HOW TO// Snapchat: A 16-Step Guide for Beginners

SMPerth // 12th August 2016

Snapchat is on track to become Australia’s favourite social platform (sorry Facebook!), with approximately 2 million monthly active users and Aussie brands increasingly taking advantage of this exciting, hyper-connected platform.

Here’s a quick run-down that’ll have you snap-happy and addicted in no time!

  1. What is it and where do I start?
    Snapchat is a popular mobile app that allows users to send videos, photos ‘snaps’ and messages that disappear after a set amount of time, usually 10 seconds. Central to the fun is the platform’s customisable elements, allowing users to layer graphic lenses (super popular!), filters, drawing and captions over images and video. Content can also be added to a Snap ‘story’, forming a collection of moments viewable to followers for 24 hours and most recently, the addition of Snapchat Memories: a way to save your favourite moments on the platform.So step one is: download the app and sign up!
  2. Add your contacts
    During set up you will be prompted to “Find Friends”; essentially the app wants to mine your address book for possible connections. To do this you need to allow access to your contacts when prompted.You can add all of your contacts who are on Snapchat, or add people one at a time by typing in their username into the search tool on the “My Friends” page which can be found by simply tapping the yellow snap ghost icon on the top of the ‘home’ camera screen (the screen that appears when you open the app).
  3. Set your settings
    Access your settings from the “My Friends” page by selecting the red gear icon on the top right of the screen.This is where you can update your personal information, log in and verification and the like; as well as set limits on who can send you snaps and view your Stories.Select “Manage” under Additional Services, to set bonus features like enable filters, travel mode, set emojis and permissions. It is worth noting that by turning on filters, you are giving Snapchat permission to access your location.
  4. Snap!
    snapOpen the app and tap the circle at the bottom centre of the screen to take a photo. Or, press and hold the circle to record up to 10 seconds of video.
  5. Add a caption
    Simply add a caption by tapping anywhere on the screen; then press and drag the caption bar to position it wherever you like over the image. To make the font bigger tap the ‘T’ icon; tap it twice to centre align the text.
  6. Draw on your snap
    Select the pencil tool on the top right hand side of the screen, your colour of choice and use your finger to doodle away! Make a mistake? Simply hit the undo icon.
  7. Add a filter
    Swipe left or right to apply filters. Current filters include different hues, time, location, temperature and speed for photos; and all of the above plus rapid rewind, fast forward, double time fast forward and slo-mo for video.
  8. Add a graphic lens
    To use Snapchat’s assortment of super fun graphic lenses (eg: think the puppy dog/flower crown lenses etc), simply select the forward facing camera icon on the top right of the camera screen. Tap and hold your face until a grid appears, and a series of icons will appear along the bottom of the screen showing various graphic lenses. Select a lens and shoot, or press and hold for video.
  9. Set your time limit
    Set how long you want your photos or video to play (up to 10 seconds) by selecting the timer icon on the bottom right hand side of the screen.
  10. Save your images
    To save your photos or video, select the downward pointing arrow at the bottom of the screen. Please note you can’t save a snap once you’ve sent it!
  11. Send!
    Tap the arrow in the bottom right corner which will take you to your contact list. From here select your recipients; you can also add the snap to your story here, and send!
    According to Snapchat, once all recipients have viewed the snap, it is permanently deleted from Snapchat’s servers and all recipients’ devices (beware, this doesn’t take into account that your recipients can replay and screen shot your snaps!)
  12. View received snaps
    When you receive snaps from your contacts, a number will appear on the bottom right hand of the screen. Simply select this icon to see who has sent you snaps. A solid square in red means you have an unopened photo snap and a solid purple square is for video. Press and hold the icon to view. (Also be aware that if you screen shot a snap, the person who sent it to you will be notified!)
  13. chatLive chat!
    You can also live chat with your friends. To start a chat, swipe right on a friend’s name from the inbox screen (swipe left from camera to get here) and start typing. To attach a photo or video, tap the yellow camera button. Once you leave the chat screen, all messages will be cleared. If you want to save a message, take screenshots or tap the conversation to save it (saved messages appear in grey).
  14. Live video chat
    If you and your friend are in live chat at the same time, the camera button will turn blue. To start a live video chat, you and your friend must hold down on the camera button at the same time.
  15. View Stories
    To view your own stories, your friends’ or those on your subscribed channels, select the three dot icon in the bottom right of the camera screen.
  16. Discover
    discoverSwipe right from the Stories page or select the globe icon on the top right of the stories page to access the ‘Discover’ page. This is where branded ‘stories’ (content and advertising) lives. (This is where big moves are being made by advertisers! But we’ll save this topic for another blog.)Press and hold on a channel tile for a quick summary of what it has to offer. If you’d like to see that channel on your Stories screen every day, you can subscribe to it (it will then appear on your own stories page); you can also share content with friends or save it to your device’s library.


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