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app that it can be hard to keep up with how Snapchat really works, even if you’re a regular user. To make things easier for you and newbies, Pocket-lint has compiled this guide. By the end of it, you’ll know every facet of the app. And when the next update arrives, be sure to check back here.
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What is Snapchat?
Snapchat is a mobile app for Android and iOS devices. Colloquially, the app is often called Snap by its users.
Meanwhile, Snapchat’s developer is a public company also called Snap, confusingly. The company itself claims to be a camera company. (As such, it creates other products, including hardware, like Snapchat Spectacles.) Whichever you choose to call it, Snap is headed by co-founder Evan Spiegel.
One of the core concepts of the mobile app is that any picture, video, or message – aka snap – you send by default is made available to the receiver for only a short time before it becomes inaccessible. This temporary or ephemeral nature of the app was originally designed to encourage a more natural flow of interaction.
What’s the point of Snapchat?
Snapchat was initially focused on private, person-to-person photo sharing, but you can now use it for a range of asks, including sending videos, live video chatting, messaging, creating caricature-like Bitmoji avatars, and sharing a chronological “story” that’s broadcasted to all your followers. There’s even a designated “Discovery” area that showcases short-form content from major publishers like Buzzfeed. Snapchat even lets you store media in a private area.
Other features include the ability to add filters and AR-based lenses to snaps and show your live location on a world map. But the key thing to realise about Snapchat is it’s all about instant communication through your phone. Prior to Snapchat, social media was very desktop-based. For instance, you’d post statuses, tweets, photos, and you’d have a record of all those things online, so your friends could comment on them and you would all see them forever.
Snapchat changed the way we communicate online. With Snapchat, you can quickly send a photo of yourself with a rainbow-puking AR lens applied to a friend, and after they open it, it’ll disappear forever. Technically, they can screenshot it if they want, and reply with their own photo or video response, which they can also broadcast to their story for friends and followers to see. There are so many uses for this app. It’s hard not to see its value and why it’s unique.
What does all the lingo mean?
Many reports and studies have claimed that the bulk of Snapchat’s users are millennials and Gen-Zers.
As a result of those younger users, the app has yielded a number of different unique terms and names for its features, from “snaps” to “story”. If you’re confused by all this lingo, you should really read through the Glossary section of this Snapchat guide before you move on to how the app actually works.
Snapchatter: It’s not as common anymore, but it means a user of Snapchat app
Snap: When you take a photo or video, or receive a photo or video, it is known as a “snap”. So, when someone asks you to snap them, they are asking you to send them a photo or video through Snapchat, or even a message through the app’s chat function. The Snapchat app itself is also colloquially referred to as “Snap”, as is the app’s developer/public company.
Snapback: This term was more popular when Snapchat launched, but it’s faded since. Nevertheless, if you’ve heard it, just know that it simply means a reply to a snap. So, if you Snapback, you’re just replying to a private one-on-one snap that you’ve received.
Story: You can link snaps together and broadcast them as you capture them. They’ll appear to your followers as a “story” reel. They can tap through your story and watch every snap to experience your entire day. A reel can only be played back for 24 hours, after which, it disappears for good, though you can always save your entire story, or an individual snap from your story, to the Memory section – aka private storage – of your Snapchat to keep forever.
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