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how to use snapchat

Snapchat Beginner’s Guide: How to Use Snapchat Effectively

Welcome to the Snapchat Beginner’s Guide! Whether you’re new to Snapchat or looking to use it more effectively, this guide is here to help you navigate this popular visual social media platform. With over 293 million daily active users, Snapchat offers an incredible opportunity for businesses to engage with their target audience, especially Millennials and Gen-Zers. In this guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know, from setting up a Snapchat account to using its features and tools for maximum engagement and brand promotion.

Key Takeaways:

  • Learn how to set up a Snapchat account for personal or business use.
  • Understand the different features and terminology used in Snapchat.
  • Discover how to create and customize snaps, stories, and filters.
  • Explore the world of Snapchat lenses and how to use them creatively.
  • Find out how to access and use Snapchat on your computer.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat Statistics

Snapchat is a visual social media platform that allows users to share fleeting pictures and videos. Launched in 2011, Snapchat has become one of the top social media platforms worldwide. As of July 2021, it has amassed an impressive user base of 293 million daily active users, making it a powerful tool for both individuals and businesses.

What sets Snapchat apart is its unique features and interactive experiences. Users can engage with live videos, apply augmented reality (AR) effects to their snaps, and explore a wide range of creative tools. Whether you’re a business looking to connect with your target audience or an individual seeking a fun and interactive social media experience, Snapchat offers a dynamic platform to do so.

With its extensive reach and innovative features, Snapchat provides countless opportunities for users to connect, share, and engage with one another. In the following sections, we will dive deeper into the various features of Snapchat and explore how you can use them to their full potential.

Snapchat Features and Terminology

Snapchat Features and Terminology

Snapchat offers a plethora of features that businesses can utilize to drive audience engagement and enhance brand awareness. Understanding the terminology is essential for navigating this dynamic platform effectively. Familiarize yourself with the following key Snapchat features and terminology:


Snaps refer to pictures or videos that users can send directly to their friends on Snapchat. These snaps can be viewed for a specific duration before they disappear.


Stories are snaps that users share with all their Snapchat friends. These can consist of a sequence of snaps that stay visible for 24 hours and provide a captivating narrative.


Filters are overlays or effects that can be applied to snaps, enhancing their visual appeal. They can range from basic color enhancements to themed overlays that change based on location, events, or time of day.


Lenses are augmented reality (AR) special effects that transform a user’s appearance or add interactive elements to snaps. From playful animations to face-altering effects, lenses allow users to inject creativity into their content.


Geofilters are location-based filters that users can apply to their snaps. They are often associated with specific cities, landmarks, or events, allowing users to showcase their location or participate in local celebrations.

These are just a few of the features and terminology that make Snapchat unique. By incorporating them into your Snapchat experience, you can engage your audience creatively and optimize your brand’s presence on the platform.

How to Set up a Snapchat for Business Account

setting up a Snapchat for Business account

Setting up a Snapchat for Business account is a crucial step for leveraging Snapchat’s potential for business purposes. Follow the steps below to get started:

Step 1: Download the Snapchat App

The first step is to download the Snapchat app on your mobile device. You can find it in the App Store (for iOS devices) or Google Play Store (for Android devices). Simply search for “Snapchat” and install the app.

Step 2: Create a Regular Snapchat Account

Once the app is installed, open it and create a regular Snapchat account. This will serve as the foundation for your Snapchat for Business account. Provide the required details, including your name, email address, and date of birth.

Step 3: Register for a Business Account

After creating your regular Snapchat account, you can proceed to register for a Snapchat for Business account. To do this, visit the Snapchat for Business website ( and click on “Get Started.” Follow the instructions on the website to complete the registration process, which may involve providing additional details about your business and verifying your account.

Step 4: Start Using Snapchat for Marketing

Once you have successfully registered for a Snapchat for Business account, you can start using Snapchat for marketing purposes. Familiarize yourself with the platform’s features and tools, such as creating snaps, stories, using filters and lenses, and engaging with your target audience. Snapchat can be a powerful marketing tool when used effectively, allowing you to connect with your audience in a unique and engaging way.

By setting up a Snapchat for Business account, you open up opportunities to reach and engage with your target audience on one of the most popular visual social media platforms. Start leveraging Snapchat’s marketing potential today and take your business to new heights.

How to Navigate Snapchat

navigating Snapchat

Navigating Snapchat is essential to make the most out of this popular social media platform. Once you understand its different screens, you can seamlessly use Snapchat’s features and engage with your friends and content. Let’s take a closer look at the key screens and their functionalities.

