How to Use Snapchat and Know About its Features

Snapchat took over the whole world with its interactive messaging interface, and most importantly; the filters which transform a plain old selfie into a fun and exciting way to be on Social Media. Snapchat became so popular to the point of obsession among people that it has become the butt of quite a number of jokes along with being one among the most sought-after messaging platforms of the 21st century. What made Snapchat a member of the big league social media companies is its features that allowed people to share moments from their everyday life with friends and family in the quirkiest way never seen before in any app.

Snapchat Logo

Snapchat, the name itself suggests that the App was started about photos and videos but what truly set Snapchat apart is its core feature that sets a specific duration on shared photos and videos after which they would no longer be available. This was a very important concept for the future of Social Media and the Internet since it reduced the amount of digital trash getting piled up online in the form of multimedia images and videos being constantly shared every single minute across the globe. Users found the disappearing photos very intriguing because it allowed them to let go of their inhibitions and display every facet of their lives with friends and family without the worry of having to delete them.


Teenagers and Adults all know how to spend their entire day snapchatting and some hilarious snapchats have made their way to become the butt of all jokes and memes on other social media platforms. People can’t get over how awesome and hilarious the filters on Snapchat are, especially girls’ obsession over the doggie filter. Thanks to its immense popularity and success, Snapchat’s features grew by leaps and bounds and it was bought by Facebook thus making it a global phenomenon.


Snapchat eventually became a leading online platform for brands and businesses to display their products and rope in customers along with an excellent place for people to share information and snippets from everyday lives. Snapchat Stories are known to all and are where the best and most hilarious things happen online. Social Media Advertising quickly gained traction on Snapchat with a dedicated Snapchat for Business offering targeted campaigns for exploring Snapchat’s growing network of audiences.


Self-Destructing Photos and Videos provide huge relief to Snapchat since any evidence of embarrassing shares disappear without a trace. The company made billions of dollars when users began snapchatting to each other throughout the day. When youth trends changed to incorporate Snapchat, new features kept getting added including Snapstories which became the most popular, Snap Score which evaluated the number of times you sent images and added friends, Snapstreaks, Lenses, and everybody’s favorite Snapchat Filters. To add an extra level of protection to users’ private pictures and video, Snapchat restricted the use of Screenshots which are rampant among Internet users. The person is notified if their posts are screenshotted thus giving them the opportunity to restrict or prevent someone from stealing their private snaps. Here you will find a complete guide on how to use Snapchat including its features, settings, and other ways you can utilize this messaging app:


The user interface of Snapchat is pretty straightforward at first sight since it opens your camera prompting you to take a picture of or shoot something. Next, you will see interesting options pop-up before your eyes about how you can use the photo or video by sending it to someone specific or by updating it for everyone to see in the next 24 hours. You will also be prompted to swipe left or light or to click on certain options to customize your post by adding filters, effects, text, etc.

Snapchat Filters:

Snapchat Filters are very popular since they allow you to improve a plain image by adding effects to improve them. Here is a brief description of the most popular snapchat filters and how to use them:


• Text: What better way to tell a story with your pictures other than adding text to them? Text bars on images and videos were the first and most well-known snapchat image effects that allowed users to put funny captions on their shares. To turn on the text editor bar, you need to click on the big bold “T” button on top of the Snapchat screen.


• Geofilter: Geofilters are new and highly useful for sharing your location along with images and videos. You need to swipe the screen once you’ve shot a picture or video to add quirky date, time, or location stamps.


• Selfie Mode: The Selfie Mode is everybody’s favorite, of course. In Selfie Mode, you can use different lenses to create fun effects on your face and add geofilters as well.


• Text: You can bold and use different colors on the text as well as use the pencil icon to write text with your own handwriting.


• Stories: This a kind of newsfeed for who you’ve added on Snapchat since they will be able to view something you’ve posted repeatedly until the time limit you’ve set for them to appear. You can also edit the privacy of your stories or send them to someone specific.

The Basics:

The Snapchat App can be downloaded for free from the Google or Apple Store. You will have to create an identity for yourself with a username and password along with a Snapcode selfie that anyone who knows you will be able to view and add you on snapchat. You will also have to verify your identity so that Snapchat knows you’re a legit person and not a robot or fake person looking to do something sinister on their app.

