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Snapchat: A Detailed Beginners Guide

Snapchat became one of the largest social networks all over the world in the last few years. Users were able to see posts from users and also different brands.

From one side, users can see the content their friends publish and share. On the other side, they will get all the content published by brands, suggested creators and more.

The main goal behind this implementation was to make Snapchat more focused on social relationships than simply getting a timeline with publishers mixed in the middle. 

This platform is certainly special. There are millions of users (around 180 million) that are using it on a daily basis. This is a great way to get connected with people, sharing your own stories and adventures and all using a very intuitive interface. 

Although this could be considered an application for teenagers or young users, the reality is that the adult community is growing. If you think about it, there are other platforms for younger generations, one of them is Tik Tok, which became very popular in the last months. 

Snapchat is a great platform to get the content you care about in just a few swipes. In this article, we will share with you the basics of Snapchat, how to use it and how you can get in touch with the people you want. 

The features mentioned in this guide can change over time due to upgrades in the system and the inclusion of new solutions and features on the application. 

How to Create a Snapchat Account

Before getting ready to know which are Snapchat’s main features, you may want to set up a Snapchat account. This is going to be a must-do if you want to get all the benefits of being connected with people from all over the world. 

Snapchat is available for both Apple and Android users, meaning that almost every phone in the world would be able to have access to Snapchat. In order to download it, go to the App Store - if you use an iPhone - or the Google Play Store - if you have an Android smartphone. 

Once you have downloaded the application, the next step will be to Sign Up. This would allow you to create a new Snapchat account in just a few simple steps. 

snapchat login

Here you will have to provide information about yourself, including your First Name and Last Name. 

snapchat registration page

The next steps are very straight forward considering you will have to share the date in which you were born and a username. The username you select must be properly chosen considering that you would not be able to change it later. Remember that you can only select it now. After this, set a password that must be 8 characters long, at least. 

You will also have to share your phone number, which will verify that you are a human and it will allow you to set up your account. Once you share your phone number, Snapchat will send you a verification code that you will need to enter in the application before you continue.

The next step will be to add your friends to Snapchat. Of course, you will see the friends that have created a Snapchat account and that are using the App. As you continue through the registration screens, you will also be asked to create your own Bitmoji. 

We highly recommend you to try this feature considering almost everyone has it and it can be certainly useful in the future. As you will see in the coming sections, a Bitmoji is a representation of yourself, similar to a cartoon Avatar. 

If you have already created an account, that’s all you need to know in order to start using Snapchat. The next steps will be getting used to the platform and its different features. You can continue reading to get more information about it. 

Getting the Basics of Snapchat - How to Use Snapchat?

For new users, it may be somehow difficult to understand what is a Snap, what are Stories and how they can be used to share your world. This is certainly important to know how to use Snapchat and how we can have great content in just a few seconds. 

One of the basic things and perhaps the most important Snapchat features is the Snap. This can be a simple picture or an amazing video that you can send privately to a friend or user or that you can change for an entire community of followers. 

These snaps tend to last between 1 and 10 seconds and they will disappear as soon as they have been viewed by those that received the Snap. However, if you publish it in your Story section, then it will last there 24 hours before it gets deleted. Users that didn’t open the Snap will not be able to see it after 30 days. 

As mentioned before, Stories would allow you to share a video or a picture with all your Snapchat friends without being deleted during a period of 24 hours. While Snaps tend to be more private, Stories are open to every of your Snapchat friends. 

You can also publish older Snaps and stories by using the Memories feature on Snapchat. This is a great option for users that want to share older moments that could be good to share again. 

When we upload a Snap or Stories we need to take into account that it is possible to add Snapchat Filters. These filters include special effects and overlays that would certainly play an important role in making your stories more attractive to others. Obviously, there is no obligation to use them, but it is always a good option to have. 

Don’t get confused with the Snapchat lens. This is also one of the many Snapchat features that would allow you to add special effects to Snaps. 

When you are handling your stories, you can create Custom Stories. This function was released a few years ago and it became a great way for users to share special things, events and more. Indeed, through this option, other friends can add new stories. 

This can also be combined with a geolocation block that would allow only friends in a specific place to put stories. If you are at a top party, you and your friends would be able to share these custom stories with friends. 