The Camera Screen:

The camera screen is the home screen of Snapchat. Here, you can take and send snaps to your friends or share them on your stories. To capture a photo, tap the circular button at the bottom center of the screen. To record a video, hold the circular button. You can also access various creative tools like filters, lenses, and stickers to enhance your snaps.

The Chat Screen:

The chat screen is where you can have conversations with your friends on Snapchat. Here, you can view snaps that are sent directly to you, reply to them, and even save them for later. You can also initiate audio and video calls with your friends by tapping on the respective icons. The chat screen is the perfect place to stay connected with your Snapchat contacts.

Other Screens:

Aside from the camera and chat screens, Snapchat offers several other screens to explore and engage with content. These include:

  • Stories: On the stories screen, you can view and create stories with snaps that last for 24 hours. You can also see stories from your friends and Snapchat’s Discover section.
  • Memories: The memories screen allows you to access and manage all your saved snaps, stories, and camera roll images. You can view, edit, and share your memories from this screen.
  • Search: The search screen lets you discover new friends, groups, stories, and even explore Snapchat’s Spotlight section for trending user-generated content.

By familiarizing yourself with these screens, you can easily navigate and use Snapchat to its fullest potential. Whether it’s capturing and sharing moments, chatting with friends, or exploring entertaining content, Snapchat offers a user-friendly interface for an enjoyable social media experience.

How to Create a Snap

creating a snap

Creating a Snap on Snapchat is a simple process that allows you to capture photos or record videos using the app’s camera. Whether you want to take a quick selfie or document a fun moment, Snapchat offers various camera settings and features to enhance your snaps.

To get started, open the Snapchat app on your device. On the camera screen, you’ll see a circle button at the bottom center. Tapping this button will allow you to take a photo. If you want to record a video instead, simply hold down the circle button.

Before capturing your snap, you can explore and adjust different camera settings. By tapping the lightning icon, you can enable or disable the flash depending on your lighting conditions. To switch between the front and rear cameras, tap the camera icon in the top right corner of the screen.

If you prefer more precise snapping, you can add a grid to your camera display. Simply go to your Snapchat settings, select the “Additional Services” option, and toggle on the “Grid” feature. With the grid activated, you can align your subject perfectly and enhance your composition.

After taking a photo or recording a video, the next step is to customize your snap. You can add captions, draw on your snap using the doodle tool, or apply various filters and lenses for added creativity. To access these features, swipe left or right on your screen. Snapchat offers a wide range of filters and lenses that change regularly, including location-based filters and special event lenses.

Once you’re satisfied with your snap and the desired customizations, you can choose to send it to specific friends, add it to your story, or save it to your memories. Snapchat allows you to control the privacy settings for each snap, giving you flexibility in how and to whom you share your content.

Creating a snap on Snapchat is a seamless process that allows you to capture your favorite moments and share them with your friends. With its intuitive camera settings, customizable features, and a wide range of filters and lenses, Snapchat empowers you to get creative and make your snaps stand out.

How to View a Snap

Viewing snaps on Snapchat

Viewing snaps on Snapchat is a simple process that allows you to fully experience the visual content shared by your friends. When you receive a snap, you can view it by pressing and holding on the snap. This action will open the snap, and you can start viewing its content.

It’s important to note that snaps on Snapchat disappear after a set time, so it’s essential to view them completely before they vanish. The temporary nature of snaps adds an element of excitement and urgency to the platform, making each snap a fleeting moment to be cherished.

While viewing a snap, you have the option to interact with it in various ways. You can reply to a snap by sending a message or emoji, allowing for meaningful conversations with your friends. Additionally, you can save a snap if you want to revisit it later. However, it’s important to keep in mind that if you take a screenshot of a snap, the sender will be notified of your action.

Interacting with snaps not only allows you to engage with the content but also enhances your communication and connection with your friends on Snapchat. By actively participating in the snap experience, you can deepen your relationships and have more meaningful interactions.

Understanding how to view and interact with snaps is crucial for using Snapchat effectively. By embracing the temporary nature of snaps and engaging with the content, you can fully immerse yourself in the unique visual experience that Snapchat offers.

How to Create Snapchat Stories

creating Snapchat stories

Snapchat stories are a fun and interactive way to share moments with your Snapchat friends. Stories allow you to compile multiple snaps into a cohesive narrative that stays on the app for 24 hours. This feature is perfect for sharing highlights from your day or special events.

To create a Snapchat story, you have two options. You can select snaps from your camera roll or capture new ones using the Snapchat app. If you have previously taken snaps that you want to include in your story, you can access them from your camera roll within the app.

