Snapchat For Dummies: A How To… Guide

By: Courtney Anne Echerd

We realized something. We are constantly sharing tips on how to get the most out of Snapchat’s recent updates and what is creating headlines in the Snapchat world, but what if your question is “How do I use Snapchat in the first place?” Don’t be shy, we know you are out there and there is nothing to be ashamed of, it can get complicated. Good news, with a few short steps, you’ll soon be a master at the app.We are here to help, we just hope it’s not too little too late.

First and foremost, open up the app. If you don’t have an account registered, take a second to do so. Once you are in the system, the app will open up to a camera screen.


Getting the Gang
To add your friends, click the ghost icon at the top of the screen and then select “add friends”. You can do so by using your address book, their username, users nearby, or by their SnapCode.





two2Sending a Snap
Now that you’ve got your friends onboard, you’re ready to get snappin’. Reopen the Snapchat app and you’ll be back at the camera screen. Press the rotation icon in the top right corner if you want to activate the front camera. Simply tap it again to head back to the back camera. Tap the lightning bolt in the top right corner if you want to include flash. Click the white ring at the bottom of the screen and you have a got a picture. To take a video, hold down your white ring for up to ten seconds (but feel free to let go of the ring if you want a shorter video). Ta-da! A snap is born.


threeDress it Up
Now, if you are satisfied with your snap as-is, feel free to skip this step and move on to “Show the World”. If you are wondering how to play your snapchat backward and in black-and-white, stay right here. You have options upon options on how to edit your snapchat.

Let’s start with filters. Swipe left with your finger to see Snapchat’s colored filters. These are similar to filters you would find on Instagram and Facebook. Continue to swipe to add things like the temperature, a timestamp, or a Geotag of your location. If you want to add more than one of these, simply land on the filter you like, hold down the screen with your finger, and continue to swipe with another finger. Add as many filters as snapchat will allow you!

fourIf your snap needs a little bit of explanation, you might want to add text. To do so, tap the “T” at the top righthand corner of your screen. Fill in your message. You can then move the grey text bar around with your finger. If you want to get crafty, tap the “T” again. Now you have the freedom to enlarge, turn, and move your text. Use two fingers (as if you are zooming) to enlarge or shrink the text. Use one finger to move and place the text where you want it.


fiveSay you’re a fan of graphics. Your snaps won’t be complete without a few stickers. Tap the sticky note next to the “T” in the top right corner. You will be taken to a wide selection of graphics. Select the one you want and put it in the perfect location in the same way that you would move text (mentioned above).




sixUnleash the Picasso in you by doodling on your snap. You can do so by tapping the pencil in the top right corner. Use your finger to draw away.




sevenShow the World
You’ve done it, you’ve created the perfect snap. Now it’s time to share it. To do so, click the arrow in the bottom right corner of the screen. You’ll see a list of your friends. If you want all of your buddies to see have the chance to see your snap, select “My Story”. If you want it to go to a specific friend, simply tap their name (or multiple names) and then click the arrow again and your snap is off!


Be sure to check out our other Snapchat posts for advanced tips and Snapchat hacks. Still got questions? Let us know at @firstcom_music


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