How to use snapchat

Basic Guide To Using Snapchat

Snapchat, a video messaging application used daily by 100 million people, has really exploded in popularity. Snapchat is now used to follow 2016 presidential contenders, the White House, as well as celebrities and news outlets.

Basic Guide To Using Snapchat

What is Snapchat

Snapchat differs from your run of the mill Social Media networks in some interesting ways. Snapchat users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a list of recipients. These photographs and videos are known as “Snaps”. But users can set a time limit for how long recipients can view their Snaps, from 1 to 10 seconds, after which Snapchat claims the Snaps will be deleted. Snaps can either be directed privately to specific friends, or to a Story. For snaps sent privately, a time limit is set. Some have claimed that in contrast to other messaging apps, Snapchat’s messaging function is more “conversational” rather than “transactional.”

Considering the rapid deletion of private Snaps, you can imagine how much more raw and privacy-sensitive the content is. But beware, because according to Forbes, Snapchat photos do not actually disappear, and the images can still be retrieved after the time limit expires. So as with anything you put online, no matter what is said, it will live on forever.

The “My Story” feature allows users to collect Snaps into storylines for their friends, or to the public. Stories are viewed in chronological order, and each section is accessible for 24 hours. There is also a “Live stories” feature which allows users on-location at specific events to contribute snaps to a montage advertised to all users.

Snapchat — Three Ways To Communicate


Snaps are photos or short videos sent to one or more friends that are deleted in 10 seconds. These sent and received snaps are located to the left of the home screen. Snapchatters can choose to have their photo or video saved in their phone’s photo gallery or just sent to friends. By default, Snaps disappear from the screen once they are viewed – unless your friend decides to keep it, such as with a screenshot or separate camera (this is considered crass, but still done).


Snaps arranged into chronological storylines that won’t self-destruct for 24 hours, located to the right of the home screen. To create a Story, a user chooses to add their Snaps to their Story. Depending on their privacy settings, the photos and videos added to a Story can be viewed by either all Snapchatters, just the user’s friends, or a customized group.


Chats are one-to-one text chatting. Like snaps, they appear to the left of the home screen. If you navigate away from the chat screen, you lose the thread forever.

Three Screens – home, left and right

The app’s main screen is a live view from your phone’s camera. Swipe down on that camera screen or tap the ghost icon to reach your Profile screen.

Chats and snaps appear to the left of the home screen.

To the right of the main screen, you can view storylines. From the same screen, you can view Discover for stories from Snapchat’s partner media outlets, including Vox, People, and CNN.

How to Create and Send Snaps

Taking Photos and Videos

The button to press to take a photo or take a video on snapchat

The button shown above is the most important element of Snapchat. You can use it to take photos and videos.  To take a photo Snap, tap the button. To record a video Snap, press and hold the circle for as long as you want the video to be.

To delete your Snap, tap X in the top left corner.

Drawing and Adding a Caption

You can add text, emojis, and draw on a snapchat post

To draw on your Snap, tap on the pencil located in the top right corner. You can change the colors of the pencil by clicking on the color scale.

To add a caption, tap the middle of the screen and enter text. If you tap the “T” again, it will make the text larger. Tap anywhere (or press ‘Done’) to exit out of the caption interface.

To add an emoji, tap the box and choose your emojis.

How long can a snapchat picture last

To set the timer for a photo Snap, tap the timer icon in the bottom left corner and select the amount of time you want your Snap to last, but note that we can’t guarantee the Snap will only last for this amount of time and the recipient could take a screenshot of the Snap.

Once you’re ready to send, click the arrow on the bottom right-hand corner. Select a single friend or group of friends and send.

Finding and Adding Friends

Adding Friends Who Have Added You

How to accept friend requests on snapchat

When a friend adds you, the ghost icon at the top of your Camera screen will turn yellow. Tap it to go to your Profile screen. To add a friend who has added you, tap ‘Added Me’ in your Profile screen. Here you can add a friend that added you by tapping on the “+” icon next to their name. It will turn into a “✔”.

Adding Friends From My Contacts

How to invite your contacts to become friends to snapchat

To find and add friends from your device’s contact list, tap ‘My Contacts’ in your Profile screen. All of your phone contacts with Snapchat accounts will be displayed, along with friends who don’t have Snapchat, who you can invite to use the app via SMS ?.

Searching for Friends

To find and add friends who aren’t in your list of contacts, tap ‘Add Friends’ in your Profile screen. Here you can search for your friends by username or from your address book.

Posting Stories

Press down once on the circular camera button to take a photo. Hold down to shoot video. Avoid horizontal video otherwise, people will have to hold their phone sideways for your snap.

When the camera is pointed at your face, hold down on the screen for a selection of special effects based on your facial movements.

Once you’ve obtained your photo or video, tap the text icon. Insert emojis by tapping the emoji sticker button and add a sketch or arrows with the doodling tool.

Then swipe right to add a timestamp or a location-themed sticker. Tap the arrow at the bottom right to send it to one or more friends or add it to your story.


Geofilters are a fun way to share where you are through filter overlays. They are specific to neighborhoods and special locations. While the unique designs of Geofilters will change from place to place, you can find them in a few big cities around the world to start.

How to access Geofilters

First, you’ll need to enable your device’s location services for this feature.

For iOS devices:

Go to Settings > Privacy > Location Services and turn on for Snapchat

For Android devices:

Go to Settings > Location > Turn on

To enable Filters on Snapchat

Go to Snapchat Settings.

To enable Filters on Snapchat

Go to Snapchat Settings.

Tap on “Manage” under Additional Services.

Tap the button to the right of the “Filters” feature to turn it on.

You now have access to Geofilters!

To add a Geofilter to your Snap

Swipe right on the Snap preview screen to check out which ones are around you now.


Ghostcodes is an app that allows you to find and follow people with similar interests. With Ghostcodes, you can upload your snapcode image and create a descriptive profile that includes your interests. You can also provide links to your other social accounts.

Key Performance Indicator (KPI)

In order to evaluate your Snapchat strategy, there are a few basic components you can monitor, such as how many people are taking screenshots of your content, how many people are viewing your Snaps, track how many customers are buying your product, and you can also determine what Snaps are holding audience interest and which are not.

Showcase Your Brand on Snapchat

You can use the Story page to showcase your brand by creating Snapchat Stories that feature Special events, and employee interviews. You can introduce new products and services, and share coupons and discount codes on your Snap Story to get more customers. You can send Snapchat traffic to your website via images and videos by way of a Snap Story, and then instruct people where they can go to find your post.

Snap Memories

Since saving every Snap can time-consuming, you can use Snap Memories which is an app that saves all of your Snap Stories in one place so you can share them on other platforms, or keep them as a record of your content.