What Does the Hourglass on Snapchat Mean?

Reading time: 9 min read
Muninder Adavelli
Written by
Muninder Adavelli

Updated · Sep 12, 2023

Muninder Adavelli
Digital Growth Strategist | Joined October 2021 | Twitter LinkedIn
Muninder Adavelli

Muninder Adavelli is a core team member and Digital Growth Strategist at Techjury. With a strong bac... | See full bio

April Grace Asgapo
Edited by
April Grace Asgapo


April Grace Asgapo
Joined June 2023 | LinkedIn
April Grace Asgapo

April is a proficient content writer with a knack for research and communication. With a keen eye fo... | See full bio

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Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app that hit the mobile app stores in 2011. It quickly became popular, maintaining 375 million daily active users. The app’s popularity is due to its pioneering of disappearing content called Snaps, or what we now call stories.

Alongside its Snaps, Snapchat has many iconic features; most are emojis. One of these is the hourglass symbol. If you’re unfamiliar with the app, this emoji serves a specific purpose.

Learn more about what the hourglass means on Snapchat, its difference with the flame emoji, Snapstreaks, and practical tips on maintaining a streak. Keep reading to start learning.

🔑 Key Takeaways: 

  • Snapstreak is the flame emoji (🔥) you see next to your friend's username on Snapchat.
  • The hourglass symbol (⏳) in Snapchat means your Snapstreak to a friend is about to end.
  • Two users must send each other snaps (photos or videos) within 24 hours to start a Snapstreak.
  • A Snapstreak does not count texts, voice messages, or video calls.
  • If you lose a Snapstreak unknowingly, reach out to Snapchat's support team.

Snapstreak: What Does The Fire Emoji Mean on Snapchat?

Snapstreak on Snapchat as Indicated by the Fire Emoji

Before understanding what the hourglass means on Snapchat, you should know what Snapstreak is. On Snapchat, emojis play an important role in how the app functions and are not just characters you use for posts and texting.

📖 Helpful Article:

People on the internet, especially the young, can use emojis differently. Want to know more about emojis? Check out Techjury’s online articles on what the upside-down and skull emoji mean.

Snapstreak is the flame emoji (🔥) you see next to your friend's username on Snapchat. It symbolizes the flame you and your friend maintain as you keep your conversation alive.

To learn how Snapstreak works, read the next part on how it starts.

How To Start a Snapstreak on Snapchat?

Snapstreaks serve as the heartbeat of social media connections on Snapchat. To start a Snapstreak, both users must send each other snaps (photos or videos) within 24 hours.

Once it begins, you must consistently send each other snaps within 24 hours to keep the streak alive. It will continue to count the days from then on, which you'll see on the number beside the streak. 

If 24 hours pass without a snap with your friend, the Snapstreak disappears, and you must start again. 

This trendy feature spices up friendships users build on Snapchat, which explains why many people use the platform.

Snapstreak Going On for 300 Days

Snapstreaks create a sense of accomplishment for users, making them more eager to maintain a conversation between friends. This feature has also become a signature part of Snapchat. 

📌 In a nutshell:

The hourglass symbol (⏳) in Snapchat represents the concept of a "streak." A streak occurs when two users exchange snaps on consecutive days. 

You and your friend must maintain your Snapstreak to keep it on, avoiding the hourglass. It appears as an alternative to the regular flame (🔥) emoji representing the streak.

However, sometimes, Snapchat won't count your message as a Snapstreak. Let's find out how this happens.

When Does A Snapstreak Not Count?

Snapstreak has limitations. It doesn't count text and voice messages, snaps sent from memories, or Snapchat spectacles. Video calls don't count either; that's where the challenge lies.

💻 Gadget Alert:

In 2016, Snapchat introduced Spectacles, a pair of sunglasses with an integrated camera allowing users to record and share videos directly to their accounts. This wearable tech added a new dimension to Snapchat's content creation.

It can be hard to keep up when you must send a snap back to your friends. This emoji is where the hourglass (⏳) is for.

In the next part, let's dive further into what the hourglass means on Snapchat Streaks.

What Does the Moving Hourglass Mean on Snapchat?

napstreaks About to End as Indicated by the Hourglass Emoji

The hourglass (⏳) icon next to a friend's name on Snapchat isn't just a random decoration. It's a crucial indicator that signifies your Snapstreak is about to end. Essentially, it’s a warning that you must send and receive snaps ASAP.

For avid Snapchat users, the hourglass symbol can catch them in panic mode. Don't worry; Snapchat gives you enough time to catch up before your streak returns to zero. 

💬 Interesting Trivia:

Snapchat popularized innovative augmented reality (AR) filters and lenses that overlay various effects on users' faces and surroundings. These filters can transform users into animals, swap faces, add quirky animations, and more.

How Long Does the Hourglass on Snapchat Last?

After 20 hours of inactivity, the hourglass emoji appears, giving you 4 hours to maintain Snapstreak's existence.

For many Snapchat natives, it has become a thrilling countdown that adds excitement to their Snapchat interactions. This experience exemplifies how messaging on Snapchat is more than just communication now.

Now that you know what the hourglass icon means on Snapchat, it's time to take your Snapstreak game to the next level.

