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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
In this week of Snapchat lenses, there was a significant increase in ones that involve Marvel superheroes (the Infinity War effect), as well as ones with YouTubers. Classic sitcoms will also always do well, as evidenced by some of my previous roundups. Overall, lenses are doing well and only continuing to grow.
On April 3, 2018, Snapchat announced that the phone and video calling feature that's long been a feature of one-on-one calls would be coming to group chats. Well, late on Monday, April 17, the feature was finally pushed out to everyone for Snapchat groups on Android and iPhone.