Snapchat is a fun app that lets you send photos and short videos, or "Snaps," to your friends. These Snaps can be viewed for a few seconds and are then deleted for good. Snapchat is free to download for iPhones and Android devices.
Part 1 of 2: Creating an account
Step 1. Download the app
Go to the App Store (for Apple users) or the Google Play Store (for Android users) and download Snapchat for free.
Snapchat is made for smartphones. You will likely run into problems when trying to create an account with an iPad or an Android tablet
Step 2. Open Snapchat and tap "Sign Up"
Enter your information. You will be asked to enter your email address, date of birth and create a password. You must be over 13 to create a Snapchat account.
Step 3. Come up with a username
In the next screen you will be asked to create a username. This is the name your friends can use to find you on Snapchat and the name that will appear in their friends list. Your username must be unique, so keep in mind that you'll have to think of something else if the username you want is already being used by someone else.
Think carefully about your username, because you won't be able to change it later. If you want to change your username later you will have to create a new account
Step 4. Verify your phone number
You will be asked to enter your phone number to verify your account. You can skip this step if you want to do this later.
Step 5. Prove you're human by selecting the right images
Snapchat uses an authentication method to ensure that no automatic accounts are created. Tap the images where you see a ghost. Tap "Continue" after selecting all the correct images.
Step 6. Add friends
Snapchat will search your address book to see which other people are also using Snapchat. To add someone as a friend, just click on the icon that looks like a person with a plus sign. This icon can be found on the right side of the screen. When the other person accepts your friend request, you will be able to send photos and videos to each other.
- You can skip this by tapping "Continue" and then "Don't Allow".
- If you want to add a friend who isn't in your phone's address book, you'll have to find him or her manually. You can do this by tapping the search symbol in the top right corner of the "Add Friends" screen. Then type in the person's Snapchat username.
Part 2 of 2: Using Snapchat
Step 1. Take a photo that shows how you feel and send it to your friends for fun
Once you've created your account and added your friends, you can start sending Snaps right away. To take a photo, go to the main Snapchat screen. This is very similar to your phone's camera. Tap the button to take a photo or hold your finger on the button to record a short video.
Step 2. Edit the photo
After taking a Snap, you can edit it in several ways.
- You can add a caption to the photo by tapping the screen once. Your keyboard will now appear, allowing you to type a caption, message, or anything else.
- You can draw on the photo by tapping the pencil icon in the top right corner of the screen. You will now see a colored bar, which you can slide up or down to choose the color of your pen.
- You can add a filter, as well as the time, temperature or speed. You do this by swiping to the left.
Step #3. Set a time limit for your Snap
The recipient will normally be able to view your Snap for three seconds. You can adjust this time by tapping the Stopwatch button in the lower left corner. A menu will appear in which you can set a time between 1 and 10 seconds.
Step 4. Send the photo or add it to your story
Send the photo by tapping the arrow icon in the bottom right corner of the screen. You will now see your friends list.
- Select the people you want to send your Snap to by tapping their username. Then tap the arrow icon in the bottom right corner of the screen to send your Snap.
- When you go to the "Snapchat" page, you'll be able to see the status of your Snap--whether it's "Sent," "Delivered," or "Opened."
- You can also add your Snap to "My Story," an option that appears at the top of your friends list. This allows anyone in your friends list to view your photo or video as many times as they want during 24 hours. You can add multiple photos or videos to your story at once.
Step 5. On the Snapchat screen, hold your finger to your face to use lenses
This is the latest feature added to Snapchat. Snapchat uses automatic facial recognition to add effects to your Snap. You cannot add lenses on many older devices.
- Before taking a Snap, hold the camera in front of your face and place your finger on your face on the screen. Make sure your whole face is on the screen.
- After a while you will see a grid appear, and the options for the different lenses will become visible at the bottom of the screen. If the lens function is not activated, your device is probably not suitable.
- Swipe left to see the different effects you can choose from. Some lenses have instructions, such as "Open your mouth" or "Raise your eyebrows." This will add another animation. The collection of lenses rotates, so some effects may not be available now while they were before.
- Take a Snap or hold your finger on the button to record a video. You will be able to send it just like a regular Snap.
Step 6. Open your messages
To access Snapchat messages from your friends, go to the "Snapchat" page. Touch and hold the username of the person who sent you the message to view the photo or video.
- Please note that when you open the message, the time will start to run. When the timer reaches zero you will no longer be able to view the Snap.
- The only way to get around this is to take a screenshot of the image when it is displayed on your screen. The image will be saved in your gallery. Snapchat will also let the recipient know that you took a screenshot.
Step 7. Block friends
If you want to block someone from your friends list (which prevents them from sending you Snaps or viewing your stories), you can do so by scrolling down your friends list to find the person's name.
- Tap the person's name, then tap the settings icon that appears next to the name. A second menu will appear that allows you to block or remove the person.
- If you remove someone, they will disappear from your friends list for good. If you block someone, their username will be added to a list of blocked contacts at the bottom of your friends list.
- To unblock someone, all you need to do is scroll down to the blocked contacts list, tap the correct username, then tap the settings icon and finally select "Unblock". The person's name will be added to your friends list again.
Step 8. Adjust your settings
You can adjust some settings by tapping the gear icon in the top-right corner of the main screen or messaging page.
- You will now be given the option to change your email address, change your phone number, and turn notifications on or off.
- You can also specify who you want to receive Snaps from and who can view your stories--all Snapchat users or just the people on your friends list.