10 Ways to Get More Out of Snapchat

By: Rachel Handel

October 20, 2015

Whether you’re new to the photo-sharing app, or you’re already an avid Snapchat user, there are a multitude of tricks both old and new that you can use. What used to be just an app to share fleeting photos (or should I say, snaps) is now so much more. The problem is that these abilities aren’t always made obvious, so not everyone knows how to use them. Here’s a list of ten ways you can get more out of Snapchat!

1. Hidden colors (iPhone)

When you paint or change the color of your text, you’re not limited to the bright spectrum of colors displayed. Press on any color on that spectrum and then drag to the left to adjust the tint or shade of that color. You can also get white (drag left), black (left to white, then all the way down) and everything in between.

2. Transparent colors (Android)

Okay, I don’t have an Android, so this one is new to me. On Androids, you can not only pick any color you want, but you can make them transparent. Just press down on the rainbow bar until it comes up with the full color bar and select the transparent option.

3. Use two filters at once

This trick is nothing fresh for most Snapchat users, but if you’re new to the app, then you’ll find it useful. Just swipe left or right until you land on the first filter you want to use. Then, hold one finger down to “hold down” the first filter and swipe to choose your second. This works for ALL filters: color filters, time, temperature, geotags, everything!

4. Extra emojis

So you just took a picture. Notice the little icon at the top that looks like paper folded at the corner? I ignored this for weeks until I realized that this allows me to add as many emojis to my snap as my little heart desires. Gone are the days of taking up your text space with a string of emojis. Whether you only add one emoji or fill up your whole snap, the world is your oyster – or at least the screen is.  You can also rotate and resize them just like you do with big text. Personally, this is my favorite way to get creative with Snapchat, but it can get a little tedious.

5. Change emojis on your friends list

The emojis on your friends list can be a little confusing if you don’t know what they mean. I found myself looking up the meanings of them just to find new ones pop up days later. Make it easy: go to “Manage” in your settings (camera page > ghost icon > gear icon > “Manage”) and select “Friend Emojis.” Bam! Not only do they give you clear descriptions of what each emoji means, but you have the option of changing the emojis. So now your “Super BFF” can be a pizza emoji (because honestly, pizza is the only true friend anyway).

6. Live chat

Know when you’re in the chat screen with a friend and the camera turns blue? Have you actually tried using that? It allows you to live chat with that person. First of all, both you and your friend have to push the blue button. If not, they will be getting a live feed of you (which can be cool too), but you won’t get anything from them unless they participate. Second, when you’re in live chat, you can drag your self-view up or down to change cameras and then lock them (drag until you see a lock icon then release for hands-free chat).

7. Snapchat Faces

These are still fairly new. If you haven’t used them yourself, you may have seen them elsewhere. Snapchat recently acquired another app called Looksery to bring this feature to snappers everywhere. Go to your camera to take a selfie, but before doing so, press and hold the screen over your face. You’ll see the facial recognition grid appear, indicating that it’s registered your face shape. You may then scroll through the different faces (Snapchat changes them regularly). Go ahead and play around with them! They work both as pictures and as videos.


8. Switch cameras and zoom while recording a video

These can make your videos a lot more entertaining. To zoom, just press and drag up and down to zoom in and out while you’re recording. To flip cameras, just double tap your screen. That’s it!

9. Use photos already saved in your library

There are two ways to do this:  When you’re in a chat with someone, hit the yellow camera icon to take a picture. At the bottom right-hand corner, select the square that displays a photo from your library, then select which picture you want to use. The alternative is shown above. Just go into your photo library and use the share button to share in Snapchat. It's easy, but the catch is that you can't share this in your story or use filters. (Note: since this picture was a landscape shot, I rotated it first, then turned my phone sideways to do this snap. That way my followers can see the whole photo without it getting cropped.)

10. Follow The Art Institutes!

Want to get the most out of Snapchat? Go to the camera page > ghost icon > “Add Friends” > “Add by Username” and type in “art_institutes.”  You can also scan our snapcode pictured above. We will keep you updated on the latest Ai events and happenings. It’s never been easier to keep up with the Ai community!


The Art Institutes is a system of private, non-profit schools throughout the United States. Programs, credential levels, technology, and scheduling options vary by school and are subject to change. Administrative office: The Art Institutes, 615 McMichael Rd., Pittsburgh, PA 15205 © 2020 The Arts Institutes International LLC. All rights reserved. 

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By: Rachel Handel

October 20, 2015

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