How to use Snapchat 2018: The Complete Beginners Guide

Here’s the ultimate Snapchat beginners guide that explains how to use Snapchat and what every new Snapchat user should know. In order to help you understand how Snapchat works and how you can make the most of this multimedia messaging app, this Snapchat guide will show you with the basics and it will also reveal the best Snapchat secrets, tips, and tricks that advanced users find helpful.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a multimedia messaging app that allows users to share “self-destructing” photos and videos with a list of recipients, which is controlled by the users themselves. Snapchat is not a true social media platform nor is it an instant messaging app. It is something that falls in-between these two sections and promotes the “mobile-first” culture.

How Snapchat works and how to use Snapchat

The multimedia messages people share through Snapchat are called “snaps.” A snap can either be a photo or a short video. Users can edit these multimedia messages using Snapchat filters, captions, text, special effects, and drawings.

use Snapchat

Before you learn about all the Snapchat features, here are the steps you should follow to get started.

How to use Snapchat – for beginners

Creating a Snapchat account

If you’re using a smartphone, you probably know how to download an app from an app store. If you’re using an Android phone or iOS device, you can download Snapchat from the respective app store. Snapchat supports both Android and iOS devices.

When your app is ready on your phone, launch the app and select Sign up option. Now enter your name, DOB, pick a username, set password and enter your mobile number to verify. If all the details are correct, your sign up process will be successful and you’ll be able to use Snapchat. If something goes wrong, check the error message, check the details again and register accordingly.

Connecting with friends

After successful authentication, you can allow Snapchat to read your contact list so that it can bring you a list of people who are already using Snapchat. There’s an Add Contact option available in the app so you can manually add people or search a user by typing their username.

Customizing the app preferences

Snapchat becomes complex sometimes, especially for the beginners. So before you explore any other feature on the app, first set your preferences properly. To do that, on your camera screen, click the profile icon which is available at the top left corner. Now hit the gear icon which will take you to settings, and from there you can make changes to your settings.

For example, you want to set a profile picture, you can do that from the settings menu or if you want to change the password, update contact information, customize notification settings or clear conversation history, you can do all that from settings.

Use Snapchat features

Just like every other mobile app, Snapchat also has its own set of catchy words which you will find in the app. You will get to see filters, lens, bitmoji, emoji, geofilter and so much more. At first, all these words may look complex to you, so here we are putting all that information for you so the next time when you launch the app and see those things again, you won’t feel out of place.


In Snapchat, a Filter decorates your snaps with different effects like bright, sepia, black & white, speed overlay, temperature overlay etc. Some video-specific filters are also available. These filters include slow speed, super speed, and reverse etc. Snapchat also releases some time-limited filters. To activate a filter, just swipe left after clicking a snap.


Geofilters are filters which are specific to a user’s location or the event they are attending. Snapchat also offers on-demand geofilters and these on-demand geofilters come with a price tag.


Lenses are some of the most popular Snapchat features. You may have seen photos of people on social media with animal ears on their head or distorted eyes in funny ways, Snapchat lenses are used for that kind of effects. Remember that filters you can use after you click a snap and lenses are used before clicking a snap.


Bitmoji allows Snapchat users to create personal emojis that look like their real face. These emojis can be used in messages to express feelings and emotions in more personalized ways. You will have to download a separate Bitmoji app to do that.


Story on Snapchat is a collection of your snaps that you can present in any way you want. For example, today is your birthday and you want to share all the memories in a story format, use this feature. You can use the Story feature for almost anything and keep in mind that a story usually expires in 24 hours.

Snap Map 

Snap Map allows you to view Snaps submitted by people from across the world. You can see the locations of your friends and share your locations with each other. It’s a great way to see what’s happening around you. It is also one of the most controversial Snapchat features.


Stickers are one more way Snapchat helps you communicate through images. Stickers are like emojis but you can customize their size on your snaps.


This gamified element on Snapchat is a reward system that encourages users to complete certain task combinations. It can be anything from sending snaps to screenshotting them. It’s easy to earn trophies on Snapchat.


Tap on the chat icon and you will see a list of friends. From there you can start a chat session with anyone using Snapchat. If you see a circle around their profile, it means that there’s a recent story which you can tap to view.

Creating your first snap

Now you know about almost all the major features to use Snapchat like a pro. The developers keep adding new features to the app, so make sure that you update to the latest version of Snapchat. This Snapchat beginners guide has covered almost all the things you need to know to create and share your first snap, so let’s do it now.

Launch Snapchat on your mobile phone and you will see that the camera is already open. If the app is not using the front camera by default, you can switch to the front camera by tapping the camera icon which is available at the top right corner. On its left side, you can see an icon that allows you to enable or disable the flashlight.

To click your first snap, tap on the circle at the bottom. Remember that short hold on the circle means you will take a photo and long hold means you will shoot a video. If you want to use a lens, just click on the lens icon which is at the right side of the circle. Now click your first snap and then you will be able to see the photo you just clicked. On the left side, there will be many options to edit your snap. Use each of them and complete the editing work and see how it looks. Here are more guides for snapchat user.

Now when you know how to use Snapchat and your first snap is also ready, it’s time to share it. Or if you don’t like the first one, just hit the back button on your phone and click some more.