How to use Snapchat - The Complete Beginners Guide

Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps in the world. It is used by hundreds of millions of users on a daily basis in navigating the ever growing world of social media. A majority of its users lie between the age of 25 and below.

However, do not be fooled that the app is only for the kids. A research conducted in the US in 2017 suggested that for the adult users, Snapchat is more popular than instagram.

This app has various uses. You can use it as a news source, taking and sharing photos, chatting with friends, keeping up with the lives of celebrities, share a story as well as making public broadcasts. As popular as this app is, it can still be quite challenging, even for the regular users.

In this article, we shall provide you with a simple guideline on how to go about Snapchat every day.

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The Snapchat “dictionary”

Believe it or not, Snapchat has its own language. As you use it, you will come across words which you have never probably heard of or normal words coined to have different definitions.

Let us briefly go through some of these terms.


these are the individuals you have added on your contact list. You will be “best friends” if you send each other just the right amount of snaps.


any photo or video that you take using this app is called a snap.

Snap map:

this map will locate all your friends as well as the stories happening around your location.


this is a feature that lets you to look back at photos and videos that you shared and sent in the past.


these are the symbols, smiley faces and animals that you can add to messages from your keyboard.


 this is an animation that resembles you and comes with different poses and you can add these to your chats and snaps.


these are all the snaps which you play in succession and they normally expire after 24 hours. You can create a general story, add to a public story or even watch a friend’s story.


this is the award that you get for completing certain acts on the app.

Setting up Snapchat

The first step is downloading the app. It is available for both Android and iOS operating systems. After the successful download and installation of the app, you will start with the registration process. You will be required to enter your basic details such as name, username, date of birth and Email address.

An important point to note is that you should pay extra attention to the username. This is because you will not be able to change it in the future. Snapchat will guide through the other steps in setting up the app and using it.

During setup, you can let Snapchat automatically access your contacts and add your friends already using the app. If you have reservations with this setting, you can skip it and add the contacts manually.

The Snapchat screens

These are the main pages you need to have on your fingertips to navigate your way around the app and access the necessary features.

Camera Page

This is the “Home page” of the app. It is the point where you take photos and videos via either the front or rear camera.

Friends’ page

To locate this page, tap on the chat bubble which is at the bottom left-hand corner of the main screen. Additionally, you can find this page by swiping to the right.

This page will display all your friends as well your recent conversations. We can generally say that it shows all the communication between you and your friends.

Profile page

To locate this page, tap on the shape of a person’s head and shoulder which is in the top left-hand corner. You will be given access to contacts, stories, trophies, Bitmoji, settings and so on.

Memories page

In this page, you will get access to your memories and the camera roll. To locate it, simply swipe up the page or tap on the image of two photos at the bottom center of the main page.

Adding Friends on Snapchat

Snapchat is basically a means of communicating with friends. Therefore, you can let Snapchat do the job for you during set up by allowing it to access your contacts or you could do it manually by pressing “Add friends” on your profile page.

You will use the search bar at the top of the page to search for the friends using their username or a photo of their unique Snapcode.

How to take a snap

You should first decide if you want a selfie or a normal photo using a rear camera. There is a lens button at the top right hand corner of the screen from which you can switch between these two options.

At the bottom centre of your screen, there is a circle which you should press if you want to take a photo. If you want to take a video snap, press and hold the button film. Release it to stop filming.

Chatting with friends 

If you want to chat with a friend through messaging, just tap on their name on your friends’ page. At the bottom of the screen, there are buttons you can use to move through your chat options.

Your messages will disappear after a single viewing. So if you wish to save them, press and hold on the message and pin it to your chat.

Making a Snapchat story

First step is taking a snap and then you should select “My story” as being among the recipients. Alternatively, head to the “My story” button on your profile page to take a snap which will be sent directly to your story only.

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Blocking people on Snapchat

Of course not every person has the best of intentions on social media. Some of them turn out to be bullies and abusive.

To block such individuals, tap and hold on their username. From the menu that appears, choose “Settings” and then “Block”.

Additionally, you can simply “Remove friend” if you no longer wish to be friends with that person.


There are additional feature of Snapchat which you will encounter as you use the app. They include Snapchat trophies, Snap scores and Snap streaks. All these enhance your experience while using the app.

So why don’t you make maximum use of these features and enjoy your “snapping “experience?

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