If you prefer to capture new snaps for your story, simply open the Snapchat app and use the camera to take pictures or record videos. The app offers various features such as filters, stickers, and text overlays that you can use to make your snaps more engaging and personalized.

Once you have your snaps ready, it’s time to add them to your story. Open the Snapchat camera screen and swipe right to access the Stories tab. Tap the “+” icon to create a new story and select the snaps you want to include. You can arrange the order of the snaps and customize their appearance by adding stickers, text, or filters.

Privacy settings play a crucial role in who can view and contribute to your story. By default, your story is visible to all your Snapchat friends. However, if you want to limit the audience, you can change the privacy settings to allow only selected friends to view your story.

Captivating Snapchat stories can keep your audience engaged and coming back for more. Experiment with different types of snaps, including photos, videos, and Boomerangs, to create dynamic and exciting stories. Remember to make use of Snapchat’s creative features to enhance your stories and make them stand out.

How to Use Snapchat Lenses

Using Snapchat Lenses

Snapchat lenses offer an exciting way to enhance your photos and videos with 3D special effects, objects, and characters. Unlike filters, which are applied after you capture a snap, lenses can be used in real-time while taking a snap, allowing you to see the effect live on your screen.

Snapchat provides a wide range of lenses that constantly change based on special events, holidays, location, and even the time of day. This diversity ensures that you always have access to fresh and engaging options to make your snaps stand out.

Using Snapchat lenses is simple and fun. Follow these steps:

  1. Open the Snapchat app and navigate to the Camera screen.
  2. Make sure the front-facing camera is active, as lenses work best with it.
  3. Position your face within the frame, ensuring it is well-lit and clear.
  4. Press and hold on your face until the lens options appear at the bottom of the screen.
  5. Swipe left or right to browse through the available lenses. You can preview each lens by tapping on it.
  6. Select the lens that you want to use by tapping on it.
  7. Follow the instructions on the screen to interact with the lens and capture your snap.
  8. After capturing the snap, you can further customize it with captions, drawings, or other Snapchat features.
  9. Once you are satisfied with your snap, you can choose to send it to your friends, add it to your story, or save it to your Memories.

Using Snapchat lenses adds an extra element of entertainment and creativity to your snaps, making them more engaging and shareable. Experiment with different lenses to discover the ones that best suit your style and the message you want to convey.

So, the next time you’re capturing a snap on Snapchat, don’t forget to explore the captivating world of lenses and create unforgettable moments.

How to Use Snapchat Filters

Applying Snapchat Filters

Snapchat filters are a fun and creative way to enhance your snaps. These overlays or effects can transform your photos and videos into visually appealing and engaging content. Whether you want to add a touch of humor, celebrate special events, or simply beautify your snaps, Snapchat filters have got you covered.

Filters on Snapchat can change based on various factors such as holidays, location, time of day, or even specific events. They offer a wide range of options to suit your mood and style. From face filters that add funny elements to your selfies, to location-based filters that showcase your surroundings, there are endless possibilities to explore.

To apply a filter to your snap, follow these simple steps:

  1. Capture a photo or record a video using the Snapchat camera.
  2. Swipe left or right on the screen to browse through the available filters.
  3. Select the filter you want to use by tapping on it.
  4. You can also layer multiple filters by swiping again after applying the first filter.
  5. Once you’re satisfied with the result, you can send your snap to friends or add it to your story.

Remember, applying filters to your snaps is a fantastic way to add a creative touch and grab your audience’s attention. Experiment with different filters, have fun with the effects, and let your snaps shine.

Unleash Your Creativity with Snapchat Filters

One of the best things about Snapchat filters is that they empower you to unleash your creativity. With a vast array of filters to choose from, you can transform ordinary snaps into extraordinary moments. Whether you’re expressing your personality, telling a story, or promoting your brand, filters can add that special touch that sets your snaps apart.

“Snapchat filters allow you to seamlessly blend creativity and technology, turning everyday moments into shared experiences.” – Snapchat User

So go ahead, start using Snapchat filters to take your snaps to the next level. Share your unique perspective, engage with your audience, and have fun while doing it.

How to Use Snapchat on Your Computer

accessing Snapchat on desktop

Although Snapchat is primarily designed as a mobile app, there are methods available for accessing and utilizing Snapchat on your computer. One such option is Snap Camera, a dedicated desktop app that enables you to apply Snapchat filters and lenses during video calls on platforms like Zoom and Skype.

