Writers & Social Media

A Beginner’s Guide to Snapchat

a beginner's guide to snapchat

a beginner's guide to snapchatJust when you think you’ve got a handle on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest along comes another social media medium to mess with your head.

And Snapchat? That’s just for the yoof, right?

Absolutely not, do not let teenagers have all the fun.

Because actually, Snapchat is fun. Overwhelming at first, yes, but fun to use and to watch.

Snapchat is a platform where you can share photos and videos which are deleted after 24 hours.

I don’t see how, at this stage, it can add to my social media branding, as there is no link to your blog, twitter or any other accounts on there. But, it is doing something just for the fun of it. It’s adding a layer of interest into your life. Another perspective. And did I say it’s fun? And how can that be a bad thing?

I’ve only been on Snapchat for a few weeks, and I’m still learning, but I do have a handle on the basics thanks to my son and nephew. And I’m loving sharing my chicken story on there, especially Wincey sitting on her eggs.

I’ve been seeing a number of pleas on twitter asking how to set up snapchat and how to use it so I thought I’d show the basics.

Setting up

A Beginner's Guide to Snapchat

  • On your phone download the app.
  • Click on Sign Up. (1.)
  • Add your email address.
  • Create a password.
  • Pop in date of birth.
  • Pick a username (this cannot be changed)
  • Type in how your name will appear on snapchat. Enter a name people will know you by.
  • Pop in mobile number to show you’re a real person or skip that and it’ll give an alternative way of proving you’re not a computer.
  • Add location (if you want). This gives you access to certain Geofilters*. You can change this at any time.
  • It’ll now give you the camera and prompt you to take your first snap. Press the round button at the bottom once to take a photo or press and hold for a video. OR ignore this for the moment and press the white ghost at the centre at the top of the page.
  • This will take you through to a black page with a yellow dotted square (2.) Here you take your picture. Tap on the large white ghost and it’ll bring up the grey camera button (3.)
  • Warning: It’ll say ready, steady, go then take FIVE photographs in QUICK succession. You can have a lot fun with this!
  • (This yellow box with dots and your picture in it is your snapcode. People can add you by scanning this code.)
  • The first thing you might want to do is to stay on this page and tap the cog in the top right to get to your settings page (4.). Here you can change certain things including who can contact you (you might want to set this to ‘My Friends’ to avoid getting naked men pictures. Unless that’s your thing, obvs.) You can also set the ‘View My Story’ to everyone or just your friends.
  • Congratulations you have set up your account!

*Don’t worry about Geofilters for now

Using Snapchat

A Beginner's Guide to snapchat

  • Now you need to add friends. You can do this in a number of ways. Go back from the settings page to the black page with your picture (there’s an arrow at the top left to go back). Click on ‘Add Friends’.(5.)
  • You can add friends by username: I’m abookishbaker for example.
  • Or from your device’s address book.
  • a bookishbaker snapcodeOr by snapcode. Take a photograph with your phone of the person’s snapcode and then click on that photograph when it prompts you in snapchat. Snapchat will scan it and bring up the details of that person. Try it with my snapcode. Take a photograph of it with your normal phone camera – or screenshot it if you’re already on your phone. Then click back on snapchat, add friend, add by snapcode and choose my snapcode from the options there.
  • You can also add people who are nearby.
  • So, once you’ve added friends then what?
  • At the bottom of this black screen with yellow code there is an arrow. Swipe upwards. This takes you to the camera which is where you create your snaps.
  • Swipe to the right. This is your ‘Stories’ page (6.). Where you’ll see all the stories of the people you follow. This will probably be quite basic at the moment. Your own story will appear at the top once you’ve created one. Swipe to the right again and it’ll give lots of circles like Daily Mail, National Geographic, MTV or stories you can discover (7.).
  • Now swipe to the left. Go past your ‘Stories page’ continue past the camera until you get to the ‘Snapchat’ page (8.). This is where you’ll get notifications. People who have followed you, or messaged you.

How to Create a Story

A beginner's guide to snapchat

  • Go to the camera page. You can either have the camera facing you or pointing at something. I pointed the camera at my computer screen whilst typing this. (9.)
  • Press the camera button once for a photograph or press and hold for a short video.
  • Once you’ve taken your photo or film it will replay it for you.
  • You now have options to add text. In that top right corner (10.) click on the square for emojis, the T to add text, or the pencil to add a drawing of your own design.
  • At the bottom left you can choose to turn off sound (if a video) or how many seconds to show it for (if it’s a photograph – from 3-10 seconds), to save the snap to your phone and the option to add the snap to your story. The arrow at the bottom right also allows you to choose who to send it to. Click on that and you have the option to send it to ‘My Story’ or to an individual person. Click on My Story then click on the blue My Story at the bottom (11.). It has now added your snap.
  • And that, my friends, is that. If you click on the three dots next to where it says My Story you can see all your stories and how many people have viewed them (the number by the eye).

How to view people’s stories

  • Go to the ‘Stories’ page
  • Underneath recent updates it’ll show all the friends who’ve recently updated.
  • Click on their name and it’ll automatically start playing them.
  • To stop playing them swipe downwards. To skip to the next story just tap the screen.
  • Incidentally you don’t ‘like’ people’s snaps as on Instagram. They can tell you’ve viewed it and you can send them a comment by ‘chatting’ with them using the arrow at the bottom of their snap.

Ooh, one more thing…

How to add filters to your face

  • Swipe to the camera.
  • Click so the camera is facing you.
  • Press and hold on your face – on your phone that is (your nose is a good place to press)
  • A number of filters will come up at the bottom. Have fun.
  • (Personally I like the one that gives me flawless skin! (12.))
  • There is a bit more to snapchat, however, this is all you need to get started.

Most of all, have fun, experiment, if you’re shy try using your voice. After all, in 24 hours it’ll cease to exist.

Any questions, or if you think I’ve forgotten something, then do tweet me @abookishbaker. I’ll refer to my nephew then get back to you…

Feel free to pin…

A Beginner's Guide to Snapchat for lifestyle bloggers



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