Scooping off over 205 million active users every single day, Snapchat has seen its exponential rise to fame within the social networking sector, so much so that it’s co-founder – Evan Spiegel – became the world’s youngest billionaire in 2015.
However, the popular app that Snapchat gets updated so frequently is almost hard to keep track of what’s what even for a regular user, let alone the newbies! As such, it’s very different from what the app was when it first launched and defining exactly what Snapchat is can become challenging.
Welcome to TechPatio. In this post, we’re going to go right through what Snapchat is, how does it work, and what’s the whole point of having Snapchat! So, get comfy and get started!
What Exactly Is Snapchat?
In a nutshell, Snapchat is a social networking platform that allows users to communicate textually or through Snaps (instant images) and display their daily events via stories.
The text messages as Snaps are automatically deleted after a while unless you choose to save some messages and images.
The camera module in Snapchat has tons of filters that allow you to modify your look and environment and add artificial props through augmented reality. After a recent update, you can now see the geographical locations of your friends and followers!
Snapchat is more than just a social networking app or a texting app, and getting started with it can be a bit in the rough. But then again, with the multitude of similar platforms already existing, such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, among others, why would one even bother looking at Snapchat?
So, What’s the Whole Point?
At this point, all the social networking platforms offer features so similar that the “point” often boils down to the demographic. Like a modern kid will prefer Taylor Swift over Aretha Franklin, Snapchat is preferred over the older platforms. The new crowd shifts to the modern platform, and the peer pressure forces the rest in!
But that’s not the only point of having Snapchat. Initially, Snapchat was created to provide secure, end-to-end encrypted messaging and photo sharing. However, with time, the app has evolved so much that the original purpose is nothing more than a feature of Snapchat anymore.
Today, one of the biggest reasons to use Snapchat includes sexting (as messages self-destruct in no time and the platform is quite secure), creating Bitmojis (little avatars that represent a real person, like a caricature), and even as just a better camera app than the stock one which comes with the phone.
The Snapchat camera module is so enhanced in its augmented reality. Even in general, it’s an easy preference over the regular camera app that comes preinstalled on their device.
Well, now that you know what Snapchat is and what’s the entire point around it, you’re probably getting set to start using Snapchat! In that case, here’s how Snapchat exactly works and how, as a newbie, you can get yourself set up efficiently!
How Does Snapchat Work?
Snapchat is a very dynamic app in that it gets updated way too often. So, if you’re new and trying to get grips with the app, we’re going to discuss the key features of Snapchat and how those work, instead of mentioning how the entire app orchestrates itself, because that point may not be valid for a full week!
When you download the app on your iOS or Android device, you’ll be asked to Login or Sign up. Assuming you’re a new user, click on the Sign-Up button, say “OK” to notifications, because otherwise, you’ll never get them, fill in your name, your birthday, and then add your username.
Not that you cannot change your username once set, so make sure you like what you’re getting into! Then add your password. Now, you’ll be asked to sign up with either your email or your phone. It’s up to you, whichever you choose, enter the right ID/number, verify your account, and you’re officially on Snapchat!
Once in, the app will ask you if it can check your contacts to identify Snapchat users and send them a friend request from your side. If you’re fine with that, allow Snapchat to access your contacts, and you’re set!
The Snapchat Camera
Now that you’ve got an account when you open the Snapchat app, the first thing you’ll see is the camera module.
The selling point of Snapchat for most users, the Snapchat camera, is probably a great module that is probably loaded with attractive features and, if mastered, lets you capture some of your best moments in one of the best ways!
As mentioned, the first thing you see in the app is the camera module. The big circular button clicks images (or Snaps, as the cool kids say), but it will start recording a video if pressed and held. Once you take a Snap, Snapchat allows you to do all sorts of editing with that image, such as cropping, drawing, rotating, adding text, changing the brightness, hue, warmth, temperature, exposure, adding stickers, etc.
However, when you take your Snap and send it wherever you want, it won’t get saved. To save it, when you take your picture, you can see a button in the bottom left corner that says “save.” Only if you click on that will your image be saved to your phone’s memory.
The Snapchat Stories
Once you’re done taking and editing your Snap, you get options to send it to individuals or adding it to your story.
A story is basically what all your followers can see, and it remains for 24 hours on your profile. You can add your snaps, videos, text, or a combination of the three in your story. You can add multiple stories a day, which are shown to your followers in chronological order. You can also view the stories of people you follow.
The Snapchat Filters
Filters are what make the Snapchat camera so fun. Using augmented reality and cool graphics, Snapchat can tinker around with your photo and make your environment, and you look entirely different than what you may be.
For example, a filter can add sunglasses to your face and replace your background with something like a desert.
To use filters in Snapchat, you can press and hold your face while in the camera module (before you click your snap). If you click on that, you’ll see a long horizontally scrolling list of filters (you can add more filters).
The Snapchat Chat
To go to your chats, you just swipe from left to right or click on the chat button at your camera module’s bottom left. Here, you can see the snaps people have sent to you, and you can send messages, images, and other media to your friends from this chat section.
Note that in Snapchat, your chats and media get deleted after a while, unless you choose to save a particular message. If the recipient is taking a screenshot or recording their screen, Snapchat notifies you of the same to ensure privacy is maintained.
The chat also has some other cool features such as Snapchat games, which you can activate by clicking a little rocket button on the textbox’s right side!
My favorite feature of Snapchat, the SnapMap, shows where all your friends are across the globe by making an interactive map which shows your friends standing at their exact location. To go to the SnapMap, simply go to the camera module and swipe from top to bottom.
Apart from just seeing where your friends are, you can click on their avatar, and it’ll show you their story if there are any. Also, Snapchat offers a feature that allows users to make their stories public, which means anyone in the world can see them.
To see those, you can just zoom in close enough to your geographical location of choice, and Snapchat shows you a heatmap. The greater the heat, the more the people with global stories (called “Our Story” on Snapchat). Just click on the heated area, and you can then see those stories as well.
The Snapchat Memories
If you go to the camera module and scroll from bottom to top, the memories section opens. Here, not only can you see all your saved Snaps and stories but other images you clicked on your phone outside of Snapchat. You can take any of these, edit them, and send them to people or your story! From here, you can also see your profile on Snapchat.
So, we’ve been through some serious details not only on what Snapchat is, but also what’s the point of Snapchat and how Snapchat works! It’s clear that for the new generation of kiddos, Snapchat is an idea on fire!
With the ever-evolving and constantly updating an app that Snapchat is, connectivity is more secure and fast than it ever was, all in a nice, fun, and yellow environment! I hope this post helps you get a clear briefer on Snapchat and getting started with Snapchat!
And while you’re at it, also check out TechyHost’s post on 8 best stranger chat apps for Android and iOS!