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How to Use Snapchat Like a Pro

Up your Snapchat game in just minutes.

If you’re having major fomo (n. fear of missing out) not being able to keep up with your friends (or, ahem, kids) who are swapping faces or posting selfies as puppies, we’ve got six tips that will turn you into an overnight Snapchat sensation. Let’s start with the basics!

Adding Your Friends

What’s the fun in being on Snapchat if you don’t have any friends to share it with? Swipe down while in the main screen and you’ll notice your Snapcode. Directly under your Snapcode, you can see friends who have added you, or you can add friends by their username. Also use the “my friends” tab to search through your contacts and add friends that way.

Another cool feature? Point your camera at a friend’s Snapcode and tap (don’t take a photo), but simply tap. It should automatically recognize and add your friend’s account.

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How to Take Photos

Assuming you’ve already downloaded the app, open and point the camera toward your subject. Simply tap the giant circle button and you’ve captured your first snap!

Pro Tip: Hold the button to take video. But do it quickly! Videos and snaps can be no longer than 10 seconds.

Editing 101

Now that you’ve mastered the art of taking photo and video on Snapchat, it’s time to jazz things up!

Tap the giant T in the upper right-hand corner of your screen to add text to your photo. Once you’ve written a message, tap the T again to increase the size of the text. Pinch with your fingers to shrink the text or complete the opposite motion to enlarge.

Directly below the text option is the pen tool. Unlock the ability to doodle on your photo by tapping once.

If you’re really feeling fancy, add stickers to your photo by tapping the button under the pen.


Unlock color filters, geofilters and the like by swiping left or right on your photo. Want to add more than one filter to a photo? Once you’ve landed on a filter that you like, hold your finger on the filtered photo and swipe left or right to add a new layer.

Dying to know how everyone has those awesome face filters? It’s easier thank you think!

First, flip the camera to selfie mode by double tapping the screen. Once the camera is facing you, hold your finger on your face.

Within seconds, face filter options, like the flower crown and puppy, should appear at the bottom of your screen. Take a photo or video as you normally would!

Saving Your Snaps

Don’t let your masterpiece go to waste! Before you do anything (like adding a snap to your story or sending it to your friends), save it to your memories and your camera roll! This will allow you to see your snaps beyond their expiration date.

Snaps will only be viewable in your story for 24 hours.

Viewing Snaps

While in the main screen swipe right to see recent snaps or chats from your friends. If there’s a red or purple box next to their name, that means you have an unopened snap! Tap to reveal.

You might also notice the teal blue chat icon illuminated from time to time. To open your friend’s message, swipe right!

Want to send a message? Tape the chat icon in the upper right hand corner to start a message!

To view snaps that you’ve added to your own story, swipe right out of the main screen. You should notice a little icon that says “my story”. One simple tap will unfold all the snaps in your story.

After these simple tips, you’re sure to become a Snapchat pro!

Happy Snapping!