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Everything you need to know about Snapchat

How to survive in today's teen favorite app


If to hear about self-destructing messages you think of James Bond, I have bad news for you: you are old. At least according to Snapchat standards, the social messaging app most loved by teenagers and, probably, by your children (present or future).

Simple mail, which is widespread among children, does not mean that Snapchat is forbidden to those who have already reached the age of majority. Here then a quick and easy guide to understand what one of the most talked-about apps in recent years is and how it works.

What the heck Snapchat?It is not easy to give a precise definition, but simplifying we could say that Snapchat (available on iOS and Android) a cross between a social network and a messaging appUnlike other social networks, there are no timelines or profiles to customize, and all contents have an expiration date (from 1 second to 24 hours), after which they will no longer be visible.

Tell me about the Snap.If Facebook has posts and Twitter tweets, Snapchat has Snap. Clear no? One Snap a 10 second photograph or video that you can send to one or more friends. For each Snap you can set a timer from 1 to 10 seconds: once opened, and the time has expired, the Snap it will self-destruct and will no longer be visible to the recipient.


Wait: before you talked about deadlines of 24 hours!Okay, you got me. In addition to individual friends, a Snap can be added to your Story, a kind of personal feed of your content produced in the last 24 hours. A Snap inserted in the History will be visible an unlimited number of times for a whole day, thus making it less "evanescent" than the usual shots.

All clear. But how do I create a Snap?Every time you open the app, the first screen is that of the camera. Snapchat an app no frills, which focuses on immediacy and spontaneity: the central button at the bottom is used to take a photo (if pressed once) or shoot a video (if pressed for a long time, up to a maximum of 10 seconds). Double tap on the screen instead switches from the front to the rear camera, all formed strictly vertical. Yes, even for videos.


And to personalize my Snap?The possibilities are practically endless: you can swipe your finger left and right apply filters to the image, some of which depend on your geographic location. By tapping on the photo it will appear instead a text area where to add a few words of description. At the top right there are two additional tools: the one for use leemoji as stickers and a pen tool for draw by hand about photography.

Around I saw Snap with very special special effects: can I do it too?Sure. The effects you speak of are called Lenses: to apply one, before taking the photo you must keep your finger pressed on your face, until Snapchat recognizes its features. At that point, a list of Lens to choose from will appear at the bottom, a bit like what happens on the popular MSQRD app, just acquired by Facebook.

Snapchat LensSome lenses in action

I sent dirty photos to a friend, but then I regretted it: are the contents really safe once they are destroyed?In principle, yes, although no one can prevent a user from taking a screenshot of your Snap before it is gone. In that case, however, Snapchat will send you an alert, indicating who and when he scrapped the offending photo.

My extremely fragile ego and I need to feel continually gratified. Where are the likes?Another bad news for you: on Snapchat like, hearts, retweets, reactions and the like are non-existent. Which, if you think about it, in line with the philosophy of "don't think too much about it" on which the app is based.

What about the profile picture?Forget that too. The best that Snapchat will grant you a sort of "badge" to personalize with an animatedelfelfie. The result will be an image halfway between the Snapchat logo and a yellowish QR code: by scanning the camera, other users will be able to add you to their contacts in an almost instantaneous way. To create it, just scroll from top to bottom on the camera screen .

SnapchatHere's what the Snapchat badges look like

So do I have to prepare for waves of selfies, kittens, emojis and badly made drawings?More or less yes, but that will depend above all on your friends. By swiping right from the camera screen, you will be able to access the Discover section: here a series of newspapers, from Vox Media to IGN, from National Geographic to Mashable, post content designed specifically for Snapchat, with the possibility of accessing the complete articles on their respective sites.

What if I want to chat in peace, without Snap, timers and drawings?You can also do that: from the camera screen, scroll left to access the list of your contacts and select one to start the chat, complete with idiots sticker and meaningless. Not only that: with Snapchat you can also share photos, make a call using Internete even one video call, using the icons located above the keyboard. Easy, isn't it?


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