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.
A relatively new feature in Snapchat, having been first introduced in February 2018, is GIF support. These new animated stickers, straight from a partnership with Giphy, came to the app about a month after Instagram received GIF capabilities. If you've used Instagram's version, adding GIFs to snaps is even more intuitive. While they were late to the game, they're doing it better.
When Snapchat first hit it big, people just assumed it'd be used for seedy activities. And while that's not completely true, it's definitely true sometimes. For those moments when you need to take a sneaky screenshot that doesn't notify the sender, Android has plenty of ways to keep your cover from being blown — no root needed.
While Instagram users can attach links to images, they can only do so in stories, and only if they meet the special requirements that most users cannot obtain. Snapchat, on the other hand, lets anyone add a link, and it can be done in regular snaps and in your story. This feature has only been around since July 2017, so you may have missed it and not even realized it was a possibility.
This week's crop of Snapchat lenses is jam packed with pop culture, and spot-on examples at that. Post Malone and Famous Dex are super hot right now, and there's a ton of buzz surrounding Arrested Development's latest season.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Accompanying Snapchat's core features, like editing snaps and applying filters to them, are Bitmojis. Bitmojis 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. Now, Snapchat is rolling out a third style that will redefine the way you use Bitmojis.
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.
Snap Inc.'s dedication to augmented reality has expanded the world lenses in Snapchat to our own Bitmojis. While it's great to see our characters interacting with real environments, we haven't seen them connect to other Bitmoji in AR space. That all changes with "3D Friendmojis," a lens from Snapchat that lets you stage scenes between your Bitmoji and a friend's.
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.
In case you missed it, you don't have to chat one-on-one anymore in Snapchat. The company added group chats back in 2016, and they are increasingly gaining new features such as video and audio chats, so communicating Snapchat-style with all your friends at once is better than it's ever been.
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.
Along with the awesome early-2018 addition of Giphy GIFs in Snapchat, you can now share other people's Snapchat handles and tag them in a way that lets others reach those people easily — something you couldn't do before in the app.
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.