Hey, what’s snapping!?
(Sorry. If you’re not new to my blog, you already know I come up with bad puns, jokes and so on…)
Anyway. A couple of months back I did a post on Why I’m on Snapchat And You Should be Too. Check it out to read why I think people should be on Snapchat and how you can use it.
I regularly interact with bloggers on the daily, and I’m seeing more and more questions like ‘What is Snapchat?’ and ‘How do I use Snapchat?’ being asked, so I want to share a little beginner tutorial on how to get yourself started.
First thing, of course, is to download the app. Then you need to set up your account with your username and verify your account as prompted. If you already have a presence on Instagram, Twitter, FB etc., I recommend keeping the same username for Snapchat too so your followers can easily find you.
Next, I would find out which of your favorite influencers are on Snapchat and follow them. See what they’re sharing, how they’re doing it and this will also get you inspired.
HOW TO ADD USERS
When you’re in camera mode, swipe your screen downwards, or hit the ghost button top center, to enter this screen:
Sidenote: For ‘settings’ you’ll find the icon as indicated above, top right corner.
You can also see here who has added you, and follow them back. Just hit ‘Added Me’ and press the ‘+’ button to the right of their username to follow back.
To add a user, press ‘Add Friends’, and you are given options of how you want to add them, either by username, phone number (your existing address book in your phone) or snapcode – which requires you to be next to that user with their phone present.
To return back, press the ‘<‘ button at top left, then swipe up and you’re back in camera mode.
TAKING A PHOTO / VIDEO
Time for the first piece of your ‘story’. This app uses swipes to get from one section to another, so think of the camera mode being in the middle. To the left is the messages section where you receive direct snaps and messages, swipe right you’re back in the middle (camera). Swipe right again, you’re at the ‘stories’ section where you can watch the snap stories of the users you are following.
And again, as mentioned above, when in camera mode, swipe down to go to settings and add friends.
If you want to use front camera, simply double click anywhere on the screen or click the icon with the arrows in the top right and voila!
To take a picture, simply click the large round button in the lower center, or to video, just hold the same button down for the duration you want. You can film for up to 10 seconds. You’ll see the circle turn red as it goes round indicating how much time is left for filming, and once you’re finished, let go.
There are various filters you can use on your Snapchat. When viewing your photo/video, just swipe the screen left or right and you’ll see various lighting filters, there are also geotagging features depending on what city you’re in. Also, if there’s a special holiday, Snapchat adds fun holiday-related filters for too.
TIP: If you want to incorporate more than one filter, for example make the image black and white then add the time over it, select your first filter, then holding one finger on the screen swipe with another finger and select the second desired filter.
TYPING AND DRAWING ON YOUR PHOTO/VIDEO
Another fun feature is you can draw over your photo/video. (Yes, my inner child loves this!)
Firstly, to type something, press the ‘T’ icon at the top right and type.
Following this, if you want the grey strip to go away once you’re done typing, click the ‘T’ icon again and again if you want it centered, and you can play and move the text around, make it larger, smaller and fit it to your picture.
To change the color of the text, just hold your finger down over the text and select the desired color from rainbow guide top right.
Next, if you want to draw or point something out for instance, click the pencil icon top far right. Pick the color you want, and doodle away! To undo, just press the undo arrow.
Emojis can also be added either via your keyboard or pressing the square button to the left of the ‘T’. Hit the emoji(s) you want, move it around, make it larger/smaller, and if you want to erase it just press down on the emoji and drag it back to that same button at the top and drop in the trash.
So far, I know this sounds like a LOT of information for something that should be fun and easy, but really it does get easier and easier the more you use it.
One super fun feature I have grown an unhealthy obsession with is the selfie filters feature! These do change up frequently, some of the popular ones come and go, but it’s really a fun, goofy feature to use.
Just put the camera in selfie mode and press a few seconds on your face and you’ll see the various filters at the bottom. Slide the options left/right to pick one and you get prompted on some if you need to raise eyebrows, open your mouth etc.
(Yes, I realize this sounds really strange if you haven’t tried this, but trust me, you’ll get a good laugh from it!)
(And yes… I have a little too much fun with these filters… If you can’t laugh at yourself, you can’t laugh at others! That’s the rule ;))
SHARING YOUR STORY
Once you are done with your story, hit the arrow on the bottom right corner and it will take you to your list of friends.
If you want to add to your story for all your followers to see, press ‘My Story’. If you want to send a story directly to specific friends only, press the dot to the right of their name/s and once you’ve selected where you want to share, click the arrow at the bottom again and voila!
If you are joining Snapchat for further exposure to yourself, your brand, business, blog, whatever it may be, you need to make sure your settings are set accordingly for everyone to see. If you only want friends to find you, change the settings accordingly too.
The same also goes for if you want everyone to be able to contact you via Snapchat or not, (i.e. send you direct snaps, send you a chat). You can set this either to everyone or to just your friends.
(How to get to settings shown above under ‘How to Add Users’).
HOW TO VIEW OTHERS’ STORIES
To watch the stories of the users you are following, swipe to the right (from camera mode) and simply press on whosever’s story you want to watch. Recently there was an update, so when watching and you reach the end of XYZ’s story, it will automatically start showing the next persons story.
To close a story, just press and swipe down. To switch to next persons story, just swipe to the left.
Remember that what you post only stays on your story (timeline persay?!) for 24 hours. If you wish to rewatch someone’s story, you can scroll down, find their name and watch. But again, their posts will also self-destruct after 24 hours.
Each time someone updates, you will see under the ‘Recently Updated’ tab.
If someone takes a screen shot of a post of yours, sometimes this happen if you’ve posted for example a URL for people to visit, you will be notified that you have been screenshot by XYZ.
There is a plethora of other things to do on Snapchat, including the ‘Discover’ feature, (this can be found if you swipe further right from the ‘Stories’ page), which I haven’t personally used much till now, but absolutely do explore! I will do an update post when more features are added. The rate it’s growing, I’m sure more fun features will be added in the near future.
P.S. I have opened a group on Facebook to share knowledge of this social media app as it grows, and if we have any questions we can post on there and help each other out. If you want to join, please click here!
If I’ve missed something above or you have a question, you can also drop a comment below 🙂