: 4:57 am

Actually, I have a question instead of a comment.  There is this thing that I just can’t shake off.  Recently I noticed that I don’t know how to call it, could be Bitmoji’s Avatar, which has the shape or form of human that you can see in the “add friend” list, and they appear everywhere. they don’t have a nose, eyes, mouths, I mean nothing. Just the shape of humans with different colors for each of them. What are they and what does each different color mean?

Thank you



From AR on October 12, 2021 :: 12:38 am

There’s a question symbol under my friends sc story what does this mean?


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