Snapchat is a relatively new app that has taken the world by storm through its easy doodling function and timed, thus urgent way of use. There still needs to be a lot more done to make it more intuitive and user-friendly but luckily, I have uncovered some cool features and tricks for you to try out so you can master snapchat.
Originally, snapchat was a more visual version to whatsapp, thus very private and for communication between friends and contact. Not much use for brands, then but with the feature of ‘my story’ you can now go public – after you check the option in your settings. This way, people can stumble upon you and become your friend as well.
There are three ways to add you if not through finding your story in their feed. They can either type in your exact username (there won’t be suggestions, so typos need to be avoided), connect your contact list or by snapping your QRCode with the ghost from your profile. My suggestion is to keep announcing new snaps and stories through your social media both by mentioning your name and sharing your ghost every now and then.
Each snap you take lasts 24hours from the moment you press publish. Even if you don’t have internet connection and it remains in your feed as a ‘failed snap’ (which can can still activate once you have internet), the life span stays the same. The circle next to you will show you how far advanced its ‘demise’ already is by becoming more and more blank. You can, however, enable the ‘replay’ function in the settings, which allows one replay of a single snap per day.
There are no hashtags or descriptions to your posts at all. You can’t even choose a profile picture. The circle next to your username is the oldest picture that is still online.
In the settings you can agree to use suggested filters and sometimes even text overlays, which you activate by swiping left or right after you have taken the snap. On top of Table Mountain, for instance, I was able to have a greeting image saying ‘Welcome to Cape Town’. You can disable it, too, if you don’t want the app to know your location. Apart from filters, you can have an overlay of the time, speed or temperature (double tap for Celsius or Fahrenheit).
Snaps are different from instagrams in the way that you can write and doodle on them right within the app. It gives it a much more personal touch. Sure, it’s limited but your creativity isn’t! Double tap the text icon to change the layout.
Wait, there is much more on colours! You can choose your colour on the right bar but did you know that you can touch it and then swipe left or hold to unlock even more colours (and even transparent ones in the android version)? Swipe to the top left for white and down for black.
With some phones the following trick will work: Put your finger on the screen and then a second one. A straight line will appear connecting the two points. Another fun thing is to use two filters at the same time, namely as a split screen. To do that you need to hold the filters in the middle of the screen when swiping and pressing ‘publish’. Unfortunately, you don’t have much control over the position of the filter transition.
You can use snapchat as a messaging tool as well. Swipe down and left from the main menu (with the ghost) and then you can create a new message with text or picture. The symbols will show you whether it is still unopened (filled out), opened (outlined) or answered (circle with an arrow).
Swiping down and right from the main menu you get to the overview of all your friends. The circles will show you fresh content and if you can’t find a friend, they probably haven’t shared anything in at least 24 hours. You can still find them when you scroll down to the alphabetical system.
Snaps will disappear (but be still saved on the main server or as a temp file on your phone – not as top-secret as people originally thought) but you can save each snap to your phone anyway (or put it on automatic). As long as it is still viewable, you can download (or delete) it by tapping once and selecting it. When you edit the snap, you can do that as well with the downward arrow at the bottom.
Here is a trick if you want to master snapchat and use it as a branding tool. Why not create snap stories, ask questions or invite people to send you snaps in turn? Your story doesn’t have to be a daily feed, it can be funny, unique or just crazy but it should try to engage and encourage people to do so. Tell them that it’s possible to send you a message or snap.
Snapchat allows you to use front-facing flash, which is good for selfies. You can also adjust the time span your snap will show by clicking the watch in the edit mode.
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And this is it of snapchat. It is the current trendy social app and we’ll see where it is headed from here. What do you think of its potential? Are you an avid user of snapchat?
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