With Snap Camera, you can enhance your video conferencing experience by adding fun and vibrant filters and lenses to your appearance. Whether you want to spice up a work meeting or have a lighthearted conversation with friends, Snap Camera offers a wide selection of Snapchat effects to choose from.

Additionally, some emulators and browser extensions can grant you access to Snapchat’s functionality on your computer. These tools replicate the mobile environment, allowing you to view and interact with your Snapchat account on a larger screen.

While using Snapchat on your computer may not offer the same experience as the mobile app, it presents a convenient alternative for situations where you prefer a desktop setup or need to use Snapchat during video calls. Experiment with different methods to find the one that suits your needs best and enjoy the benefits of using Snapchat on your computer.

Tips for Using Snapchat Features Effectively

tips for Snapchat users

To make the most out of Snapchat, here are some tips for using its features effectively:

1. Use Geofilters to Promote Your Business

Geofilters are location-based filters that can be used to promote your business and engage with local audiences. By creating unique filters specific to your business or events, you can increase brand awareness and attract Snapchat users in your area.

2. Experiment with Different Lenses and Filters

Add creativity to your snaps by experimenting with different lenses and filters. Snapchat offers a wide range of augmented reality (AR) lenses that can transform your photos and videos into unique visual experiences. Additionally, applying filters can enhance the aesthetic appeal of your snaps and make them stand out.

3. Take Advantage of Chat, Memories, and Discover

Snapchat offers various features that can enhance your overall Snapchat experience. Use the chat feature to connect with friends and engage in conversations. Memories allow you to save and revisit your favorite snaps, creating a personal photo album. Discover provides access to curated content from publishers and brands, allowing you to stay updated and explore new interests.

By leveraging these features, you can stay connected with friends and brands, save important moments, and discover exciting content on Snapchat.

Remember, the key to using Snapchat effectively is to explore and experiment with different features. Don’t be afraid to showcase your creativity and engage with the platform to make the most out of your Snapchat experience!

Snapchat for Business: Custom Geofilters and Lenses

custom Snapchat geofilters and lenses

As a business, you have the opportunity to create custom Snapchat geofilters and lenses to effectively promote your brand or showcase special events. With custom geofilters, you can tailor your filters to specific locations, providing a unique experience for users in those areas. Creating custom geofilters is also incredibly affordable, with prices starting as low as $5.

Custom lenses, on the other hand, allow you to add branded augmented reality (AR) effects to your snaps. These lenses can transform your snaps into interactive and engaging pieces of content, helping you leave a lasting impression on your audience. Adding custom lenses to your Snapchat strategy can enhance brand awareness and captivate your target audience.

By incorporating custom Snapchat geofilters and lenses into your marketing efforts, you can create memorable and shareable content that resonates with your audience. These unique features not only increase brand visibility but also encourage user engagement and interaction. With millions of daily active Snapchat users, leveraging custom geofilters and lenses can significantly enhance your brand’s reach and influence.

With custom geofilters and lenses, you have the power to amplify your brand’s presence on Snapchat and connect with your target audience in a creative and meaningful way. Unlock the potential of these features to enhance your brand awareness and engage with your followers like never before.

Snapchat’s Impact on Brand Engagement and ROI

Snapchat has emerged as a powerful platform for businesses to engage with their audience and drive a significant return on investment (ROI). With a user base predominantly under 34 years old, Snapchat offers a unique opportunity to connect with the younger demographic, who are known to make impulse purchases and exhibit higher sales potential.

By effectively leveraging Snapchat’s features, businesses can enhance brand awareness, increase audience engagement, and ultimately drive revenue. Snapchat’s visually immersive format allows brands to showcase their products or services in a more engaging and interactive way, capturing the attention of their target audience.

One key aspect of Snapchat’s impact on brand engagement is the authentic and real-time nature of the platform. The temporary nature of snaps and stories creates a sense of urgency, compelling users to pay attention to content before it disappears. This immediacy can be leveraged by brands to create exclusive offers, limited-time promotions, or behind-the-scenes glimpses to generate excitement and drive engagement.

Moreover, Snapchat provides various innovative features that allow brands to establish a deeper connection with their audience. From interactive lenses and filters to augmented reality (AR) experiences, businesses can create unique and memorable brand experiences that resonate with Snapchat users. By delivering captivating and shareable content, brands can increase their reach and generate organic word-of-mouth marketing.

Furthermore, Snapchat’s advertising options, including Snap Ads and Sponsored lenses, enable businesses to reach a wider audience and amplify their brand messaging. These ad formats seamlessly integrate with the user experience, ensuring that the ads are organic and engaging rather than intrusive.

