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Social Media Blog

How to use Snapchat for beginners

4th September 2015

In this one-off how-to blog we explore Snapchat for beginners and how you can make your personal selfies the best they can be.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is an app used for keeping up to date with family and friends. You can update your ‘snapchat story’ with images and videos that can last from 1-10 seconds. Your friends can only see your story for 24 hours and then it disappears from their feed. Also, you can private message, share a live video feed and view ‘Snapchat stories’ from around the world (which are uploaded by snapchat).There are 30million active snapchat users monthly.  You can access the app via mobile phone, iPad and most tablets, and are able to download it from the App Store and Google play.

Things you can do on Snapchat:

  • Send photos/videos from 1-10 seconds long to specific users
  • View your friends Snapchat stories
  • Private message any of your friends
  • View Snapchat stories from specific places and events in the World (Snapchat runs this)
  • Access different editorial teams stories, with content such as news to humour to recipes

Private messaging:Sending a message

There are many functions on Snapchat, one of them being private messaging. There are two ways you can accomplish messaging one of your friends. If you have recently snapchatted the person you wish to message, their name will be in the send/receive section of the app. You can access the function by sliding to the left of their username on this section/page. Next, you type your message and press send (which is located in the bottom right hand corner of the messaging page. The second way to message someone is to press on the icon in the top left hand corner on the section you were on before (the send/receive). This allows you to search for the username of the person you want to contact. Sending the message is achieved the same as the first way.

Snapchat Stories: Snapchat stories

Snapchat story is an easy way to publicly share pictures that you have taken. This is a very popular function on Snapchat because it lets all your friends know what you have been doing, such as where you have been, who you’ve seen recently, etc. Once you’ve added a photo to your story, it will stay there for 24 hours, unless its deleted by you. You can also save your story to your camera roll and access who has seen or screen-shotted your story. Before adding a photo to your story, you can specify for how many seconds you want your photo to be available for. This ranges from 1 second – 10 seconds. However, your story can be viewed as many times as the viewer want, unless you delete the photo from your story. This is the same for your videos.


You can choose who can view your story in the Snapchat settings. You can choose between three different options; everyone (the public, even if you aren’t ‘friends’ on Snapchat), friends, which are the people that have added you and you have added back, or custom, which is where you can specify who you want to see your story and who you don’t.

How to send a Snapchat:

Sending a Snapchat is simple. When you click on the Snapchat application, it opens up onto a camera. To take a photo, click once on the white circle in the bottom middle of the screen. This will take a photo of whatever you had your phone camera pointed at. You can change the camera to front facing by clicking the small white button on the top right of the screen. You can turn on flash by clicking the white button on the top left of the screen. You can take a video by holding down the button that you use to take photos.

Editing your photo or video:

Once you have taken your photo or video, you can do multiple things to edit them. You can:

After taking a Snapchat picture you can