How to Use Snapchat: A Guide for Beginners

Did you know that the United States of America has the most Snapchat users of any country in the world? There are over 100 million Snapchat users in the United States alone. Snapchat is one of the most popular social media apps in use today and with good reason. Using Snapchat is a great and fun way to stay in touch with your closest friends and family members.

But how do you learn how to use Snapchat? And what are the benefits of Snapchat? If you’re interested in downloading Snapchat and giving it a try then you’ve come to the right place to learn the best Snapchat tips.

Continue reading to learn all about Snapchat for beginners and how to get the most out of your Snapchat experience.

Table of Contents

What Is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a social media app that first debuted in 2011 as a way to send pictures and videos to your friends. These pictures and videos would then automatically disappear 10 seconds after your friends viewed them.

Snapchat has grown massively since 2011 and has become a true social media app rather than a messaging platform. It is still possible to use Snapchat to send pictures and videos like it was created for, but now you can share stories with all of your followers, instant message your friends, and even follow the steps of your favorite celebrities and athletes.

There is even the ability to follow current events through the lens of Snapchat users that are there on the scene. This might seem confusing and overwhelming, but the good news is that you’re about to get a Snapchat for beginners breakdown.

How To Use Snapchat

There are a number of steps that you’ll need to take in order to learn how to use Snapchat effectively. Some steps are quicker and easier than others, like downloading Snapchat and making an account. Here is a breakdown of how to use Snapchat.

Download Snapchat and Create An Account

You’ll want to start by searching for the Snapchat app in either the App Store or Google Play Store depending on which type of phone you use. From there, begin downloading Snapchat since it is a free app. You can also download Snapchat onto your Macbook. For more info, visit

Once the download is completed, you’ll open the app and be prompted to either sign in to an existing account or create a new account. You’ll need to enter your name, birthday, and then create a username for Snapchat. From there you’ll go about setting your password for your account.

Once you’ve set up your account you’ll want to begin the process of finding and adding friends that already have Snapchat accounts. One option is to share your contact list from your phone with the Snapchat app for easy adding. There are also other options for adding people like manually searching for their usernames.

Sending Snaps and Sharing Stories

The main purpose of the app began with the ability to quickly send pictures and videos to friends. The home screen of the app is actually a camera so that when you open it you’re ready to go. Once you send a snap to a friend, you’ll see that it has been delivered as well as when it’s been viewed.

It is important to note that your friends can screenshot the snaps that you send them. If this occurs, you’ll receive a notification that your snap has been screenshotted by the friend.

Stories work in a similar manner. The difference is that when you share a story it is posted where all of your friends and followers can see it. These stories stay posted and available for 24 hours before they disappear.

Filters, Tools, and Lenses

Once you capture a video or a picture you’ll have the ability to edit it. Snapchat provides a number of tools for you to edit your snap. The list of tools is located on the top right part of your screen. Some of these tools are focused on adding text to your snaps while others help you post the area from which you took the snap.

There are also filters that will change the appearance of the snap picture or video. Some other tools are the Doodle tool, the Stickers tool, the Scissors tool, and the Timer tool.

If you don’t like how your snap turned out, there is an “X” in the top left portion of your screen that will allow you to cancel the snap. You can also save a snap that you captured to your phone or Macbook’s camera roll. To do this, click the “Save” button on the bottom left part of your screen.

There are also lenses that add special effects to your snaps for more humor and creativity. You can scroll through the current lenses to find your new favorites.

Adding Friends

In addition to syncing your contacts with Snapchat, you can add friends through their Snapcode, which is a unique barcode that routes you directly to someone’s Snapchat account.

There is also a Quick Add option that will find people that you might know. You can go through the list and add anyone that you know to your friend list on Snapchat.

Other Screens of Snapchat

There are a number of other screens within Snapchat that you should explore. One of the most popular is the Discovery screen. IT allows you to view the stories of all of your friends as well as stories from other people on Snapchat.

There are also Memories on Snapchat. These are pictures or videos that you captured on Snapchat that you previously saved to your camera roll. You’ve also got a Friends screen that will show you all of your friends on the app as well as their Bitmoji/avatar.

There are two other screens on Snapchat to know about. One is the Snap Map. If you have Snapchat friends that share their location, the Snap Map will show you where they are in the world at any given moment. This is especially cool if you have a lot of international friends.

The last screen is your profile screen. This screen allows you to edit your Bitmoji/avatar, change your account settings, add friends, and view the story that you posted.

Now You Know How To Use Snapchat

Learning how to use Snapchat is essential for anyone that wants to keep in touch with friends and family while sharing moments of their life. It is easy and fun to use once you’ve got it downloaded, and by syncing your contacts adding your friends is a breeze.

It is also a great way to keep up with what is going on across the world, as well as to see where your friends are. For more helpful and informative articles on a wide range of topics, be sure to explore more of our website.