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What Does A Gray Arrow Mean When You Send A Snapchat?

It is sometimes apparent why developers add certain features to social media platforms. However, some less obvious features get confusing when they aren’t properly explained and introduced. Snapchat has a couple of features fitting this description. 

The gray arrow next to conversations in your messaging list indicates that your message or media has yet to be delivered because you can’t communicate with a user. The usual cause is the contact has yet to accept your friend request.

There are a handful of reasons you may not be able to communicate with another Snapchat user. First, let’s look at how Snapchat uses the gray arrow and why to understand it better.

What Does the Gray Arrow Mean When You Send a Snapchat? 

Snapchat grey arrow

The gray arrow means Snapchat can’t deliver your message to a specific user. The gray arrow can, in rare cases, indicate a network problem. The app can’t communicate with the platform, and the gray arrow appears because of the broken connection. 

There is no mention of this in the general Snapchat FAQs, but it does not seem to be an intended use of the gray arrow. Instead, it is meant to communicate that your message can’t be delivered to the specific user.

The specific use cases are as follows:

  • You have sent a friend request that the user you are trying to message has yet to see. With email filled to the brim and an app sending endless notifications, it is easy to miss an invite. Give it some time.
  • Perhaps you are unfriended. There are many reasons to unfriend someone. Maybe you had a falling out, or the person feels they already have too many Snapchat friends.
  • They could have blocked you. Consider the reasons the person may have for blocking you. If you feel it is a misunderstanding, reach out to a mutual friend to help clear things up.
  • The user in question may have deleted their profile. It is a popular thing to do these days. Many want to stop living with constant and fatuous interference from social media. If you have their phone number, give them a call.

We often get too obsessed with social media. If you feel slighted by another user’s actions (or inactions), step back, take a deep breath and remember: it’s just social media.

A “Bug”

We’ve explored the official reasons that you see the gray arrow next to a message. There are, however, a few other issues that can lead to the gray arrow.

We know the gray arrow can pop up when your device is not connected to the internet. We also know that means the app cannot contact the appropriate servers. 

It is a bug whenever something happens that the programmers did not intend. And bugs are expected. The more complex the platform, the more likely you will encounter bugs.

If it is just a bug causing the gray arrow, and you keep sending messages to the user, you may appear overly eager should they finally accept your invite. 

System Errors

Sometimes things go wrong on a grand scale. For example, on October 4, 2021, Facebook and its subsidiary platforms, including WhatsApp and Instagram, experienced a total global blackout. It lasted for approximately 7 hours.

Of course, that was an extreme case, but there is no doubt social media platforms experience periodic issues. And Snapchat is by no means an exception. During a theoretical outage, invites, messages, etc., could fail to send. The gray arrow could appear then.

If you suspect something along those lines may have happened, there are a couple of steps you should take. 

  1. Search online for blackout reports regarding Snapchat.
  1. Check if your friend request is still pending.
  1. If you still need to, you should cancel and resubmit it.
  1. You should also send a brief, explanatory message outlining the issue. 

If you do not get a response, you should leave things there. 

The Oldest Tech Trick in the Book

There is one more trick you can try. Turn your phone off and back on again. You may ask what good this will do. After all, the problem is Snapchat, not your phone. 

However, aside from the inexplicable power of “turn it off and on again,” there may be some software conflict causing the app to behave incorrectly. 

The Many Devices Conundrum

There are many different devices on the market. App developers want their apps to run on as many as possible. This leads to devs prioritizing general software compatibility over device-specific hardware optimization. Fortunately, the bugs caused by this often get fixed by restarting your device.

Can You Force Send a Snapchat to Someone Who Unadded You?

Otherwise, there is no option to force send a message to a user. The motives for doing so seem unethical; therefore, that is standard practice on most social media platforms.

There are privacy settings that could allow a person to receive messages from someone they have unadded. However, those are not the default settings, and as such, most people don’t change them.

What Do Other Snapchat Arrows Mean?

Different coloured arrows for snapchat
  • Purple Arrow: The message includes an audio recording.
  • Red Arrow: The message does not include an audio recording.
  • Blue Arrow: A normal chat.

Additional Snapchat Icons

  • The Gold Heart: You and the other user are #1 friends. It is an accolade indicating that you interact most with each other. 
  • The Red Heart: You’ve been #1 best friends with each other for two weeks.
  • The Grimace: You share a #1 best friend that you both message the most.
  • The Smiling Face: You’re best friends, but not the #1 best friends on Snapchat. 
  • The Sunglasses Face: You share a best friend on Snapchat and have a close friend in common.