What is Snapchat and How to Get Started With It?

    Snapchat is a social network that you have probably heard a lot about on the Internet in the recent past. If you’re among those people who don’t really know what Snapchat is or how it works, this entire article might be just for you. I’ll try to explain to you the basics of Snapchat relating to what it is and how to get started with using it.

    Before going further, please note that this guide is for those who never used Snapchat, or those who were confused how to use the app and chose to rather delete the app and ignore it.

    Snapchat Guide

    These days, a lot of people are using Snapchat to basically let the people in on their lives a bit more than you would do with Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.

    What is Snapchat?

    Snapchat is a trending Social Media Platform that allows you to post pictures and videos to your Snapchat account for others to view, which is called a Story. It also allows you to send individual pictures or videos to specific people that you are friends with on the Snapchat platform, which is called sending a Snap.

    Now, a story and a snap differ in a lot of aspects. A story is set in your profile, and anyone who you add as a friend there will be able to view those. The stories you put stay active on your account for a period of 24 hours from the time you post that story. A person may see your story as many times as they wish to.

    When you send a snap to a particular person, they have the ability to see that snap once, with an exception of seeing a single snap a day twice. So, for instance, you sent a snap to your friend, he or she can see it only once and then the image or the video will “Self-destruct”. The viewer will have the option of replaying a single snap from each person in a 24 hour period.

    A lot of blogs and celebrities use Snapchat as a way to give their followers an insight into their lives by updating their Snapchat profiles with whatever it is that they’re doing. You’ll find people sharing pictures of their pet, food and their cars all the day, along with small videos about their day or any interesting thing that happens with them in the day.

    How To Get Started With Snapchat

    Getting started with Snapchat is easy. It’s not a difficult thing to do. In a nutshell, all you need to do is create an account on Snapchat, add your friends and start sending them snaps of your daily routine. I’ve divided this section into a few subsections to help you get started with Snapchat. Read along to get started with this in no time.

    Creating a new account on Snapchat

    Creating a new account on Snapchat is the same as creating a new account on any other website these days. All you have to do is Download Snapchat from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and open the app. Then choose Sign Up. It will ask you for your username, email address, and your mobile number. This will create your account on Snapchat, but you will still have to verify the mobile number and the email address. When all that’s done, you’re ready to start using Snapchat.

    Adding a friend on Snapchat

    Snapchat Add A Friend

    What’s a place without friends these days, especially a social network! So it’s time to start adding your friends. There are multiple ways using which you can add your friends, but the easiest being via the address book. If your friend has also linked his mobile number on Snapchat, you will find him on the Add a Friend from Address Book screen.

    Otherwise, if you want to add someone via their username, you can simply enter their username in that specific option there. Another cool feature that you have is that you can simply scan your friend’s code by using your phone’s camera.

    Updating your Privacy Settings

    Snapchat Privacy Settings

    Privacy is really important in today’s time, even on a social network like Snapchat. Setting your privacy settings based on your preference is what’s really important. In order to set your privacy settings, slide down from the top of the home screen and then choose the settings icon on the top right. Scroll down in the settings page until you find the “Who Can” section. Here, change who can see your story and who can contact you, to attain the privacy level you want. I personally keep these settings on “Everyone can contact me”, but “Only My Friends can see my Story”.

    How To Send a Snap or Set As Story

    Snapchat Send a Snap

    Sending a snap or setting a story for your account is the most basic thing that you can do with Snapchat. To send a snap to someone, you need to add them to your friends first and if you haven’t done that yet, do it as described previously. Now, when you open Snapchat, you’ll be on the camera screen itself. Just tap on the shutter button to click a picture, or use the camera flip button on the top to flip the camera if you want. Now if you want to click a video snap, simply hold the shutter button for a longer period of time (maximum 10 seconds). When you are done clicking the snap, just click anywhere on the screen to bring up a text box, where you can type any text you want. Then finally, set the time limit for this snap (you can set this limit only if it is a photo, in the case of a video the time limit is the length of the video) by tapping the clock on the bottom left corner.

    Finally to send the snap, click on the arrow on the bottom right corner and choose who you want to send it to. You can choose who to send the snap to, or you can choose if you want to set it as a story. When you are done deciding, simply click on the arrow on the bottom right to send the snap!

    Add Filters to your Snaps to Make them Interesting

    Snapchat Filters

    Now you already know how to send snaps to your friends and followers on Snapchat. But let’s make things a bit more interesting by adding a few filters to the image you share. To get to the filters, click a snap and then slide your finger left to right or right to left until you get to a filter that you like. There are filters ranging from the ones that make your picture look better by adding an overlay, and other filters that let you display the time, the speed you’re driving at or the temperature at your current location. It also lets you add a logo showcasing which location you’re on if that location has an icon in Snapchat.

    Draw on your snaps for a personal touch

    Snapchat Draw

    I told you how you can type a text on the snap you send in a section above this, but what’s more interesting is that you can draw on the snaps you click as well. To do so, simply choose the marker that is shown at the top right corner of the screen. This will enable the writing mode and using that, you can draw or write anything on the images or the videos that you take with Snapchat. You can change the color by tapping on the color you want on the right-hand side itself and you can hold on the color to get access to a full-color palette there, not just the basic colors that are shown there initially.

    Screenshots in Snapchat

    Snapchat is a social media that is based on the idea of privacy only. If someone sends another person a snap, he or she expects the recipient to just see it once and discard it. But if you belong to the evil gang, just like me (sometimes), you might want to take a screenshot of the snap that your friend just sent to tease them at a later stage.

    Taking a screenshot on Snapchat is the same as taking a screenshot on your phone otherwise. If you are not sure how that works, search on Google or try the power button and volume down key (It works on most of the Android smartphones these days). But note that when you take a screenshot of a snap, the other person gets a notification stating that you took a screenshot of their snap. Be aware of this when you take a screenshot!

    Well , that’s all you need to know before you get started with using Snapchat. If you face any problem, or if you are unsure about anything, please leave a comment below and I will help you out with whatever it is that you are finding hard to do. In the coming future, I’ll bring more content focusing on Snapchat, so make sure you are subscribed to GizmoTimes for the latest updates.

    Aneesh Bhatnagar
    Aneesh Bhatnagar
    Aneesh Bhatnagar is a Website Developer, who enjoys Tech as much as anyone can. He calls himself an Android Geek and a Microsoft Windows Lover. Apart from developing websites, he likes to read and write about technology as much as he can.

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