Geofilters - as the word already suggests - are filters that can be used according to the location where you are. You will be able to have a London filter if you are located there and show it to your friends. It is also possible to add new Geofilters for $5.99 if you are interested in sharing with others the place in which you are. 

So as to see what your friends are doing and where they are you can simply open the Snap Map. In order to get access to this feature, you will have to zoom in your main screen. It is worth pointing out that you can simply deactivate this feature if you consider so. 

Have you ever seen a flame emoji next to your friends chat? Well, this means that you are having a great time with them! This is called a Snapstreak, which means that you have shared Snap stories for three consecutive days. Of course, you can also chat with your friends if you consider so. Nonetheless, this will not count for the Snapstreak. 

If you want to get access to your Friends List you will only have to enter the app and swipe to the right of the screen. This will give you access to all the information you need to know about your friends, allowing you to start a chat or send Snaps and stories. 

If instead of swiping right, you swipe left from the main camera page, you will be able to see important stories recommended for you from creators, publishers and more. Take into account that the stories that would appear here have been selected based on Snapchat’s algorithm. This is what users call the Discover section. 

If you are a person that wants to share your profile with different people you can use the Snapcode Snapchat feature that would help you share a QR-style code with your friends. In this way, users can have easy and fast access to your account. 

Two other interesting features include the Time Machine and 3D snaps. These two options would allow you to see yourself in a younger and older version and sharing 3D Snaps of yourself. 

Have you ever wondered what are these small figures on Snapchat that look like people? Well, these are Bitmojis, and they represent personal emojis of users. You can easily create your own Bitmoji and share the cartoon avatar of yourself with friends. This can be used for people to see your profile, or you can just share a wide range of Bitmojis with your friends. 

How to Add Friends to Snapchat?

Now that we know what Snapchat is and which are its main functions, we will have the possibility to add friends and start sharing our Snaps and Stories with them or just following what other friends and users put. 

One of the easiest ways of getting new contacts is by using the Snapcode that we have mentioned before. If you see any person that you want to follow sharing their Snapcode, you can take a picture of it. Once you have this done, you can go to the left part of the screen where you see the Snapchat logo and press the Add Friends option. 

There you can select the picture you took of the Snapcode and upload it. Finally, your new friend will be added. 

There are other ways in order to have friends added to your Snapchat account, and this can be done in a very easy way. For example, you can search your friends with their username. As we did with the Snapcode, we go to the top left part of the screen and we select the Snapchat logo, we choose “Add Friends” and we press the method we want to use: Username. 

This is a very straightforward way to add a friend or a new user. If you just have the name you can easily search for it on Snapchat. 

Furthermore, you can also use the “Add Nearby” function that would allow you to get connected with people that are close to you. If you are at a party or event and you want to add people from this place, you can always use the “Nearby” feature in the “Add Friends” section. When you use it, you will get a list of people that are close to you. 

Finally, Snapchat will also suggest to you some contacts that may have Snapchat or that use this function. This is useful in case you are just starting to use the application and you want to have some friends already on your list.

Getting in Touch With Your New Friends

Now that you have sent the friend request to several users, you will have the possibility to interact with these new friends. However, we have to wait for their approval before we can be connected with all of them. 

This is the part where we will start using all we have learned in the previous sections of this article. Let’s suppose you just entered on Snapchat and you want to write to a friend, you can simply swipe right from the camera screen and see a list of friends. 

If you want to know more about how to navigate screens you can always check the official Snapchat instructions about how to do it.

You can select the friend you want to write to by simply tapping on his name. It is worth mentioning that you can also send Snaps to them. Indeed, if you see that there are colourful icons next to your friends’ name, it means that they have already talked to you or shared a Snap. 

If you see a blue icon, this is making reference to a chat message that does not include a Snap. However, red and purple icons will tell you that your friend sent you a Snap, without volume and with volume, respectively. 

When you tap in your friends’ conversations you will see the Snaps that this friend sent you and you will be able to answer with your own Snap or a written message. Remember you can also set up your Bitmoji in order to answer messages and get in touch with your friends. 

