Apps, Social Media

Quick Guide to Snapchat

5 May , 2016  


People are always asking me how to use Snapchat, so here we go!

When you open the app, it will immediately open on the camera.  On the top of the screen there are three icons: (L to R) the flash, the Snapchat logo and the camera rotator. There is a “sometimes Y” rule here, because if you’re in low light, you will see an outline of a half moon.


  • Flash: A solitary lightning bolt, indicates the flash is on. If you tap it, an X will appear next to the lightning bolt and that will indicate the flash is turned off
  • Half Moon: If you tap on the online of the moon, the camera will automatically take a brighter photo
  • Snapchat logo: Will take you to your trophies, profile, add friends and settings
  • Camera rotator: Switches you from regular camera to selfie mode

On the bottom, there are three icons (L to R) a box, a circle and three lines or colored box.

  • Outline of a box or colored box: Takes you to see private Snapchats between you and your friends, colored box with number will indicate how many are waiting.
  • Circle: Tap once for photo or hold down for video
  • Three lines or colored box: Three lines indicates you have no new stories, colored box will have a number indicating how many new stories from friends waiting for you to view – If you click it, it will take you directly to those stories

Now that we have that out of the way, let’s start Snapchatting!  So snap a picture or take a video and a new set of icons will appear. On the top (L to R) an X, a weird square, a T and a pencil.


  • X: Deletes what you have and takes you back to the beginning
  • Weird square: Add emojis
  • T: Text
  • Pencil: Drawing

On the bottom, there are three icons (L to R) circle with a number in it, a down arrow into a half box, a square with a plus sign and an arrow right.

  • Circle with number: Timer (for image only) to control how long it lasts
  • Down arrow into half box: Save image or video to camera roll
  • Square with plus sign: Shortcut to share publicly on your story (story lasts only 24 hours)
  • Arrow right: Will take you to the share page – tap on “My story” to publicly share your image or video or select friends below to only share privately… or both

Extra Credit: Filters, Lens’ and Tricks

If you want to add cool filters to your snaps, once you have taken a pic or video just slide your finger across the screen to the left to launch filters. Make sure you allow Snapchat to know your location for added filters like temperature and fun logos.  If you want to add more filters at the same time (3 max), add first filter then hold your finger on the screen to access other filters. Release finger once you’ve added additional filters, not before as that will end the fun.

To add a lens, rotate the camera to selfie mode and press a finger on your face for a few seconds until you see the facial recognition outline around your face. Tap the circle on the bottom of the screen to scroll through the lens’. When you find the right one, take a picture or video (see Circle above)

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