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Snapchat is a wonderful medium for sharing your life’s story with the world in 10-second bits. But if you’re a lurker, someone who uses Snapchat more as a source of entertainment, you know how confusing it can be to get around the app.
It’s filled with features, but they’re not laid out in a logical manner. Some are straight up hidden behind the long press and swipe gestures. If you use Snapchat for viewing or creating content, these tips and tricks will improve your experience.
1. Enable Ghost Mode
Snapchat records your location when you post a snap. Some features, like the geo-filters, are entirely dependent on your location. Recently, Snapchat released a Map view that shows popular stories nearby. They only show up on the map when they’re public.
If you don’t want your friends or followers to know the general location of the story, you can enable Ghost Mode. In the camera view, pinch out with two fingers, like you’re zooming out of a photo to get to the Maps view. Now, tap on the Gear icon, then enable Ghost Mode.
2. Share Stories With a Group
You can now create group chats for your snaps in Snapchat. This allows you to share your snaps easily with your inner circle of friends.
When you’re on the Send To… screen, you’ll see a new Groups section. Tap on Create Group and select your friends. Once the group is created, you’ll find it in the Chat section and you’ll be able to monitor who saw the stories. The issue is that only you can share snaps in this group. To create a group where other people can contribute, see the next tip.
3. Create Stories With Your Friends
Snapchat, in true Snapchat style, has another feature with a generic confusing title: Create Story. This is just like a group, but other people can add their own stories as well.
On the Send To screen, tap on Create Story.
If you turn on Geofence, only the people inside the small area around you will be able to view and contribute to it.
Alternatively, just tap on Who can Add option and select the friends. These friends will be able to add stories. You can also restrict other friends from viewing it.
Once you’re done customizing, tap on Create Story.
4. Make Snaps Available for Over 10 Seconds
After you’ve captured the snap, tap on the Edit button. The Timer will probably read 10 or 3. Tap on it and swipe down till you see the infinity icon. If you enable this, your snap will no longer disappear after a set amount of time.
5. Link Bitmoji
Emojis are so passé! One of the really fun things you can do in Snapchat is to use your own Bitmoji characters as stickers. Once you’ve got the Bitmoji app, swipe down from the camera view and tap on the Bitmoji icon. You’ll now be able to link and import your own Bitmoji stickers.
To add them to a snap, tap on the stickers icon from the top toolbar in the editing view. You’ll find your Bitmoji under the section with the Emoji face on top.
6. Use Two Filters at Once
Two filters are better than one — and you can use two in the same snap. Once you’ve enabled one filter, tap and hold with one finger while you swipe with another. This will add another filter on top of your existing one.
7. Queue Up All Stories
Instagram Stories play one after the other. But in Snapchat, when the Stories from one account are done, you’re back to the Stories page. There’s a hidden trick to play all stories in a gapless manner.
On the Stories page, tap and hold on the Stories icon in the bottom (the one that looks like three circles). All the stories will be selected and the camera button will turn into a Play button. Tap on it to start playing all stories.
8. Zoom In on Videos
One-handed zoom is a game changer ?. Simply drag your? up and away from the capture button while recording! pic.twitter.com/oTbXLFc4zX
— Snapchat Support (@snapchatsupport) May 10, 2016
In Snapchat, you have to hold the shutter button to record video. What if you want to zoom as well? While holding the shutter button, swipe up to zoom in.
9. Double-Tap to Switch Between Cameras
To quickly switch between the front-facing and rear-facing cameras, all you have to do is double-tap anywhere in the empty part of the camera screen.
10. Fine Tune Privacy Settings
In Settings, you’ll find a Who Can… section. From here you’ll be able see and select who can contact you, view your story, or see you in quick add. You can restrict who can contact you to just your friends. For your stories, you can go a custom route and individually block people from viewing your story.
Bonus: Enable Travel Mode
From Settings, select Manage Preferences. From here you can turn on Travel Mode. This will reduce data usage.
Snapchat Policy: Swipe Everywhere, Tap Everything
The only real way to master Snapchat is to be fearless and swipe around the entire app. Try all the gestures: pinch to zoom, swipes, long press, all of it. You’ll find hidden gems.
How do you use Snapchat? What do you think of the app? Share with us in the comments below.