Adding Friends:

Adding your friends on Snapchat can be done in many ways. You can either scan the contacts on your phone or scan their snapcodes or you could even search them by their username if you know it. You can always add and delete friends like any other social site and you can spend hours scouring through your friends’ snap stories and know all the crazy things they do every day. Snapchat also has a messaging interface where you and your friends can chat and your messages will be deleted after some time. Unlike WhatsApp and other messaging platforms, you can rest assured that your messages won’t be screenshotted and sent to others since you will be notified if this happens and you can kick them out of your friends’ list.

Snapchat Discover:

Since Snapchat is a global brand with millions of users across the globe, companies, and brands post the latest news and updates publicly on Snapchat. You can view these on Snapchat Discover and choose any story you like. You can also keep watching stories by swiping right. There is also a quick look feature on Discover stories that you can select to determine whether you want to open the story or not. There is also an option to subscribe to any Snapchat story to get regularly updated when a new story appears. Game scores, trending news, and celeb gossip are regularly available on Discover and they’re the most popular.


We come to the fun and exciting part of using Snapchat. The lenses feature is used to scan your face via the front-facing camera. Lenses work solely with selfie mode and you can use it to have fun playing with some of the crazy effects. Lenses work only on Android 4.3 and above and on iPhones 4S and above. There are some funny animal and cartoon effects that you can apply on Lenses, the most popular of which is, of course, the one where you’re a dog and a tongue sticks out when you open your mouth.

Voice Filters:

Voice Filters are another intriguing feature in Snapchat that has been notorious for the most hilarious and fairly annoying snaps and stories but is still loved by users all over the world. Voice Filters allow you to change your voice while shooting a video. While making a video snap, a speaker icon will be visible that you need to click on to choose from and add a voice filter to your snap video. You can remix voices and also have a variety of character voices and styles to entertain your friends.


When you open Snapchat, initially you will see the camera screen. If you swipe left, you can see the messages screen where your contacts and friends can send you messages and you can reply. Messages are of three types on Snapchat; still photos, video, and text. If you receive a message and the icon is red in color, then you’ve received a photo, if the color is purple, you’ve received a video, and if the color is blue then you’ve received a text message. Snapchat messages get auto-deleted after some time. But that’s not all. There’s also voice and video calls along with group chats as well. Snapchat Messaging has all the features of a modern social media messaging platform.


When you open Snapchat, the first thing you see is the open back camera and a large white button that you need to press to click a picture. If you want to shoot a video, the button needs to be long-pressed. However, in iPhones long pressing is not required and by tweaking the settings, you can choose the SnapVideo Assistive Touch to go hands-free during recording. Although this is a slightly harder way to make videos on Snapchat, it’s still good but Android phones do not support this feature yet.


SnapMap is a relatively new but strong feature on SnapChat which is a real-time location sharing feature. What’s interesting about SnapMap is that it lets you share temperature and weather details along with your location. You can use SnapMap to find your friends but if you don’t want the world finding you, you can select the ‘Ghost Mode’ which hides your location from others. SnapMap is a fun and interactive version of a real map and you can add your photo or story to the map. There are also public stories and snaps shared from across the world that you can view to get the latest insights and updates on what’s happening elsewhere.

3D Bitmoji:

Snapchat added Augmented Reality to its Bitmoji which can be accessed on the updated app on Android as well as iOS. 3D Bitmoji uses World Lenses. It’s essentially using Augmented Reality to animate your real world as seen on your rear camera. 3D Bitmoji Lens is Snapchat’s foray into Augmented Reality and goes to show how far and advanced Social Media Tech has really ventured to. Bitmoji is a live version of an emoji and you can actually turn yourself into a live Bitmoji to make messaging all the more real and highly interactive. The expressions on the Bitmojis are very much human-like and relatable and have boosted Snapchat’s reputation further.

Snaps, Memories, and Stories:

Let’s understand the difference between a snap, a memory, and a story. A snap is an image that you can send to a friend or friends. Your friends can replay the snap once and it disappears after 10 seconds. A Memory, on the other hand, is a saved snap that you can send to your friends later, privately or post publicly for everyone to see. We already know about stories and they’re literally used to tell a story about your daily life. If someone screenshots your snaps you get notified. Memories are sent to Chat and stories stay viewable for 24 hours.

Filter Tweaks:

It’s possible to apply more than one filter to your photos or videos by tapping one filter you just applied and holding it while swiping right once again. This will allow you to add a second filter as well. It may be possible to add up to 5 filters at a time but there are certain restrictions to do this. For instance, you can combine a snap filter along with a time stamp but you can’t play with all of them together. You can play with overlays, color adjustments, and speed effects to make your snaps, even more, fun and exciting.

