Snapchat is an entertaining messaging app, where you can take a photo or brief video with it, then add a caption or doodle or filter/lens over top, and send the finished creation (called a snap) to a friend. In other words you can add your snap to your “story”, a 24-hour collection of all your snaps that’s telecast to the world or just your followers. But Your friends can view snaps for up to 10 seconds, and then the snaps disappear.

How to create and send Snaps

When you click on the Snapchat app, it automatically opens to the camera.

Take a picture or video

To take a picture, tap the capture button at the bottom of the screen. To take a video, hold the capture button down and a red marker will appear to indicate that it’s recording. If you don’t like the photo or video, tap the ‘X’ icon in the top left corner to discard and try again. To take a selfie, flip the camera on your screen by tapping the camera icon in the top right corner or double-tapping anywhere on the screen.

Make it funky

You have the following options that can overlay your photo or video at the top of your screen:

Stickers (square icon that resembles a sticky note). Add stickers from Snapchat library or create a personal Bitmoji sticker if you’re feeling adventurous.

Caption (‘T’ icon).

Write out a message for your friends with text.

Doodle (pencil icon).

Try out Snapchat’s drawing tool.

Filters and Geo filters.

Swipe left to add coloured filters, local time and weather, speed overlays, or Geo filters.

Additional Snap options

To change up the settings of a Snap, tap on the following at the bottom of your screen:

Timing (clock icon).

Select the amount of time that your Snap will be viewed.

Download (downward arrow icon). You can save your Snaps. You can choose to save Snaps to your phone’s camera roll, Memories, or both.

Send Snap

When you’re ready to send, click the blue arrow icon on the bottom of the screen. Once you do, you can select which contacts you’d like to send the Snap to by checking the box beside their name. When your message is sent, the app will change to the Feed screen. You can see a delivered arrow showing that your Snap has been sent.

Send multiple Snaps

To send multiple Snaps, go through the same process above. When the person opens your message, they will receive your Snaps in the order you sent them.

Try special effects with lenses

Press and hold down on the screen where your face is (if it’s a selfie) or your friend’s face (if it’s with the front-facing camera). Lenses will pop up at the bottom.

Follow prompts given.

These will include instructions like “open your mouth” or “raise your eyebrows.” Once you follow the prompt, your Snap will take on a totally new form.

Take Snap.

Tap the capture button to take a picture or hold down the capture button to take a video.

View a Snap sent to you

Click on the messenger icon in the bottom right corner (or swipe right). This will take you to your chat history. Unopened messages sent to you will show up with a bolded square beside the person’s name that sent you the Snap. Depending on the type of message sent, the icon will vary in color:


a message from Chats


a Snap picture (or multiple Snaps, which will play in sequence)


a Snap video (Pro tip: If you’re viewing Snaps in public, turn your media volume off and view them in silence—or wait and watch them later.)

Tap on the message to open it.

If you’ve been sent multiple Snaps from the same friend, you will view them in sequence. The outer ring of the timer shows you how much time is left in the current Snap. Tap once to skip to the next message or swipe down to exit the Snap.

Replay the Snap.

Hold down your friend’s name. The unopened message box will reappear. You can only replay the last Snap you viewed.

Take a screenshot (if you dare).

You can take a screenshot of Snaps that people send you (the same way you normally would on your phone). However, the person who sent you the Snap will be notified that you took a screenshot.

You can also set up push notifications on your phone for new Snaps.


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