Social Media

The 15 Newest Snapchat Features You Need To Know About

Briallyn Smith 14-04-2016

Few apps update quite as frequently or as dramatically as Snapchat. The app’s most recent update featured a major overhaul that offers brand new features, new filters, a new font and tons of confusion.


Snapchat’s biggest addition in this update was the inclusion of improved video and voice calling, a development that indicates just how serious Snapchat is about becoming an all-encompassing social media network on par with industry giants like Facebook and Google.


Snapchat’s updates are (as usual) pretty cool – but they’re also kind of hard to find and understand at first glance.

Whether you’re a Snapchat natural, new to the app, or just double checking to make sure you haven’t missed anything too exciting, we’ve rounded up the answers to fifteen of the most common questions being asked about Snapchat’s newest update. (If you’re completely unfamiliar with Snapchat, read a quick explanation of Snapchat What Your Teen Doesn't Want You To Know They Use Their Phone For It's no secret that social media use is rampant among teenagers – but what exactly are they doing when they're staring at their phone or computer all day? Read More and what it’s all about before we get into the details!)

1.What Changes Will I See at First Glance?

As soon as you get Snapchat’s update ( you’ll notice a few quick changes that are worth mentioning. Firstly, the font is different, which can always cause a bit of initial upset. You’ll also notice that when you write a message on your snap you can now write more than a single line (up to two lines and a few characters) – finally!

2.What’s New With Chat?

As I mentioned above, the biggest part of this update were the changes made to the chat features on Snapchat. Basically, the update features five buttons on the chat screen – from left to right: a photo button, a phone button, a snap button, a video button, and a sticker button.  The photo button allows you to send pictures from your phone’s library, the phone button allows you to make voice calls, the snap button (as you might expect) allows you to send a snap, the video button starts a video call with your contact, and the sticker button gives you the chance to reply using one of several hundred stickers.

3.How do I Make a Voice or Video Call on Snapchat?

The video above does a pretty great job of showing how exactly the new interface works – as long as both you and your friend have access to data or wifi, you’ll be able to chat through voice or video just like you would with any other video conferencing interface. Just press either the phone or video button, and you’re ready to go!

If you want to watch your friend’s video but don’t want them to see you, you can choose to “watch” their video call instead of answering it. You can also leave voice messages for people if they aren’t there when you call. It should also be noted that right now you can only video chat with one friend at a time.

4.Why does Snapchat Keep Switching Between Friends When I’m Watching Stories?

One of the new features that has been causing Snapchat users the most distress has been the new auto-advance feature while watching stories. Instead of returning to the story homepage after finishing a single friend’s story, Snapchat now moves you directly to the next person’s story on your list.

If you want to skip a story, just swipe and you’ll move on to your next friend. If you want to stop the autoplay, pull down and you’ll return to the main story screen.

5. What are Campus Stories on Snapchat?

Campus Stories are Live Stories (stories curated through submissions by people who are within a certain geographic area during a set period of time) that have been created for selected college campuses. You will only be able to see these feeds if you are currently on a college campus, or if you have been there within the last 24 hours.

Remember to protect your privacy if you’re participating in a campus story or any other public story! Snapchat has gotten some bad press for its security risks, but some of that concern is well-founded Snapchat Leaks: How To Avoid Being The Next Victim Snapchat has reached such a massive scale that it's now more important than ever for users to be mindful of security while using the self-destructing photo app. Read More . It’s better to be safe than sorry, so avoid using full names, showing people where you live, or displaying anything you wouldn’t want someone to screenshot!

6. How do I Keep a Snap Streak Going?


A Snap Streak is the number of consecutive days that you and a friend have been sending each other snaps. Snap Streaks can only be maintained by sending each other snaps – chats, video calls, or voice calls don’t count! If you feel like your Snap Streak has ended but you didn’t miss a day, Snapchat suggests that you contact their support team to try and find a solution.

7.What does the Hour Glass Emoji Mean on Snapchat?

We already have an article that explains what every Snapchat emoji means 12 Snapchat Features All Users Need to Learn Snapchat Streaks, Filters, and other must-know features can change your Snapchat game. Here's how to use the twelve best features. Read More , but you may have noticed an addition to the cryptic emojis that sometimes appear next to your friends’ names on Snapchat. The hourglass emoji means that your Snap Streak with a friend is about to expire, so you better get snapping (and fast!).

8. How do I Make My Own Snapchat Geofilter?

Snapchat Geofilters are images that can be applied to your snaps within a set geographic radius. Recently, Snapchat has opened up their Geofilter process so that you can create one for any event or area that you would like – as long as it follows their guidelines and you leave enough time for them to approve your image.

9. How do I change the emojis next to my friends’ names?

If you don’t like Snapchat’s set emojis for different “levels” of friends, you can actually change them to any emoji that you would like! Go to Settings>Additional Services>Manage>Friend Emojis and switch out that yellow heart for a piece of pizza, or the smirking face for a toothy grin.

