Demystifying the Mysterious X: An Entrepreneur‘s Guide to Mastering Snapchat

As a fellow small business owner, I know how important it is to understand social media platforms inside and out. But if you‘re new to Snapchat, some parts of the app can seem downright perplexing at first.

One of the most common questions I‘ve gotten from entrepreneur friends is: "What on earth does the X mean on Snapchat?"

Don‘t worry – you‘re not alone in your confusion! Based on my own experience leveraging Snapchat to promote my boutique business, I‘ll walk you through exactly what that X icon means, along with other need-to-know Snapchat tips for small business owners.

A Quick Tour of Snapchat‘s Interface

Before we get into the X, let‘s quickly run through what all the symbols, emojis, and icons across Snapchat actually mean.

Color Coded Symbols

Snapchat uses colors to indicate the status of snaps:

  • Blue – Sent snap
  • Purple – Sent snap with audio
  • Red – Opened snap
  • Grey – Read message

As a business owner, I love using audio snaps to provide quick announcements, share sales, or offer promo codes to followers.

Friendship Emojis

You‘ll notice that Snapchat adds special emojis next to friends based on your interactions. For example:

  • Yellow Heart – #1 Best Friends
  • Pink Hearts – Been #1 Best Friends 2+ months straight
  • Grimacing Face – You share a #1 Best Friend

I don‘t focus too much on Snapchat friend emojis, but they can be fun to build community with loyal brand followers.

Story icons

And here‘s what the icons next to friend names on your story screen mean:

  • 📷 – Friend posted new story
  • 🔳 – You haven‘t viewed friend‘s story
  • 🔘 – You‘ve viewed friend‘s story

As a business owner, checking story views is an easy way to see how many customers are engaging with my content.

Alright, What Does the X Mean on Snapchat?

Now that you‘re oriented, what does that ambiguous X mean?

The X signifies that you are not friends with that person on Snapchat. There are 3 potential reasons you might see the dreaded X:

Pending Friend Request

A grey X next to a name means there is a pending friend request between you. They sent you one, or vice versa, but it hasn‘t been accepted yet.

Pro tip: I recommend immediately accepting requests from potential customers to ensure you don‘t miss their messages.


A red X indicates you‘ve been unfriended – the person removed you from their friend list.

If you see a red X next to a loyal customer‘s name, it may be worth reaching out on another channel to troubleshoot why. As a small business, losing customers is never ideal.

Never Been Friends

You may also see an X next to people Snapchat recommends you add as friends, who you haven‘t actually connected with yet.

I generally ignore these suggested friends, as most aren‘t relevant to my business. But it can be worth scanning for any followers or customers recommended to you.

Removing the Mysterious X

As a business owner, you don‘t want to be left in the dark with a lingering X next to important contacts. Here are a few ways to banish the X for good:

  • Accept their friend request – If pending, accepting will remove the grey X immediately.
  • Send a new request – You can resolve an unfriending by sending a new request.
  • Unfriend them – Doing the unfriending yourself also eliminates the red X icon.
  • Block them – Blocking cuts off contact and gets rid of the X.
  • Clear conversation – For suggested friends, tapping the X and "Clear Conversation" removes the recommendation.

Depending on the context, you‘ll need to decide which route is right for your business relationship with that Snapchat user.

Troubleshooting Common Snapchat Issues

As a Snapchat power user for my small business, I‘ve run into a few annoying issues – and luckily found some simple fixes:

  • App crashing: Close and reopen the app. Update to the latest version. Restart your device if needed.
  • Can‘t log in: Double check your password is correct. Reset via email if you‘ve forgotten it.
  • Camera problems: Go into device settings and ensure Snapchat has camera access enabled.
  • Notifications not working: Toggle notifications off and on in the app to reset them.
  • Can‘t add friends: Check if your contact has you blocked. Reach out on another channel if someone important can‘t be added.

For any other issues, I recommend reaching out to Snapchat‘s customer support. As a business owner, you rely on the app working properly!

Best Practices for SMBs Using Snapchat

Now that you‘ve mastered the X and troubleshooting, I want to share a few best practices I‘ve learned for leveraging Snapchat as a small or medium-sized business:

Get creative with stories

Post frequently to your story with content that engages customers and provides value – whether it‘s exclusive deals, new product reveals, or behind-the-scenes footage.

Offer promo codes

Run special Snapchat-only sales, discounts, and promo codes to incentivize followers to engage.

Take advantage of analytics

Use Snapchat‘s built-in analytics to see which types of content get the most opens and engagement.

Collaborate with influencers

Work with relevant influencers in your industry to spread the word about your brand organically to their follower base.

Respond to messages

Be sure to keep up with Snapchat messages and respond promptly to build relationships with customers.

Snapchat Demographics to Keep in Mind

As you cultivate your Snapchat strategy, it helps to know your audience. Here are some key stats on Snapchat users:

  • 90% of users are between age 13-24
  • 65% of daily users are under 30 years old
  • An average user spends 30+ minutes on Snapchat every day
  • 78% of users have an annual income under $50k

With the app skewing young, you‘ll want to tailor your content, offers, and products accordingly.

The Secret‘s Out!

Hopefully this guide has helped eliminate some of the mystery around Snapchat, so you can start leveraging it to grow your small business.

To quickly recap:

  • The X means not yet friends
  • Remove the X by accepting requests, adding friends, or unfriending
  • Troubleshoot common issues like crashing and login problems
  • Use Snapchat creatively to share exclusive content with followers

Feel free to reach out if you have any other Snapchat questions! Now get snapping.