Speak the Snapchat Lingo

Written by Golzar Meamar

October 13, 2016

Snapchat, like all forms of social media, comes with it’s own phrasing and rhetoric. Clear communication starts with knowing the language, or in this case, the jargon of the social media app.

Err, what’s the verb?

“To Snapchat” is not truly how we define the action of sending a snapchat. But “snapping” is. Much like sending a Tweet is tweeting, or to tweet @, the verb for Snapchat is simply “snap!”

To friend or to follow, that is the question.

The answer is actually neither. On Snapchat, you “add” users, whether you know them or not. You are “following” someone’s story the second you “add” them, but not everyone whose Snapchat story you follow will necessarily be an actual “friend.”

Take @michelleobama for example. You can “add” her on Snapchat, but you will only “follow” her story. A story is a series of snaps for all followers to view.

Why are there emojis next to some users and not next to others?

Curious about your Snapchat ins and outs? While you may have already noticed that you have a “Best Friends” category when you go to send a Snapchat, and that it is populated by those with smiley faces next to their names, and sometimes even a flame and a number. Here’s a quick guide to decipher user emojis.

Smiley face:

A smiley face means that you are both on the other person’s top list. Congratulations! Mutual admiration is a beautiful thing.


The flame emoji indicates that you are “on fire” in terms of your Snapchat game with this user. The flame is accompanied with a number, which tells you how long your “streak” has been. You must send each other at least one a day to keep up your flame.


Luckily, Snapchat will warn you when you’re getting close to losing your fire with a user. If you are coming up close to not snapping for a full 24 hours, your hourglass will go up next to the flame, so send them a snap fast!

Yellow heart:

A yellow heart indicates that you are recently each other’s best friends. Over time, the colors will change to indicate how long you have been each other’s best friends (red after two weeks, pink after two months, etc.)

Smirking face:

A smirking face indicted that you are one of their best friends, but they are not one of yours… which essentially means that they send you a good deal of snapchats, while you don’t reciprocate as often.

Snapchat Score

Your “Snapchat Score” can be found by pressing the ghost icon at the top of your camera screen when the app is open. It is the number located underneath the larger ghost icon that pops up (the screen you would show to someone else if you were to ask them to “add” you). This number reflects how many Snaps you have sent and received. You get 12 points per snap, and three snaps in a row to the same person is worth 20 points.