The Basics of SnapChat

SnapchatSo, you’ve downloaded SnapChat and are wondering how to get the most of it? SnapChat is a relatively new social media app in which users can take a picture of whatever they want and send it to their friends or add it to their My Story. Here are some of the basics of SnapChat that you’ll need to know.

So what’s this SnapChat all about?

When sending the picture or short video, called a “snap”, to a friend, the friend can view the photo or video twice before it is deleted. Photos and videos are deleted from the My Story page after 24 hours, in which time friends and followers can view the images as often as they like.

So, how do I take a snap?Untitled design-2

The first time you open the app, put in your information on the profile page and follow the instructions to add friends, profile images, and see the settings. From there, you can swipe up and it will take you to the home screen with the camera. From now on, this is the screen you’ll see when you open the app. If you ever want to go add more friends, or see who added you, swipe down
from the home screen to the profile page. At the home screen, tap the circle at the bottom for a still image, and hold it down for a video. The video will stop recording when you take your thumb off of the circle. By clicking the smiley face at the top right, you can choose your phone’s front or back-facing cameras. You can start over by clicking the “X” at the top left.

Okay, what’s next?

Before you take the image, you can hold down on your face to show what are called “face filters”. Face filters place animated images over your face for comedic effect. These change over time, but you can see what’s available by sliding the “take picture” circle to find the one you want. This is only available on the front-facing camera.

After the image has been taken, you will have several options. The first option is to add emojis by clicking the image that looks like a page that’s been folded up at the corner. After you’ve chosen the emoji, you can use two fingers to resize and Untitled design-3rotate it. Then, you can drag it with one finger anywhere you want. The next option is to add text by clicking the “T” right next to the emoji menu. Just type what you want to say up to 31 characters. Then you can position it by dragging up or down. Next, is the draw option. Just click the pencil next to the “T”, then choose your color by sliding up or down on the color line. Once you’ve chosen a color, draw to your heart’s desire.

Another option is to swipe the image either way to see several filters you can use to enhance your snap. You can always undo whatever you’ve done by clicking the arrow at the top left.

At the bottom of the screen, there are several things you can tap to add things to your snap. The first is how long you want the image to last when someone views it. You can go from 1-10 seconds. The next is a “save” function where you can save the snap you just took. After that is the option to add the snap to your Story (you also have this option after you click the “send” arrow at the bottom right).!

[clear_floats]Wait, so what’s the difference between sending a snap to a friend and adding it to My Story?Untitled design-7

Okay, when you take a picture on SnapChat, a menu at the bottom will appear with an animated arrow at the bottom left. If you tap the arrow, you will see a menu called “Send To…”. Just below that it says “Stories”. Just tap “My Story” below that and the snap will be sent to your My Story page. There your friends will be able to see the image as many times as they want for the next 24 hours. After that, it’s gone.

Below the “Stories” section, there is a section that says “Best Friends”, which are the people you send the most snaps to. This is followed by “Recents” and then a list of all your friends in alphabetical order. Just tap the person you want to send the snap to and it will go into their SnapChat menu where they can view the image twice before it is permanently deleted. They do have the option to use their phone’s screen shot function to save the picture. You will be notified if they do so.

Okay, so what if someone sends me a snap?

In that case, all you have to do is open the app. On the bottom left, there will be a pink square with the amount of snaps peopleUntitled design-5 have sent you. Just swipe right or tap the pink square and you’ll see either a pink or purple box next to the person’s name. The box will be pink if it’s a still image or purple if it’s a video.The box will be a solid color if you have not seen the snap yet, an outline if you have.  Just click on that and you’ll see the person’s snap!

After you’ve seen the snap once, you will see an option that says, “Press and hold to replay snap.” You will have a few seconds to do so. Then you can see it again. After that, the snap is permanently deleted. You can also use your phone’s screen shot function to save the picture, but be warned: they will be notified that you saved the image.

On the same screen, if you’ve sent a snap to someone, there will be an arrow next to their name. The arrow will be pink if you sent a still image and purple if you sent a video. If the arrow is solid, the person has not viewed your snap. If they have, the arrow will be just an outline.

[clear_floats]Got it. Now, how do I get to the Stories page to see what people have added?Untitled design-4

All you have to do is go back to the home screen by swiping left. From there, swipe left again and you’ll see the “Stories” page. Anything your friends or people you follow have added to their Story, you’ll be able to see as much as you want within 24 hours from when they uploaded it. For instance, if they add it it at noon, you’ll be able to view it as much as you want until noon the next day. If it’s midnight now, you can do this for 12 more hours. If it’s 8:00am, you get four more hours, and so on!

Not only is knowing the basics of SnapChat great for your social life, you can also use it to market your business, products, and services! (Jimmy John’s is an excellent example of how to market with SnapChat.)

So there you have the basics of SnapChat. There’s a lot more to learn, and by using the app and exploring, you’ll become a pro in no time. New features are constantly being added, so you never know what you’re gonna get. Now get out there and start snapping!