How to Snapchat Right: Get Started and Get Chatting


Everybody’s on Snapchat now! How does that matter if you’ve already got Whatsapp and Facebook, and everybody is on those platforms, too, you may wonder, and that’s perfectly fair. Snapchat adds a fun features that makes telling your tale to a select few a bit more fun. There’s also the disappearing message part, though make sure you go through our warnings, too. Since we’d hate for you to miss out on all the fun, here’s how to Snapchat right:

Getting Snapchat:

This is very familiar. You can get the Snapchat app for iOS or Android just like all other apps. Download (tap ‘Get’), sign up (you need to give an email id and your birthday, and you need to be at least 13), and come up with a user name. This can’t be changed, so make sure it’s a good one.

Finding Friends:

snapchat oprahNow you can ‘Find Friends’. You enter your phone number and let Snapchat do the work. Pretty much like Whatsapp, if your number is in their address book, they can find you on Snapchat. Alternately, you can give them your username and let them add you, as well. But just because they can find you, they can’t contact you via Snapchat. You have to add them, or they have to add you and you will have to approve them.

Getting your Snap Ready:

Taking photos on Snapchat is pretty simple. It looks like most camera apps, with a big button you can click to take a photo.  If you hold it down, you will go to record mode. Videos can be up to ten seconds long.

snapchat 2Now comes the fun part. You can tap on the picture to add a fun caption of some sort. You can also add your special touch to the photo by tapping on the little pencil, top right corner. You will get a colour chart from which you can choose a pencil of your preferred colour and draw on the photo.

Choose a filter for your photo or use the quick caption option with a quick left swipe if you’ve downloaded the latest version of the app.

Additional new filters include the ‘replay’, which lets you save one – just one, the last viewed snap – for 24 hours. You can get to this by going to ‘Additional Services’ under ‘settings’, which gives you the option to turn features including ‘replay’ on or off. When you turn it on, it means you can replay one snap you get. You cannot turn it off for a snap you send to somebody else. That can be saved if it’s their last viewed snap and they have this filter turned on.

Go to the lower left corner. There you see the timer. You can set how quickly you want your snap to disappear from your friend’s phone – anywhere from one to 10 seconds. But remember that they can still take a screenshot if they really want to.

Private or Broadcast?

Now that your Snap is all ready to be seen, tap the arrow, bottom right corner. You have two options now:

  1. Choose a contact, or multiple contacts, that you want to send the chat to.
  2. Send it to ‘My Story’. Whatever you send to ‘My Story’ can be seen by anybody who has added you on Snapchat. Whatever you send here will be visible for 24 hours.

Getting messages:

snapchat 3Open Snapchat and go to the username of the person who sent you a message. Once you open it, keep holding it, and you will get the timer icon – it will count down, to whatever limit the sender has set. You can take a screenshot, of course. But Snapchat will send the sender a notification that you have taken one. On the bright side, if somebody else takes a screenshot of something you sent, you will also get the notification.

Just like most other apps, you can block and unblock people on Snapchat, too. Tap the username, then settings, and you will get the option.

Privacy Settings:

The gearwheel will let you change your settings. Privacy options include letting everybody who can search for and find your username see your stories, to only letting your friends see them. You can also choose to turn notifications on or off.

Pics via: Flickr 1 2 3

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