Snapchat Hourglass Meaning and All Emojis Explained

Snapchat is one of the most beloved social media sites out there because of its straightforward nature. You don’t have to worry about algorithms like with Tik Tok and there is no need to pay attention to trending topics like on Twitter. Just exchange selfies or silly pictures with your friends. However, that isn’t to say Snapchat isn’t complicated; there is a shocking amount of nuance to the app that even the most seasoned users don’t fully understand. Perhaps the greatest example of this is the myriad of emojis that appear next to names on your friends’ names when you are looking at your friends list.

Despite being one of the most popular apps on both the iOS and Android store, Snapchat has a bizarre habit of adding new features without even explaining the features within the app itself. Sometimes they don’t even let users know what changes have been made in updates. You might be able to turn on Dark Mode on Snapchat right now and not even know it. So don’t be ashamed if you weren’t sure what all the Snapchat emojis meant before, but now you have no excuse not to know because this will be a complete guide on the meaning behind those emojis on your Snapchat friends lists.

A photo of Snapchat.

The Hourglass Emoji

This is the emoji that people likely have the most questions about, so it will be the one to start the discussion. Some people refer to this as the “timer emoji” because hourglasses are a bit of an antiquated concept. Regardless of what you choose to call it, the little image sends a clear signal: you are running out of time to do something. But what does the hourglass emoji mean exactly? To answer this, we have to talk about one of Snapchat’s cornerstone features, the Snapstreak.

When you exchange Snaps with someone on your friends list for at least three consecutive days, the two of you develop a Snapchat Streak — “Snapstreak” for short. You can extend this Snapstreak for a theoretically infinite amount of days, and there are more friend emojis related to the status of a Snapstreak besides the hourglass, but more on those later. The only thing you have to do to keep a Snapstreak going is for you or the friend you have the streak with to respond to the last Snap one of you sent within a 24-hour period. Note that all of these exchanges must be with Snaps to create and maintain a Snapstreak, sending Snapchat messages will not count towards a Streak.

Since the hourglass emoji only appears next to the names of people you have an ongoing Snap Streak with, it stands to reason that the emoji is a warning that your snap streak is about to end, right? Well then, the question becomes how much longer you have after the hourglass emoji shows up before you can save your streak. There does not appear to be an official statement as to exactly when the hourglass shows up next to someone’s name on your friends list. Though, Snapchat has implied that the hourglass appears around the 20th hour of that 24-hour window. That means that once you see the hourglass emoji, you have about 4 hours or less to respond to someone and save your snap Streak with them.

With the mystery of the hourglass emoji solved, let’s look at some of the other emojis associated with the My Friends list on Snapchat. Let’s start first with some of the other emojis associated with Snapstreaks. Also, if emojis are something that interests you, consider looking at our review of some of the best and most popular emojis.

Fire Emoji

This is the emoji that lets you know you and your friend have successfully started a Snapstreak. On the day that the streak first begins, it will appear just as a little flame next to your friend’s name. If you continue the Streak after that, a number will appear next to the fire to let you know how many days you and this particular friend have maintained a Snapstreak. As you would imagine, that number will continue to go up as you and your friend grow the Streak together, until one of you drops the ball. If that happens, you both lose the fire emoji on each other’s screens and the number will be reset. It is one of the most disappointing things in any form of social media to lose a super long Snapstreak.

Hundred Emoji

The hundred emoji is sort of like the evolved form of the fire emoji. If you manage to create and maintain a Snapstreak with the same person for one hundred days, the hundred emoji will appear next to their name. On the one-hundredth day of your Snapstreak with someone, you should see the hundred emoji appear next to the fire emoji. In some versions of Snapchat, it will replace the fire emoji for just the one-hundredth day, and on the following day, you should see both of the emojis next to each other along with the other number indicating how long you have maintained the Streak. Next, we’ll cover the meaning of the heart emojis, all of which have something to do with you and that person’s friend status on Snapchat.

Yellow Heart

This will be the first heart emoji you will encounter in your time on Snapchat. The yellow heart indicates that someone is your Best Friend on Snapchat. That basically means that you send the most Snaps to that person out of your entire friends list and that they send you the most Snaps out of their entire friends list. It can be a badge of honor to a lot of people, and a point of confusion for some, especially if you don’t send out too many Snaps.

Red Heart

The red heart emojis is a continuation of the yellow heart, much like how the hundred emoji is a sort of continuation of the fire emoji. If you and someone maintain Best Friend status on Snapchat for at least two weeks in a row, then both of your yellow hearts will turn into red hearts for each other. Since the red heart feels a bit more flirty, some people get worried about what Snapchat thinks about their interactions with some people. Don’t worry, it just means that you two send each other Snaps a lot. Then again, nothing says that the interactions can’t be flirty.

Pink Hearts

Again, building off the emojis from before, the red heart will become the pink heart if you manage to stay Best Friends on Snapchat with someone for at least two consecutive months. Unless you already have a special relationship with the person, this can be quite an achievement to pull off. Losing the pink hearts might be the only thing more devastating on Snapchat than losing a long Snapstreak. Pink hearts are the final evolution for the heart emojis on your friends list, as well. No matter how long you and your friend maintain Best Friend status, once you have achieved the pink heart emoji, it won’t change into anything else to show the progression of the friendship. There isn’t even a day counter attached to it like with the fire emoji.