You can also add emojis to the nickname of any of your friends by selecting their name on your friends list, hitting the gear icon, and then choosing “edit name”. From there you can make any modification to your friends’ usernames that you want (including emojis).

10. What does the Cake Emoji mean on Snapchat?

The cake emoji means that it’s your friend’s birthday – Snapchat is just giving you a reminder to wish them well on their special day!

11. How Can I do a Face Swap on Snapchat?

The Face Swap option on Snapchat has been taking the world by storm! It isn’t a special feature, but is just one of the lenses offered by Snapchat. To access lenses turn on your front facing camera, making sure that your full face is visible and centred on the screen. Then, press and hold on your face. A web will appear, and several circles (the different lens options) will appear at the bottom of your screen.  The Face Swap option will be one of the different lenses available for you to select (for now! See Question 13).

12. Do Snapchat Lenses Cost Money?

Not anymore! In a previous version of Snapchat, a few lenses were free while premium lenses cost a set amount. However, Snapchat has recently decided to reverse their decision to have paid lenses – all lenses are now available for free!

13. Why Can’t I Find My Favourite Snapchat Lens?

Unfortunately, free lenses are a little too good to be true. Snapchat now has different lenses available every few days. This is great for trying new things, but can be frustrating when you have the perfect opportunity for a face swap and no face swap lens available!

14. How do I Put a Selfie in My Snapchat Icon?


If you want a picture to appear in the middle of your Snapchat icon, go to your profile page (swipe down while on the camera screen) and tap the ghost icon.

The camera will turn on, and when you press the capture button Snapchat will take four photos of you that will then be turned into a GIF to be used as your icon across the app. These photos will be visible to anyone who knows your Snapchat username.

15. How Do I Reply to a Snapchat Story?

You can now reply to a Snapchat story directly! Just swipe up while viewing a snap from someone’s story, and type your message. It will be sent to the person, along with a small portion of the image (so that they know what you’re talking about).

Snapchat’s Constant Innovation


Snapchat is certainly never boring – the app has created a whole new style of social media that is slowly drawing in an ever-increasing number of users. Certainly, Snapchat is most popular amongst teenagers 7 Reasons Snapchat is a Teenager's Favourite Social Network The latest craze amongst the adults of the future is the secretive photo-sharing service Snapchat. Why do they love it? Read More , but Snapchat has also been used in the workplace 5 Reasons Snapchat Is Excellent for the Workforce With any business, communication is key. However, communication doesn't have to be all memos and emails - why not make it a little more interesting? Try using Snapchat for work! Read More and in many other settings as well. With all of the changes and innovations that Snapchat continues to make there’s no telling how far their reach will stretch!

Need more Snapchat tips? Here are 9 uncommon Snapchat tricks  9 Snapchat Tips & Tricks You Probably Don’t Know About Snapchat is a really powerful app, yet you’re probably still unaware of half of what it does. Most adults don’t realize Snapchat art, geofilters and captions are even a thing. Read More  that can definitely help you to become a Snapchat expert in no time.

Have any other questions about Snapchat’s update? Let me know in the comments, and I’ll do my best to hunt down the answer!

Image Credit: Teenage girl with a smartphone by George Dolgikh via Shutterstock, Anchiy via

Explore more about: Chat Client, Snapchat, Video Chat / Call.

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  1. Erica
    November 17, 2017 at 3:53 am

    If you send and receive a sticker, will it change your snap counter?

  2. Damien Stevenson
    April 27, 2017 at 5:08 pm

    Great Article!. Thank you for all the informations about the snapchats. I'v tried Highly recommended.

  3. Chrissy Tettersell
    March 9, 2017 at 3:33 am

    No we know all about the streak. Our longest was in the 80s . He means a counter that says how many times he's messaged me in a day. Its just sometimes he tells fibs to get out of an argument lol.

  4. Chrissy Tettersell
    March 4, 2017 at 10:11 pm

    Is there a way to track how many snaps iv sent to a particular person ... someone told me there is a snap counter but iv never managed to find it

    • Briallyn Smith
      March 9, 2017 at 3:05 am

      Hi Chrissy - they might be talking about your Snapchat "score" - which you can find underneath your profile photo. However, this isn't necessarily an exact count of your number of snaps sent – it's calculated using a secret algorithm. Sorry I can't be more helpful!

      • Chrissy Tettersell
        March 9, 2017 at 3:08 am

        It's just that a friend said there is a counter that tell's you how many snaps you send to each person but iv never found it. I was wondering if it's an iPhone thing or if they r were lieing to me. I know it's not the score

        • Briallyn Smith
          March 9, 2017 at 3:29 am

          Hmmm - I have an iPhone, and I don't believe I've seen this before. Would she be referring to the streak you can get counting the number of days you send snaps to each other? You might want to ask her to show you sometime - it's also possible she's using a third-party app to do this