We find the hidden features of Snapchat and explain things like what all those automatic emojis mean.
Step 1 of 10: Add someone with the Snapchat QR code
It’s never been easier to add someone on Snapchat with the QR code which is automatically in everyone’s app – and is totally individual to you.
To bring it up, simply tap the ghost icon at the top of the screen or swipe downwards when on the main camera screen. To add someone, you only have to point the Snapchat camera at one of these codes and all the hard work will be done in a jiffy.
Step 2 of 10: View and collect trophies
One of the latest editions to Snapchat is trophies – bit like achievements in computer games. In the same screen as the QR code you’ll notice a little trophy icon above it so tap this to view your trophies.
At the time of writing there are 16 to unlock and the more you use Snapchat the more you will unlock. We’ve only managed ‘Sent a video Snap’ and ‘Your Snapchat score hot 500!’ so we need to step things up a notch.
Step 3 of 10: Add text and draw
After you’ve taken a Snap (photo or video) you can add to it with a combination of text and drawing to liven things up.
Use the ‘T’ and pencil icons in the top right hand corner to do so. Tap the T for different styles of text and remember you can make individual words or letters different colours – long press on the palette to reveal more options.
Step 4 of 10: Add emojis
Next to the text and pencil icons is a square post-it-note style option and this is where you can add emojis.
Add as many as you like to your Snap, move them around and make them bigger or smaller by pinching on them. Remember there are a number of different sets available at the bottom of the screen – and scroll vertically through each list as there are more than just the ones you can see initially.
Step 5 of 10: Snapchat emoji meanings
One of the big confusions of Snapchat are the emoji symbols which get added next to your contacts automatically. Snapchat says they are a fun way to learn a little more about your friends, but what do they mean?
Well there’s actually an explanation screen in the menu so you can take a look. The ones we couldn’t fit on include the fire, gold star and baby icons which we’ve explained below.
Fire – Snapstreak! You’ve Snapped with this person several days in a row, miss a day and it will disappear.
Gold star – The mysterious gold star in Snapchat means that someone has replayed a Snap.
Baby – This icon means that the person is a new contact.
Step 6 of 10: Use filters
Filters are a simple way to change the look of your Snap – whether it’s a photo or a video.
Once you’re happy with what you’ve captured swipe horizontally (either direction) to browse through each filter which include things like sepia and black and white. There are also others which add things like your speed, the time you captured the Snap and the temperature
Step 7 of 10: Use selfie lenses
A new Snapchat feature is lenses – specifically for use with selfie Snaps.
These do all sorts of crazy things to your face and are a lot of fun. However, the feature is a little hidden so when you’re front facing camera is activated long press the screen where your face is and this will bring up the selfie lenses.
Scroll horizontally through the lenses and try them out – you’ll probably need to open your mouth or raise your eyebrows for them to work properly. Once you’re happy take a video or photo Snap. Beware though, the lenses are changing all the time so don’t hang about if there’s one you like.
Step 8 of 10: View stories, live and discover
Swipe left from the main camera screen of Snapchat and you’ll arrive at the panel which houses stories and much more.
Stories are people’s Snaps in chronological order which they’ve chosen to add to their story – rather than or as well as sending them directly to contacts. In this panel you can also view Snaps under Live and Discover.
Live is where you can see Snaps form events which are happening such as sports games. Discover is where you can get content from brands such as Sky, MTV, Food Network and National Geographic.
Step 9 of 10: Switch on extra features
If you can’t find certain features in Snapchat, such as Filters and the Front-Facing Flash, then they are probably just not switched on.
We’re not sure why but Snapchat doesn’t always have features switched on and available by default. It’s not hard to activate them though so head to the settings menu – click the cog wheel on the screen with your QR code – and head to ‘Manage’ under ‘Additional Services’.
Here you can switch the features you want or don’t want on and off. At the time of writing they include Filters, Front-Facing Flash and Travel Mode. The latter reduces Snapchat’s data usage to avoid a huge bill when you’re roaming.
Step 10 of 10: Join Snapchat Beta to test new features
In the settings menu, see previous slide for how to access, there’s an option to join Snapchat Beta.
You’ll find it under the ‘Advanced’ section of the menu and you can select it and choose ‘Count me in!’ to join the programme. This will, however, take you to a webpage with instructions on how to do it.
This is because it involves joining the Google+ Community to opt-in. You’ll then be able to download the latest Snapchat from the Play Store and test new features, while helping make the app stable. It may be buggy and the firm wants crash reports in return.