Five top tips for making the most of Snapchat

Snapchat has taken the world by storm, so much so that Facebook is to introduce a disappearing message feature into its instant chat facility.  The premise behind Snapchat is simple yet compelling.

A downloadable mobile app, Snapchat allows users to send expiring photo messages and videos to each other, lasting no longer than ten seconds. Users can also create a ‘Snapchat story’, a sequence of images available to their approved friends for 24 hours. Founded in 2011, the ephemeral messaging service is already estimated to have over 100 million users worldwide.

There’s much more to the app then sending photos and videos and adding a witty caption. Here are five top tips for making the most out of Snapchat.

Add a theme to your videos

Since 2015, Snapchat users have been able to add humourous graphics to their videos. By holding the camera directly opposite your face and pressing the circular button on the bottom of the screen, you’ll bring up a list of options, ranging from turning red with rage with steam emanating from your nostrils to hyperbolic weeping with large tears rolling down your cheeks. You can even “throw up” rainbows and produce laser beams from your eyes!

Follow the news

By clicking on the icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your Snapchat screen, you’ll be able to see a variety of media outlets and their Snapchat stories, which are updated regularly.

Seeing the news headlines in a sequence of hard-hitting snapchats means you’ll get a quick overview of the day’s coverage; useful if you haven’t got the time to read a national newspaper in detail.

Follow your favourite bloggers and celebrities

Many popular bloggers and celebrities run Snapchat accounts aimed at the wider public, which means you can gain a unique insight into their lives and receive regular updates as to what they’re getting up to.

Enjoy live stories from across the globe

Another cool Snapchat feature involves users uploading their snapchats to ‘live stories’, which are essentially a collection of videos telling a story from a community perspective.

Access live stories by pressing the icon in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. You’ll then be presented with a variety of options – a sporting event, a concert, or even a tourist attraction – take your pick!

You can contribute to a live story by pressing the ‘send’ button and then selecting one of the stories. Remember, though – this means that anyone can view your post. You’ll also need to have location services enabled.

Remember messages can be saved

Think twice before sending a potentially embarrassing picture or video to one of your friends. Remember that users can save an image to their photo gallery if they wish. If this happens, you’ll receive a notification.

As long as you use it carefully, Snapchat is a great way to communicate with your friends, keep track of the day’s headlines and follow people’s individual stories from across the globe.