There's nothing more fun than unlocking a hidden Snapchat filter or lens and beating everyone to that perfect first selfie. So when a new filter or lens comes out, like the current Uganda Knuckles one, it's always interesting to see how things will turn out.
To take group shots and better selfies on your iPhone, you can use your Apple Watch as a remote shutter for the Camera app—but what if you want to take a snapshot or video with a different app?
While it's easy enough to make yourself invisible on Snap Map, nothing is quite as private as not having a Snapchat account at all. Whether you're concerned about your privacy or you simply never signed up for the social media platform, Snapchat's web-based map is an easy way to check in on what's happening in your area and beyond.
In 2014, Snapchat introduced a special type of Filter called Geofilters. Geofilters only appear when you're in a specific location. For example, a Disney Land Geofilter will only appear if you're actually there. Rather, your phone needs to think that you're at Disney Land. By spoofing your GPS location, you can effectively travel all across the globe — at least in the eyes of Snapchat.
Bitmojis are not only a good way to personalize your Snapchat account, but also a really fun Snap addition to play around with. A bitmoji is basically like your little avatar, letting you design your mini-self whichever way that you desire.
When I'm with my friends on the weekend, we always end up Snapping shots of one another, adding in whatever stickers and lenses we've accumulated over the last week. But these filters are fleeting, so it's always a challenge to keep up with the best new ones. If you want to get a leg up on the competition, this is your one-stop-shop.
Snapchat is an app built on sending quick-to-disappear pictures to your friends and family. Sure, this is the primary function of the app, but sometimes users want longer-lasting Memories while interacting with Snapchat. While My Story allows snaps to stick around for 24 hours, they still disappear in time. This is where Memories come in handy.
Snapchat is a wonderful app that allows users to "talk with pictures." You can send other users pictures of what you have going on in your day-to-day life, and they can respond with what's happening in their own. It's a seamless way to have a conversation with someone using visuals — sometimes even faster than you would be able to with words.
Accompanying Snapchat's core features, like editing snaps and applying filters to them, is Bitmojis. These are small avatars that you create in your own likeness and use all throughout Snapchat. Formerly, there were two "styles" that you could pick from to make your Bitmoji: Bitstrips style and Bitmoji style. But Snapchat has a third style now that will redefine the way you use Bitmojis.
One of the most popular things to do on Snapchat is to earn a Snapstreak. This occurs when you and one other friend have sent snaps (not chatted) to each other within 24 hours for at least three consecutive days. One you've passed the three-day mark, then you and your friend will receive a fire emoji next to your names.
Snapchat doesn't prevent you from taking screenshots of snaps received, but the other user will get an alert either as a prominent push notification or a subtle note in the app. Snapchat has improved its screenshot detection abilities over the years, so it's much harder to circumvent its technology for truly undetected screenshots — but not impossible.
Snaps are a great way to share the best moments of your day. So, don't those moments deserve a sick soundtrack? If you wanted to add music to your snaps in the past, you'd need to find a way to play the tunes in the background before recording a snap. That's no longer the case since you can now add songs to your snaps directly in Snapchat itself.
Snap Inc. added stickers back in 2016 to its Snapchat app, and it has been building on that functionality ever since. Now, you can add Bitmojis and even GIFs from Giphy to your photos and videos. Even better, you can pin any of these stickers to background items or moving subjects when sharing videos. That means stickers aren't pinned to the screen itself but to a real-world location.
Say you're sending a snap to a friend at a restaurant, bar, store, what have you, but you're curious about the song that's playing in the background. You could leave the app to Shazam it, or you could ask screen-hogging Siri or Google Assistant what the track is, but why not just have Snapchat do the work for you? With its built-in scanner, you can discover a song without ever leaving the app.
Snapchat offers a rich experience for anyone looking to communicate with pictures in addition to (or instead of) words. There are many ways to share your snaps, from Memories to My Story. You can even draw all over your snaps, creating a unique experience that hinges on your own illustrations. Sometimes, though, you want to customize your snaps in a different way. In a more collage-y sort of way.
Snapchat recently updated their Android and iPhone apps with a new feature called Snap Map which lets you share your current location with other Snapchatters, as well as see their current locations. It may sound like an interesting new feature, but sharing your exact location with all of your Snapchat followers is dangerous, to say the least. Luckily, it's easy to turn this feature off.
In late-2017, Snapchat debuted Lens Studio, a way for anyone to create their own augmented reality "world lenses" that can be shared to anyone with a Snapchat account. If you don't mind spending money, you can even create custom face lenses and basic overlay filters for special events. And while making lenses and filters have gotten pretty easy, distributing them is another matter entirely.
Late last year, Snapchat introduced Cameos, deep fake-ish stickers animated from your own selfies. Now, Cameos have evolved as a sticker option to use in photos and videos captured with the app's camera.
Snapchat is in the midst of a massive redesign — one that not everyone loves. Still, it's clear that this is a decision fueled by money, and Snap Inc. believes this redesign will help attract more advertisers. Even so, Snapchat has a few more tricks up their sleeves to make a little extra dough. And while the average user couldn't care less about ads, they very easily could care about custom Filters and Lenses.
One word to sum up this batch of Snapchat lenses: complex. Lens creators like ApocTheLegend and Jinnie the Wew have been at it long enough to start making some really cool stuff, stretching the limit of what's possible using Lens Studio. I'm really looking forward to what they continue to pump out in the future.