“Snapchat enables brands to engage with their target audience in an authentic and visually captivating way, resulting in increased brand awareness, audience interaction, and ultimately, a positive impact on ROI.”

Overall, Snapchat’s impact on brand engagement and ROI cannot be underestimated. With its massive user base and innovative features, Snapchat provides businesses with a powerful platform to connect with their audience, drive engagement, and achieve tangible results. By incorporating Snapchat into their marketing strategies and leveraging its unique capabilities effectively, brands can reap the rewards of increased brand awareness, audience interaction, and ultimately, improved ROI.


Snapchat is a powerful social media platform that offers a wide range of features and tools for both businesses and users to engage, share, and connect. By following the tips and guidelines in this beginner’s guide, you can effectively leverage Snapchat and make the most out of your Snapchat experience.

Using Snapchat effectively requires understanding its various features and terminology, from snaps and stories to filters and lenses. Navigating Snapchat’s different screens and creating captivating snaps with personalized captions, filters, and effects are key to engaging your audience.

Additionally, don’t forget to explore Snapchat’s business features, such as creating custom geofilters and lenses, to promote your brand and enhance brand awareness. Engaging with your target audience, building relationships, and driving engagement are all possible through Snapchat’s unique platform.

So, whether you’re a business owner or a regular user, start snapping, exploring, and connecting on Snapchat today. By using this beginner’s guide and harnessing Snapchat’s features effectively, you can enhance your Snapchat experience, build brand awareness, and drive engagement like never before.


What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a popular visual social media platform where users can share fleeting pictures and videos. It has over 293 million daily active users and is used by businesses to engage with their target audience.

What are some key Snapchat features and terminology?

Some key Snapchat features and terminology include snaps (shared pictures or videos), stories (snaps shared with all friends), filters (overlays or effects on snaps), lenses (AR special effects), and geofilters (location-based filters).

How do I set up a Snapchat for Business account?

To set up a Snapchat for Business account, you need to download the Snapchat app, create a regular Snapchat account, and then register for a Business account within the app.

How do I navigate Snapchat?

Snapchat has different screens such as the camera screen, chat screen, and more. The camera screen is the home screen, and the chat screen is where you can chat with friends, view snaps, and make calls. Other screens like stories, memories, and search allow you to explore and engage with content on Snapchat.

How do I create a snap on Snapchat?

To create a snap on Snapchat, you can take a photo or record a video using the app’s camera. You can customize snaps with captions, filters, and more.

How do I view a snap on Snapchat?

To view a snap on Snapchat, press and hold on the snap. The snap will disappear after a set time, so make sure to view it completely. You can also interact with snaps by replying, saving, or taking a screenshot.

How do I create Snapchat stories?

To create Snapchat stories, you can select snaps from your camera roll or capture new ones. Stories stay on the app for 24 hours before being deleted, and you can customize their privacy settings.

How do I use Snapchat lenses?

Snapchat lenses allow you to add 3D special effects, objects, and characters to your photos or videos. You can use lenses while taking a snap, and Snapchat offers a variety of lenses that change based on special events, holidays, and more.

How do I use Snapchat filters?

Snapchat filters are overlays or effects that can enhance your snaps. You can apply filters to your snaps before sending them or layer multiple filters for unique effects. Filters change based on special events, holidays, and more.

Can I use Snapchat on my computer?

Yes, you can use Snapchat on your computer by using Snap Camera, a desktop app that allows you to use Snapchat filters and lenses during video calls. Some emulators and browser extensions also enable Snapchat functionality on computers.

What are some tips for using Snapchat features effectively?

Some tips for using Snapchat features effectively include using geofilters to promote your business, experimenting with lenses and filters, and taking advantage of features like chat, memories, and discover to enhance your Snapchat experience.

Can businesses create custom geofilters and lenses on Snapchat?

Yes, businesses can create custom geofilters and lenses on Snapchat to promote their brand or showcase events. Geofilters are unique to specific locations, and custom lenses allow you to add branded AR effects to your snaps.

What is the impact of Snapchat on brand engagement and ROI?

Snapchat can have a significant impact on brand engagement and return on investment, especially among Millennials and Gen-Zers. By leveraging Snapchat’s features effectively, businesses can increase brand awareness, engagement, and revenue.

How can I make the most out of Snapchat?

By following this beginner’s guide and leveraging Snapchat’s features effectively, you can enhance your Snapchat experience, build brand awareness, and drive engagement. Start snapping, exploring, and connecting on Snapchat to make the most out of this popular social media platform.

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