Demystifying the Snapchat Hourglass: An In-Depth Guide for Small Business Owners

As a fellow small business owner, I know how important it is to understand social media platforms like Snapchat inside and out. One confusing feature for many entrepreneurs is the hourglass emoji that pops up beside your connections‘ names. If you‘ve ever wondered "What does the hourglass mean on Snapchat?", this comprehensive guide is for you!

The Essential Purpose of the Hourglass

The hourglass emoji serves as a warning that your Snapstreak, or consecutive days of snapping back and forth, is going to end soon with that friend. According to Snapchat‘s latest metrics, over 30% of users actively maintain streaks as a way to keep conversations flowing. As an entrepreneur, these streaks can be great for engaging your audience. But you need to know how the hourglass works to keep them active.

Once you and a connection have snapped each other for three days straight, you‘ll see a fire emoji and day counter next to their name. This shows your active streak. However, if 24 hours goes by without either of you sending a snap, Snapchat puts up the hourglass as a reminder.

Why Timing Matters

You only have 24 hours from the point that hourglass appears before your streak disappears and the counter resets to zero. The hourglass creates a sense of urgency to maintain consistent interactions—a useful tactic for entrepreneurs trying to build rapport with their followers.

According to a 2021 study, over 60% of Snapchat users under 25 check in daily specifically to keep their streaks alive. They have became a social motivator Snapchat capitalizes on. As a business owner, you can take advantage of this feature to encourage loyalty. But you need to know the nuances.

Identifying the Hourglass vs Fire Emoji

The key to identifying the hourglass is to distinguish it from the fire emoji. The fire and number denotes an active streak: you and your connection have snapped within 24 hours.

The hourglass means that bond is in danger since it‘s been over 24 hours since you last snapped that person. Once you see it, you only have limited time left to continue the streak before it‘s permanently broken.

Helpful Tactics for Maintaining Streaks

To harness the power of Snapstreaks for your business, consistency is critical. Here are some tips I‘ve found effective as an entrepreneur on Snapchat:

  • Check first thing in the morning for any hourglasses popping up and immediately snap those connections back.
  • Strategically focus on keeping streaks alive with followers who engage most with your content.
  • Do one final hourglass check at night to catch any you missed earlier.
  • If you have limited availability one day, give connections a heads up you may be inactive so streaks aren‘t accidentally ended.
  • Explain any mistakenly ended streaks to followers and ask if they want to start a new one. Transparency is key!

What To Do If You Lose a Streak

Despite your best efforts, you may still end up losing a streak with some followers. While discouraging, all hope is not lost! Here are some solutions I recommend based on my small business experience:

  • Directly contact followers and explain the situation to see if they are willing to start over.
  • Check Snapchat‘s server status to see if technical errors caused lost streaks. You can report issues directly to their support team.
  • Rebuilding engagement with quality content and incentives can restore interest from followers with whom streaks were lost. Don‘t give up!
  • Remember that while streaks are fun, they aren‘t essential. Focus on the quality of your snaps and community building. The rest follows.

Takeaways for Savvy Entrepreneurs

As a Snapchat user myself, I understand the appeal of streaks. They help cultivate community and maintain interest as a small business. However, the hourglass emoji signals streaks risk expiry without action. As an entrepreneur, stay vigilant for its appearance and respond promptly. Use streaks strategically, focusing on your VIP followers. But don‘t become beholden to them. Prioritize meaningful connections above all else. With some effort, your savvy Snapchat presence will flourish.