What Does "Hwy" Mean on Snapchat? An Entrepreneur‘s Guide

As a small business owner trying to market on Snapchat, you‘ve probably seen the acronym "hwy" used in Snaps and Stories. With over 90 million daily active users on Snapchat worldwide, understanding the platform‘s unique slang terms is key to effectively engaging its predominantly young audience.

But what exactly does "hwy" mean, and why is it so popular on Snapchat?

The Meaning of "Hwy" on Snapchat

"Hwy" stands for "Hey, what‘s up?" or "How are you?" on Snapchat. It‘s used similarly to "hey" or "hi" as a casual way to greet someone or start a conversation on the app.

According to a recent survey by Piper Sandler, over 30% of teens in the U.S. consider Snapchat their favorite social media platform. For this demographic, using abbreviated slang like "hwy" comes naturally and allows them to communicate quickly and informally with friends.

As a small business owner marketing yourself or your brand on Snapchat, adopting popular lingo like "hwy" can help you:

  • Engage your young audience by speaking their language. Over 70% of Snapchat users are under 25.
  • Appear approachable and friendly. The casual tone gives a conversational vibe.
  • Get attention quickly. Starting with "hwy" signals you want to chat.

Examples of Using "Hwy" on Snapchat

Here are some examples of how "hwy" is commonly used in Snapchats:

  • Hwy Christina! Long time no snap, how‘s your summer going?
  • Hey John, hwy? Wanted to see if you were down to grab food later.
  • Hwy everyone! I‘ll be snapping lots of pics from my road trip this week!
  • Happy Monday! Hwy, are you ready for this week?

As you can see, using "hwy" mirrors saying "hey" or "hi" at the start of a text or DM. It sets a casual, conversational tone from the greeting.

When to Use "Hwy" vs. More Formal Greetings

While "hwy" is popular among Snapchat‘s young demographic, gauge your audience before adopting adolescent slang as a small business.

With professional contacts, brand partners, or less tech-savvy audiences, "hey" or "hello" may be better suited than the informal "hwy."

Consider using "hwy" when:

  • You want to appear trendy and relatable to teens/young adults
  • You‘re messaging very casually 1-on-1 with a friend or follower
  • Your brand has a quirky, approachable identity

And stick to formal greetings when:

  • Crafting Snapchat ads or public brand messaging
  • Engaging business partners, media, or older demographics
  • Your brand favors a polished, professional image

The chart below summarizes appropriate contexts for using "hwy" vs. standard greetings on Snapchat:

When to Use "Hwy" When to Use Formal Greetings
Messaging young adult friends/followers Business partner communications
1-on-1 with fans Snapchat ads or brand pages
Relatable branding Professional contacts
Quirky product marketing Older target audiences

Best Practices for Using "Hwy" on Snapchat

Here are some top tips to use "hwy" effectively and avoid miscommunication:

  • Don‘t overuse it. Sprinkle "hwy" in occasionally when chatting informally.
  • Respond appropriately. Reply conversationally, asking how they are or sharing what you‘re up to.
  • Gauge audience age. Determine if your target demographic would appreciate the slang.
  • Consider context. Keep branding consistent across Snapchat.
  • Mix it up. Swap "hwy" with other greetings to show variety.


On Snapchat, "hwy" is a popular acronym meaning "hey, what‘s up?" or "how are you?" Used conversationally when chatting 1-on-1, it allows young users to greet friends casually.

As a small business owner, feel empowered to adopt trendy lingo like "hwy" on Snapchat when appropriate. Just be sure to consider your audience and branding context first. With the right approach, a simple "hwy" can signal your brand is hip, approachable and ready to connect authentically with Snapchat‘s vibrant community.