Zodiac Signs

This should need no explanation, but you might be confused as to why some of your friends have them next to their name on Snapchat and some don’t. Snapchat gives you the option to put a birthday onto your account, and if you do, the associated astrological sign will appear next to your name in your listing in someone’s list of friends.

Speaking of friends lists, did you know that you can use someone’s listing on your list of friends on Snapchat to tell whether or not they have deleted you as a friend on the platform? Why don’t you find out how, along with some other useful Snapchat tricks, and read this short guide? Next, let’s take a look at the many face emojis that can show up next to your friends’ names on Snapchat.


As this is the youngest of all the face type emojis, you can expect that it indicates something new. Faces in general have something to do with your friendship status between you and the other person as Snapchat sees it. If you have a baby emoji next to someone’s name, it means that you recently became friends with them. It isn’t super clear as to how long this lasts after becoming friends with someone, but achieving one of the other face emojis seems to overwrite this one at least.

Faces with Sunglasses

You’ll see this next to someone’s name if you two share a mutual best friend. You don’t have to both share the same person as your #1 best friend, since each user can only have one of those at a time. To put things more simply, the sunglasses emoji means that person sends a bunch of Snaps to someone you also send a bunch of Snaps too. If you feel like you never would have gathered that based solely on looking at the sunglasses emoji, be prepared because there are a few more face emojis that makes almost no sense when you learn what they indicate.

Grimacing Face

This is almost a progression of the sunglasses face. If you see a grimacing face next to someone’s name, it means that your #1 best friend also happens to be their #1 best friend. So you both exchange more Snaps with the same person than anyone else on either of your friends lists. The intention seems to be that two people sharing the same best friend is awkward, thus the grimacing face. Though, that might not be awkward for every person.

Smirking Face

The smirking face can indicate a sense of superiority, and its role in Snapchat translates that somewhat. A person with a smirking emoji next to their name has you as one of their best friends, or possibly even their #1 best friend. The big difference is that you are not on their best friends list at all. So they send you a ton of snaps and you don’t send them many at all. The flirty side of the smirking emoji might also be a factor since a person sending you a bunch of Snaps that you don’t reciprocate might be trying to get your attention.

Smiling Face

A good wholesome emoji with a good wholesome meaning. This face is an indicator that you are best friends with someone but not THE best friend. That is, you two exchange a lot of Snaps with each other, enough to stand out from most of the other people on your regular friends, but you don’t send the most Snaps to each other.

This emoji will disappear if either one of you becomes the person the other sends the most Snaps to, or if either of you dips below a certain threshold of user interaction. Where that threshold is exactly is unclear, but it does take into account how much average activity you have on Snapchat. For example, a person that sends a ton of Snaps to a ton of different people will have a higher activity threshold than someone who sends a much lower rate of interaction.

There are a couple more emojis that can show up next to your friends’ names, but they don’t have a common theme besides not falling into any of the other categories. So, to round out the last of the emojis and explain what they mean, here are a couple of miscellaneous emojis:

Birthday Cake Emoji

You might not have ever seen this emoji if you don’t have a large friends list and rigorously check Snapchat because it only shows up one day out of the year per person, and even then that’s not true for everyone. You have probably pieced together the meaning by now: the birthday cake emoji next to someone’s name indicates that it is their birthday! This, of course, requires a couple of things to be believable. First, the person needs to have put in their real birthday into Snapchat. This would mean that the cake emojis still shows up, it’s just on the wrong day. Second, they have to have the “Birthday Party” feature enabled in their settings. This not being done just means that you will never see that person’s name with a little cake emoji next to it.

If you ever see this emoji next to someone’s name, it can be a great excuse to send them a snap and strike up a conversation. This is a boon if you have wanted to talk to someone for a while but have no idea how to start talking to them. Plus, if you can get them to exchange Snaps for a little bit, you might be able to build up a Snapstreak, which greatly improves the odds someone will respond to you. As mentioned above, people love getting big Snapstreak numbers and hate losing them.

The Gold Star Emoji

The other miscellaneous emoji is a bit rare to see as well, to the point some people might never have seen it. Even then, most people probably have no idea what it means. It is even more special because it is the only emoji that is triggered without you or the other person having to do anything themselves.

The gold star emoji shows up when someone has had one of their Snaps replayed within the last 24 hours. Anyone replaying any of that person’s Snaps can cause this to happen. If you are somewhat new to Snapchat, replaying Snaps is a big deal. To replay a Snap, you have to spend these tokens to essentially buy one more viewing of the original Snap, exactly as it was. You can spend real money to buy more of the replay tokens, but you can also accumulate free ones over a long amount of time.

The Verification Star

This is not an emoji in the same way as the other emojis operate because it is not restricted to just showing up in your friend’s list. People achieve this star by having their Snapchat accounts verified, which does not happen too often since Snapchat is a more casual social media outlet. The people that get verified most often are celebrities outside of Snapchat or social media influencers. Though, most people do not specialize in being an influencer with a Snapchat presence — it’s much more common for people to be influencers and dip into Snapchat for improved reach.

The verification star used to be a bunch of other odd emojis like a cactus or a siren, but Snapchat eventually decided to consolidate everything into just one star. Odds are, this was a move for the sake of consistency and avoiding confusion in the user base since Snapchat clearly has a bit of a history with putting symbols in their app that are not the clearest thing to understand.

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