Snapchat founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy launched their new messaging service in 2011 at a suburban middle school in northern California while they were still students at Stanford University. As users quickly fell in love with the ability to safely share pictures and videos (with short viewing windows), their dorm room start-up became the toast of Silicon Valley. By November of that same year over 20 million photos were being sent daily via the app.
As one of the hottest social media platforms, Snapchat isn’t just for the millennial crowd anymore. It’s for anyone looking to let their digital hair down. The app not only lets you send short video messages and pictures, you can also record snippets of your day and post them for 24 hours with the My Story function.
Add lenses, scribble notes, apply geofilters, or draw a unique design. With so much to do, Snapchat can get a little overwhelming, so we broke down the essentials to help you get started in a snap.
1. The Basics: When you open up Snapchat, you’ll notice a large record/shutter button in the center, along with a Flash On/Off (upper left), Camera Flip (upper right), Inbox (lower left), and Stories (lower right).
2. Apply Lenses: Snapchat’s lenses are half the fun. To add one of the custom styles, press and hold over the face you’d like to add a lens. Once the app scans the face, circular lens options appear along the bottom. Select from several options that change daily.
3. Add Geofilters, Stickers, and Drawings: Once you’ve picked your lens, add a geofilter (customized frame based on your current location) by swiping left. On the upper right hand corner you’ll find buttons to draw, type text, and add stickers.
4. Post to Story and Send to Friends: Once you’re all set with your customized message, it’s time to send it to individual friends or post it to your Story, so all your followers can keep track of your daily adventures.
5. Inbox: From the Camera Screen, the Inbox button is situated on the lower left-hand corner. Here you’ll find Snaps sent directly from your friends. Tap an unopened message to see pictures and videos, but pay close attention, these messages disappear after viewing.