What Does Received Mean on Snapchat?

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If you‘re an active Snapchat user, you‘ve probably noticed some cryptic icons appearing next to your sent snaps and chats. While visual communication is a big part of what makes Snapchat fun and engaging, these icons actually convey a lot of helpful information!

One of the most common icons you‘ll see as you‘re messaging friends is a filled-in square with the word "Received" next to it. What exactly does this mean? And how is it different from the other icons like "Sent" or "Opened"?

As a fellow Snapchat enthusiast, let me walk you through exactly what received means on Snapchat, and all the insights those icons provide. Consider me your Snapchat icon decoder and messenger status expert!

What Does "Received" Mean on Snapchat?

Let‘s start with the key question – when you see "Received" next to a Snap or chat, what does that mean?

Received means your snap or message has been successfully delivered to your friend‘s device.

Specifically, it means:

  • The snap or chat has safely left your device.

  • Snapchat‘s servers have processed the data packet containing your message.

  • It has been sent to your friend‘s phone.

  • Your friend‘s phone has acknowledged receipt of the message data.

So in simple terms, "received" means your snap or chat has been successfully delivered on a technical level. Your friend‘s phone has it!

However, it does not mean your friend has actively opened or viewed the snap yet themselves.

Think of it this way:

  • "Sent" means it‘s left your phone and is in transit.

  • "Received" means it‘s reached their phone but hasn‘t been opened.

  • "Opened" means they‘ve viewed your snap or chat within the app.

So "received" is confirmation your message got there, but your friend may not have seen it yet. It‘s stuck in their inbox waiting to be opened!

Received vs. Sent vs. Delivered vs. Opened

To fully understand received status, it helps to compare it to the other status indicators Snapchat uses:

Sent – Your message has left your device but has not yet reached your friend‘s device. Still in transit.

Delivered – Same meaning as received – it‘s reached their device but hasn‘t been opened yet.

Received – Your message has been received by your friend‘s device but not viewed.

Opened – Your friend has actively opened the snap or chat to view it.

So the progression goes:

Sent → Delivered/Received → Opened

Delivered and received are essentially interchangeable in meaning. The key transition is "received" to "opened" – that‘s when you know your friend has actually viewed your snap or message.

Why Your Snaps Get "Received" Before "Opened"

You might be wondering – why does Snapchat show a "received" state at all? Wouldn‘t it be easier to just go from "sent" to "opened"?

There are a few key reasons Snapchat uses a received status:

1. Confirmation your message got there.

Since snaps and chats delete automatically after viewing, it‘s important to confirm they actually reach recipients. If you didn‘t get a "received" notification, you‘d always question if your snap even made it to your friend.

2. Privacy around viewing.

By not notifying you the moment a recipient opens a snap, Snapchat builds in more privacy around exactly when someone views your message.

3. Troubleshooting delivery issues.

If your snap stays stuck on "sent" for a long time, you know there‘s a problem. The "received" status helps identify transmission failures.

So in short, "received" hits the sweet spot between letting you know your message arrived safely and allowing your friends some privacy around when they view it. Pretty clever!

What the Received Icons Look Like

Now that you know what "received" means, what do the different received icons look like?

There are three main received/delivered icons:

Solid red square – A snap without audio has been received. This is the most common received icon you‘ll see.

Solid purple square – A snap with audio has been received.

Solid blue square – A text chat message has been received.

These colors match up with the corresponding sent snap and chat colors:

  • Red = snap without audio

  • Purple = snap with audio

  • Blue = text chat message

Once opened, the solid color will become hollow – a hollow red square, hollow purple square, etc. So that‘s how to quickly tell if something went from received to opened!

How Long Do Received Snaps Stay on Snapchat?

One common question is how long received snaps remain on Snapchat before they expire. Here are the time limits:

  • Snaps received in a 1-on-1 chat last 30 days.

  • Snaps received in a group chat expire after 24 hours.

So if your friend doesn‘t open your snap within 30 days (or 24 hours in a group), the unopened received snap will expire and delete automatically.

The 30 day limit is quite generous and allows friends plenty of time to view snaps on their own schedule. And you‘ll get notification when a received snap is nearing expiration or has expired.