Sending Snaps

If you want to take a screenshot of a conversation or Snap shared by one of your friends, you need to take into account that the person you are connected to will receive a notification that you have taken a screenshot. Remember that Snaps get deleted once you see them and many users want to save some images before it’s too late to see them again. 

Let’s suppose that you want to send a Snap to your friends, you just need to open the application and start filming or taking a picture with the camera you will have on the main screen. This is going to be very useful considering that this will be the main way in which you will be connecting with friends. 

By tapping the capture button on the main screen you will be taking a picture. If you hold it for a longer period of time you will be recording a video. Although this could be intuitive is not so clear for everyone using Snapchat. 

Each of the Snaps can last up to 10 seconds. If you keep holding the capture button for a longer time, then it means that you will be creating more than just a Snap. Thus, if you create a 24 seconds Snap, it will be subdivided into three Snaps of 10, 10 and 4 seconds each. 

If you have taken a picture and you want to share it with your friends you can also have a look at the different filters that Snapchat provides. You can place a text in your snaps, draw figures with the pencil, add your Bitmoji and other stickers provided by Snapchat, or enter the URL of a website with the paperclip. You can use the scissors as well to select a part of your Snap and save it as a sticker for the future. The timer will finally be used to decide how long you want the snap to be. 

For adding filters, you will only have to Swipe to the left of the screen, which would change the image you have with a nice and funny filter. If you are located in London, you may see some London themes that you can add to your image. If we are on Christmas, then we will have the possibility to select from some funny Christmas-related themes. 

This is all you would have to know before sending the Snap you have just created. If you already see that the snap can be shared with your friends, you can tap on the blue arrow that will appear on the right bottom of your screen. You will have to select the friends you want to send the Snap to from the list of users you have added. 

With the Snapchat Lens tool that we have described before, you will have the possibility to see yourself with a large number of filters that can be applied to your face and Snaps. You will see that Snapchat itself will suggest several lenses you could apply to your Snap to make it more special and fun. If you like one of these lenses, you just need to press the capture button or simply start recording a Snap if you want to have a video with the lens included. 

Uploading and Viewing Snapchat Stories

You can also add a story that will last 24 hours and that your friends and users will be able to see. If you created a Snap following the abovementioned instructions, you will be able to press the “Story” button down on the left part of your screen after recording a Snap. 

This would be made available to the users you want. Remember you can exclude some of your friends from seeing the stories you put. You will also have the chance to delete the story if you don’t want it to be up. This is very straightforward considering you only need to select the Snap that you uploaded and press the garbage icon that will appear close to the right bottom of the screen. 

You can also see and follow who has seen your story, which would make it even more useful to understand which are the friends that are using Snapchat the most or that really want to see what you have to share with the world. 

To see what your friends uploaded as stories, you can easily tap the Stories icon when you are in the camera screen and tap on each of your friends that show they have uploaded a new story. Remember that your friends will know that you have seen the story. 


You can also use Snapchat as your default camera. With the Memories option, you can save every single picture and Snap you take and store it on the Snapchat application. These pictures and videos will then be available to be published at a later date or just to remember good times. 

If you want to see which are the images and videos that have already been saved as Memories, you can simply tap the button below the capture option on the main screen. 

Content Creators

Snapchat is also a great tool for content creators to share what they do, their activities and lifestyle. You can search from a wide range of topics on the discover section that you find by swiping the main screen to the left as soon as you enter the platform. 

This application can be a great way for individuals to get in touch with creators and see the stories and Snaps they upload on a daily or weekly basis. This is a funny and easy way to get connected with them. For creators, this a great method for reaching a larger audience and expanding their horizons over time. 


The ways and tools that we use to communicate and share our experiences on a daily basis have changed over time. Snapchat is helping users, content creators and influencers to share their experiences over time through a wide range of tools provided by Snapchat. 

While the platform was considered to be used by millennials and centennials, it is also a great tool for adults that want to share content, information, images and videos with their friends. You need to understand whether Snapchat is the right option for sharing your experiences that you are searching for and based on your needs you can start using it or not. 

With this guide, we aimed at showing you the basics of Snapchat, how to use it on a daily basis and how you can get in constant touch with your friends and content creators from all over the world. 

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