🎉Fun Fact:

Snapchat is the 2nd most used messaging platform in the US. Users prefer the app for its engaging and interactive features when talking to their friends.

Tips for Maintaining a Snapstreak

Snapchat's Snapstreak is an excellent example of how social media can significantly contribute to maintaining friendships in today's connected world. However, real day-to-day happenings may keep people off social media. 

Below are essential tips and reminders to help you keep a Snapstreak amidst a busy life.

  • Make sure to snap daily to avoid losing your Streak - Make it a habit to send a snap daily. Engage in creative photography by sharing funny selfies, memes, scenic views, or adorable pets to keep conversations lively.
  • Set reminders to Snap if needed - Getting caught up and forgetting to snap is easy. That's where alarms and reminders come to the rescue. Set a daily alarm on your phone or use an app to remind you when it's snap time.

💼 Biz Trivia:

Facebook has attempted to acquire Snapchat several times. The most significant known offer was $3 billion in 2013. However, Snapchat never agreed.

Here's how you can set reminders to send snaps and keep your streaks alive:

  • Phone Alarms - The built-in alarm feature on your smartphone allows you to set daily reminders to send snaps, labeled "Snap Time," at a convenient time.
  • Reminder Apps - Create a daily reminder to send snaps using your phone’s built-in reminder app or third-party apps.
  • Calendar App - Using a calendar app on your smartphone, you can create recurring daily events labeled "Snap Reminder." Set notifications for these events to receive reminders.
  • Streak Tracker Apps - Third-party apps are designed to track and remind you about your Snapchat streaks.

🎉 Fun Fact:

People spend 30 minutes daily on Snapchat and Streaks, demonstrating their worth. This number proves that Snapstreaks and all of Snapchat’s features are still trending today. 

  • Protect Your Snapstreak From Unexpected Circumstances

Unforeseen events can cost you and your friends a loss in Snapstreak. A backup plan can save you the time you've spent maintaining the streak.

Here are a couple of quick backup tips to avoid losing your Snapchat Streak:

  • Select a trusted friend who can send a snap on your behalf if you cannot.
  • Prepare backup snaps like selfies, drawings, or messages.

Keeping a Snapstreak needs the effort of both users, ensuring you and your friend are equally enthusiastic about the Streak. Keep each other motivated by sharing your intentions and discussing strategies.

  • Make Your Snapping Habits Entertaining

You can keep your friends engaged by creating a game or challenge. Set a goal and reward the one who can maintain the longest streak. This sense of competition can add to the motivation for preserving Snapstreak.

📖 Helpful Article:

Want to make your conversation with your friend secure? Practice safe measures when messaging friends by reading Techjury’s article about using encrypted messaging to protect yourself from hackers.

What To Do If You Lose Your Snapstreaks?

Losing streaks happen more often than not. Whether it's a busy day or a glitch in the system, Snapstreaks can sometimes vanish into thin air. Fortunately, we've got your back with some simple steps to help you recover and prevent future Snapstreak problems.

1. As Soon as You Lose Your Streak, Send Your Friend a Snap

When your Snapstreak disappears, send a snap to your friend ASAP. Doing this may recover your streak if it is a glitch. This tip allows you to start a new one immediately.

📖 Helpful Article:

Due to its wide use, Snapchat has been a breeding ground for illegal schemes. Protect yourself by learning about these five most common scams on Snapchat.

2. Reach Out to Snapchat Support if Sending a Snap Doesn't Work

Relying on Snapchat Support is essential if sending a Snap doesn't return the streak. You can reach out to them through the app and explain what happened.

3. Make Sure You and Your Friend Are Still Following Each Other on Snapchat

Sometimes, the problem might have just been between you and your friend. Head over to your friend's profile and ensure you follow each other. A simple reconnection is the solution.

4. Try Not to Worry About Snapstreak Loss

Even if you get stressed, your streak won’t return if it’s gone. Instead, take a deep breath and remind yourself that streaks are just a virtual number. You can always restart.

Final Thoughts

Snapchat introduced fun and innovative features that made a lasting impact on social media. The use of emojis is one of them. 

The hourglass emoji indicates a limited time frame of 4 hours before losing your Snapstreak, with the streak potentially returning to zero shortly after. If that happens, remember that the Snapstreak is still just a number and does not entirely define your friendship.


What does this 😊 mean on Snapchat?

On Snapchat, the 😊 next to someone's name indicates that the person is one of your best friends. These are the people you often send snaps to but not as often as your best friend, which the yellow heart 💛 emoji represents.

What Is the 100 Icon next to a Snapstreak?

The 100 icon next to a Snapstreak (💯) means that your Snapstreak has reached 100 days. It is a milestone indicator showing that you and your friend have consistently exchanged snaps for 100 consecutive days.

Do both friends see the hourglass?

Yes, both friends involved in a Snapstreak on Snapchat will see the hourglass. When the streak ends, the hourglass emoji appears next to the friend's name.


What to do if the hourglass emoji appears despite maintaining the streak?

It might be a temporary glitch if the hourglass emoji appears despite keeping the streak. Continue sending snaps to ensure the streak remains intact. If the issue persists, you can contact Snapchat support for assistance.


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