How Does Snapchat Work?

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a mobile app that allows you to send pictures and videos that self destruct after a few seconds of a person viewing them. The sender of the message gets to choose how long the message stays live for between 1 and 10 seconds.

Snapchat is a mobile app that allows users to send each other photos & videos & texts which vanish once viewed.

How Snapchat works?

You can capture a photo or brief video then add a caption or doodle or filter/lens over top, and send the finished creation (called a snap) to a friend. More recently, Snapchat added a feature called “story” that allows you to add a 24-hour collection of all your snaps that’s broadcasted to the world (any Snapchat users) or just the followers you select.

Why Use Snapchat?

Snapchat is a great way to share a moment with a specific friend and unlike traditional social networking Snapchat is less permanent. Why was Snapchat created? The motivation for creating the service was to create a service that provided more privacy than Facebook on other social networks.
Celebrities are known to use Snapchat as an alternative means of communicating with their followers.

How to use Snapchat?

  • Download the Snapchat app from the app store
  • Create an account and user ID (NOTE – this can’t be changed once created!!)
  • The app’s main screen is your Camera screen
  • To send a message to someone on Snapchat you need to know their user name and add them to your “My Friends” list
  • To Add a contact swipe down while on the Camera screen or tap the ghost icon at the top to access your Profile screen and add contacts. You’ll see options to view who has added you, find friends to add, and browse all friends
  • By default anyone who knows your username or phone number can send you a message, but you can configure Snapchat to only accept messages from people on your friends list
  • You can block a user by finding their name in your friends list, swiping to the right on iOS or long-pressing in Android and selecting Edit

Snapchat Terminology

  • Snaps: Photos or videos taken with Snapchat
  • Snapback: A reply to a snap
  • Snapchatters: Snapchat users
  • Story: A snap you can broadcast to followers. Recipients can view your story an unlimited amount of times in 24 hours
  • Snap Score: A special equation combining the number of snaps you’ve sent and received, stories you’ve posted, and other factors
  • Snapcode: Snapcodes are scannable codes that make adding new Snapchat friends even easier. Your Snapcode is located in the center of your Profile Screen, which you can access by tapping the ghost icon in the upper center of the Camera Screen
  • Chat: A feature that lets you directly message other Snapchatters. when you create a snap, select a friend to send it to, and you’ll see a new private chat box appear between you and your friend in the Chat screen (To message a friend, go to your contact list, then tap on the friend’s name, and select the chat icon)
  • Video chat: This is a feature within Chat that lets you start a live video call
  • Snapstreak: You may have noticed that some of your fellow snapchatters have different emojis next to their Snapchat names in the Chat screen. That means you’re on a Snapstreak, aka you and your friend have snapped each other (not chat) within 24 hours for more than one consecutive day
  • Lenses: You can make Snaps even more fun by adding real-time special effects and sounds with lenses. Go to the Camera screen in Snapchat, tap on your face, and lens options will appear below. Swipe left to select the lens you want to use, then tap the capture button to take a snap
  • Filters: You can zazz up your snap by adding a fun overlay with a filter. After you take a Snap, swipe right or left on the preview screen to add colored filters, the current time, local weather, speed overlays or geofilters to your snaps
  • Trophies: Snapchat trophies are emojis that are unlocked after you complete a specific achievement. Unlocked trophies are displayed in your trophy case (accessed by swiping down on the main screen and then tapping the trophy icon at the top)
  • Snapcash: you can send money to friends by adding your debit card details (under settings menu). Transactions are handled securely by Square (a mobile payments company). NOTE – this is only available to snapchatters in the US and have to be 18 years or older


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