Snapchat Message Type Time Limit If Not Opened
Individual Chat Snaps 30 Days
Group Chat Snaps 24 Hours

Can Someone Screenshot a Received Snap?

Here‘s another common question about received snaps:

Is it possible for someone to screenshot your snap without opening it? What if they screenshot before the "opened" icon shows up?

The answer is no. On Snapchat it is not possible to screenshot a received or delivered snap without opening it first.

Your friend has to actively view your snap for the screenshot functionality to be enabled. Snapchat specifically designed it this way to protect privacy and prevent sneak screenshots.

So don‘t worry – if your snap remains in "received" or "delivered" status, there is no way it can be screenshotted without you getting notification. Once opened, screenshot notification will be sent.

Troubleshooting Snaps Stuck on "Sent"

Sometimes you may notice your snaps get stuck in the "sent" stage and never show "received." What gives?

Here are some troubleshooting tips if your snaps won‘t change to "received":

  • Check both users‘ internet connections – poor connectivity can disrupt delivery.

  • Force quit and restart the Snapchat app on each device. This can clear minor glitches.

  • Verify both you and your friend have the latest Snapchat version.

  • Snapchat server issues could be preventing delivery, try again later.

  • Send a test chat instead of media – if chat goes through but snaps don‘t, it‘s likely a media-specific issue.

  • Have both users uninstall and reinstall Snapchat as a last resort refresh.

  • Make sure your friend hasn‘t blocked you, which would prevent message delivery entirely.

If none of those tricks do the trick, you‘ll need to reach out to the Snapchat support team for additional help. But a quick app restart fixes most hiccups!

What Happens When Friends Don‘t Open Your Snaps?

We all have that one friend who loves to send snaps but rarely opens the ones you send back! What exactly happens in this scenario?

If a friend never opens your snap and it remains in "received" status, here is the rundown:

  • The snap will stay pending in received status for 30 days (or 24 hours in a group chat).

  • Once the time limit is reached, the unopened snap will expire and be deleted automatically.

  • You‘ll see the pending received icon disappear when the snap expires.

  • Snapchat doesn‘t notify you if an unopened snap expires. The icon vanishing is the only indication.

So your snaps won‘t remain pending in your friend‘s inbox forever. But Snapchat also doesn‘t explicitly alert you when a friend ignores your snap into oblivion. The cycle of snap life!

The Purpose Behind Snapchat‘s Status Indicators

Stepping back, why does Snapchat even have location-based status indicators in the first place? What‘s the purpose behind sent, delivered, received, and opened?

There are a few key reasons:

Confirmation your snaps are being transmitted. Without any delivery receipts, you‘d be left wondering if your snaps even send properly.

Insight into potential issues. If a snap stays stuck on "sent," you know there‘s a problem transmitting the message.

Privacy around viewing. Snapchat gives you some visibility into message status while still maintaining some privacy around exactly when recipient opens snaps.

Mimicking real-time interactions. With visual status cues, messaging on Snapchat better imitates real face-to-face conversations.

Overall, the status indicators enhance the Snapchat messaging experience. You get the benefits of delivery confirmations without sacrificing privacy.

Snapchat Status Icons Cheat Sheet

Let‘s recap all the Snapchat status icons and what they mean:

Status Icon Meaning
Solid red square Snap without audio received
Solid purple square Snap with audio received
Solid blue square Chat message received
Hollow red square Snap without audio opened
Hollow purple square Snap with audio opened
Hollow blue square Chat message opened

Pretty straightforward once you know what you‘re looking at!

In Summary

Hopefully this guide helped shed light on what "received" means on everybody‘s favorite ephemeral messaging app. The key takeaways:

  • Received means your snap or chat has been delivered to your friend‘s device but not opened yet. It‘s in their inbox waiting to be viewed.

  • There are different received icons for snaps with/without audio and chat messages, indicated by color.

  • Received snaps and chats expire after 30 days (or 24 hours in group chats) if not opened in time.

  • Friends have to actively open snaps before they can screenshot them – received snaps are safe!

So next time you see that solid red square on Snapchat, you‘ll know your snap has safely made the journey to your friend‘s phone. Time to put that conversation cap on and get snappin‘!


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.