Snapchat app – What is Snapchat and how to use it. You’ve asked and we listened. Here is an overview of the popular Snapchat app explaining what it is, how and why to use it. Also – we talk about if you have a teen – should you let your teen use this app.

What is Snapchat and how to use it

What is Snapchat

Back story. I am standing around at a conference with a few other bloggers and there may have been some alcohol involved. One blogger says something, another blogger misunderstands and thinks the subject is sexting. Somehow this conversation led to the introduction of Snapchat.

Before I go on, I have to say – this app is clever and brilliant, except I feel totally old. This is so not my thing – the demographic is 13 years to 25 years of age, though I can see why older couples would use this.

Here is a brief explanation of what that app is: 

Snapchat is the fastest way to share a moment on iPhone and Android – up to 10x faster than MMS. You control how long you want your friends to view your messages. We’ll let you know if we detect that they’ve taken a screenshot!

How to Use Snapchat

Here is a great how to use Snap chat app demo.  As you can see, it totally can be used for innocent fun… read on.

I love the idea of Snapchat. What a clever way to send funny photos, but personally I like photos to keep, hence my love for Flickr and Instagram. UPDATED: Instagram now features Instagram stories as well as disappearing photos. 

How to Use Snapchat Filters

Snapchat Filters are what the app is best known for. Using augmented reality, Snap really has cornered the market on created fun ways to incorporate graphics into video and photos. These are known as filters. If you are curious how to use Snapchat filters – fear not! Here is the lowdown on using filters.

how to use snapchat geofiltersIn order to use the filters on your face – open up the app and make sure that the camera is pointed to you. If it isn’t, just click the button in the upper right hand corner to change from the front camera on your phone to the back camera. See your pretty face? 

Now, click on your face on the screen. You will see circles swirling as the app identifies your face and it’s features. At the bottom a row of circle filters will appear. Click on each filter to choose which fits you best! Some filters work with more than one person. Some change your voice. Snap changes their filters often, so what is there today may not be there tomorrow!

Snapchat Geo-Filters

A geo-filter is a filter that is only available when you are in a certain area. An example would be, if you are at a Dallas Cowboys game – check your Snap chat app and see if a Dallas Cowboy geo-filter is available. I have seen many clever uses of geo-filters, including some at weddings! (Check out My Wedding Filter)

Snapchat Emojis and Their Meanings 

Snapchat emojis are totally a thing. Curious to what the symbols in Snapchat mean? They are emojis and here is a guide to using them and learning what they mean (you will see these in various places, like under your profile pic.)

Snapchat Emoji Hearts – What Do They Mean?

πŸ’› Yellow Heart β€” You are #1 best friends with each other. You send the most snaps to this person, and they send the most snaps to you.

❀️ Red Heart β€” You have been #1 BFs with each other for two weeks straight.

πŸ’• Pink Hearts β€” You have been #1 BFs with each other for two months straight. Dedication!

Snapchat Emoji Faces – What Do They Mean?

πŸ‘Ά Baby β€” You just became friends with this person on Snap!

😎 Face With Sunglasses β€” One of your BFFs is one of their BFFs. You will see this if you send a lot of snaps to each other.

😬 Grimacing Face β€” Awkward – your best friend is their best friend. You send the most snaps to that same person as they do. Awkward.

😏 Smirking Face β€” You are one of their best friends BUT but they are not a best friend of your’s! WEIRD. You don’t send them many snaps, but they send you a lot. (Creeper! JK – kind of.)

😊 Smiling Face β€” Another best friend of yours. You send this person a lot of snaps. Not your #1 BFF – but close.

Snapchat Emoji Symbols – What Do They Mean?

πŸ”₯ Fire β€” YOU ARE ON FIRE!  Look at that snap stream. If you have snapped someone everyday and they snap you back, you will see the Snapchat fire emoji. 

πŸ’― Hundred β€” 100 Day Snapstreak, BABY!. The 100 emoji appears next to the fire when you snap back and forth with someone for one hundred days in a row. 100 TIMES in a ROW – uhm, addicted to snap, much? 

βŒ› Hourglass β€” Your Snapstreak is about to end – so watch out. You better send another snap to keep that Snapstreak alive. 

πŸŽ‚ Birthday Cake β€” This friend has a birthday today, so you better wish them a happy birthday. This only displays if your snap friend has the Birthday Party feature enabled in settings. So this is a lesson If you want people to acknowledge your birthday on snapchat – make sure that in the setting the Birthday Party setting is on!

Snapchat Emojis in Official Stories

Emojis that show next to Snapchat stories are used for officially verified accounts. Want an officially verified account? Keep reading. 

What Does the Star Mean on Snapchat

what does the snapchat star meanCurious to what the star mean on Snapchat? That means that someone has replayed this person’s snap in the last 24 hours. 

What Does the Purple Emoji Next to a Name Mean?

The purple emoji next to a name means – well it’s their astrological / zodiac sign! No zodiac sign next to your snap profile pic? Then you haven’t entered your birthdate. 

How to Get an Officially Verified Snapchat Account

If you are looking to get an official verified Snapchat account, I have good news and bad news. Good news is if you are famous. If you are a VIP, celebrity, sports superstar or what have you – you will need to verify you identity with Snapchat in order to enable a verified Snapchat account. You will most likely need to provide some other type of evidence as to why you are worthy of the official verified status. 

Now the bad news. If you aren’t VIP, chances are you won’t be getting a verified account. Snap is slowly rolling out their verified features. Remember, it always helps to know people. 

Sexting and Snap Chat App

what is snapchat - snapchat screenshots

Unfortunately there are Snapchat hacks to capture snapchat photos.

The idea behind the app is the photo are only being viewed for 10 seconds or less (you choose the time, 10 seconds or less). After that time, you can’t view the photo anymore – it’s deleted from the app – and according to SnapChat deleted from their servers once a sender has viewed the image.

Search Google images for snap chat screenshots – well actually DON’T….

And this is why sexting on Snap Chat is so popular. I have had 3 conversations about SnapChat at different times and each time the word SEXTING is the key focus.

Unfortunately, this doesn’t mean you can’t screen shot photos from the Snap chat app. While the app does inform the sender if someone has captured a screen shot – there are other ways to take photos of Snap chat photos – nothing stops you from pulling out another camera and shooting a pic! And of course there are always hacks.

Update: Snap Chat Photos Don’t Disappear! Read more… 

Teens Sexting

Unfortunately, teens and sexting on Snap happen. This is one of the many reasons, I don’t let my teen use this app.

What can you do if your teen is sexting? Talk to them. Our jobs as parents are to equip them for the world ahead. They need to understand the consequences – which unfortunately most teens just don’t get. Read more about Teen Sexting

Download SnapChat App

The app is free and available on both iOS and Android.

Read about Snapchat Spectacles

What is Snapchat is apart of our series: Teens and Social Media

This article was originally posted on April 18, 2013.

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