Lesser-Known Features:

There are some features on Snapchat not everyone uses every day. These include the tint brush that can be used to change the background color of an image. The Tint Brush can be accessed by clicking on the brush icon and choosing Tint Brush. Another interesting feature is a continuous recording of up to 6 videos. This feature is available on iPhone and is yet to come on Android. It’s not fully optimised and is still in the baby stages. After the continuous recording of 10-second video clips, you can choose to keep the ones you want and discard others.

More about the SnapMap:

Although the SnapMap looks exciting, not everyone would want to be seen and located on it. But the good news is that SnapMap is not easily seen on the App. SnapMap is proof of Snapchat’s creative pursuits towards building more interactive technology. Unless you turn on your GPS, SnapMap will not be able to place you on the map and nobody else will find you. You also control who sees your location and when they see it. Although Ads have taken over the whole of the Internet, the SnapMap does not yet have ads, so that’s a relief to users who hate ads popping up everywhere.


Who doesn’t love Stickers? There are Stickers everywhere nowadays making messaging and communicating over Social Media so much more exciting. But Snapchat stickers are set apart from stickers on all other Social Media platforms because they’re so unique. Stickers can be added to videos as well. You can also send them to chat. Most of the stickers come with speech bubbles so you can do away with plain texting while talking to your friend on Snapchat. There are also Geostickers which are a fun way to share your location without boring location stamps.

The Profile Section:

Although Snapchat doesn’t have a specific Profile section and options to customise it, swiping up on the main screen takes you to a place where you can manage your friends and your Snapcode. You can also copy your Profile URL to share it on other social media platforms or through other channels. Your Snapchat Profile URL is useful for gaining more friends and for promotions. Your Snapchat Score is important in the Profile section since a higher score tells friends that you’re very active on Snapchat and is determined by the number of snaps you’ve shared and received along with other aspects.

Face Swap:

This has got to be Snapchat’s most hilarious feature. Every single Face Swap ever is funny and deemed to entertain users across the globe. Face Swap uses the Selfie mode and you can swap faces with a friend or use a cartoon character to swap faces with. There are tons of funny faces and characters to choose from for face swapping. There’s also Face Swap Live that lets you superimpose your face onto a photo. Face Swap Live isn’t yet available on Android and is still in its development stage. Face Swaps can be saved and sent to friends.

Sky Filters:

Snapchat’s Sky Filters are amazing because they let you snap an ordinary sky and make it more interesting by throwing in a Rainbow, turning it into a star-studded night, or making your very own sunset. To use the Sky Filter, you need to click a picture of the sky which Snapchat will recognize and give you unique sky-dedicated filters like stormy clouds, etc. These filters automatically appear and you don’t have to summon them. Just have your sky ready. Sky Filters are also part of Snapchat’s foray into Augmented Reality and lets you share stunning snaps of the vast, wide open skies which is the best thing you can ever snap.

Snapchat Groups:

If you have a lot of friends, Snapchat Groups are the best way to have the most fun than any other social media because you can communicate your thoughts, feelings, and opinions in the most fun and intriguing way possible online. You can post snaps, text, video notes, audio notes, and stickers on the group and have a great time snapchatting to infinity. Like all text and chat on Snapchat, messages sent to the group disappear if they aren’t read in the stipulated time. You can start a group by opening the chat screen, tapping the ‘new messages’ button and selecting multiple friends. Then click on ‘Start Chat’ to create your Snapchat group.

Hot Spots:

On the SnapMap, you can view your friends’ Bitmojis. If they’ve explicitly mentioned what they’re doing, it shows up else Snapchat makes a guess by their location and their Bitmoji appears be doing that activity. You can click on a friend’s Bitmoji and chat with them live. Some places on the SnapMap may appear red like on a heat map. This just indicates that many friends have contributed their snaps to the shared “Our Story”. If the heated area is light, it denotes subtle snap activity. But if a particular area is fiery red, it means there’s a lot of activity happening there.

Brand New Features:

Although Snapchat has earned a reputation for being just a filter App, the latest versions have so much more. You can send multiple images to your contacts, make Audio or Video calls. There is also a Voicemail option on the occasion that someone doesn’t answer your call. The Video Calling feature also makes Snapchat a complete social media platform. During Video Calls, you can send fun things like text messages, audio, video, and video “bubble” message recordings. Snapchat is now a complete messaging app with the best and latest technology integrated into it. But not everyone has the time to explore all of these amazing features. If you do, have all the fun while you can and try not to share too many dog filter selfies online.

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