A Complete & Comprehesive Guide On How (& Why) Adults Should Use Snapchat

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Although I now consider myself a Snapchat pro, when I first downloaded it I was beyond confused. I think I downloaded and deleted it within 10 minutes. So I totes understand your pain, confusion and resistance. But in the past few months, my blogger friends and I have come to really LURVE this video sharing app. It’s the new way to send a message to your friends and to lurk all up and through people’s lives. Creepy, but isn’t that what social media is?!

But why should you enter the world of yet another social media application?

Snapchat isn’t about capturing the traditional Kodak moment. It’s about communicating with the full range of human emotion — not just what appears to be pretty or perfect. – Snapchat’s mission.

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And that’s exactly how YOU as a content creator needs to approach the idea of using Snapchat. It’s not Instagram, so there’s no need for those fancy pretty little filters or those perfectly curated angles. I mean, some of us are on the Snap (that’s slang) with our black satin caps on. Me included. #Gasps. For me, it’s the content spill over.

It’s the TMI secret thoughts I’d never write about on any blog. It’s the quick sneak peeks at my day that no one seems to care about on Instagram because…there it feels like bragging (funny how all of this works, huh!). If you’re transparent, it’s the mindless parts of your day that give your followers a true insight into your amazing personality. Or it can be the most boring experience we’ve ever been subjected to because you are still covering up the fact that you curse like a sailor or you’re ashamed to show us your raggedy black satin cap. Point is, just be yourself. That’s tip #1.

So here are the basics.

Download it, duh. Set up an account, duh! And then…add your friends, duh. Click around. I promise you will not break it. I’m not any more smarter than you are, I just went in and clicked on things.

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Like any social media platform, your experience will only be as amazing as the people you follow. Like, don’t be annoyed at Instagram and declare it a sucky app and announce that you’ve decided to break up with the Internet if you haven’t even taken the time to curate your feed (read: shade). And while it’s really nice to have people return the favor and follow you back, don’t be offended if they don’t. Follow your close friends because you know them and everything they do will be funny because you get the inside jokes. Add a few celebrities and bloggerlebrities and your day should be made. That’s tip #2.

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Remember to adjust your settings by clicking the little flower thingee on the top right hand side of your screen. There’s nothing private about the Snap but you can have a little control (and peace of mind) and give only your friends the ability to send you snaps directly. I’m not sure how enjoyable your experience will be if you allow Dante and them to be able to tell you the nasty things they want to do to you that involves ketchup…whenever they feel like it. #Gross! That’s tip #3.

(Note: This also means that you will only be able to send snaps to people who are following you back.)

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This is also where you can enable those cute geolocation filters we all use (how to: additional services > manage > turn on everything). That’s tip #4.

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One of those buttons you click on will lead you here. Here is where all the big content folks curate boring information that you could otherwise find somewhere else on the Internet. If you never discover the “Discover” page, trust me when I say that you are missing absolutely nothing. A bunch of fancy graphics loaded with text you probably read on Facebook hours ago.

Now you are ready to Snap!

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That big circle is what you will use to either take a picture (press once) or record a short video (press and hold until you are done recording). The top buttons are your flash, back to home and the camera control button. You can also use your volume buttons to take a picture or record a video.

The button to the right of that big circle takes you to your stories (aka your timeline).

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To view them you press and hold that person’s name. If you want to skip a story (because sometimes…they be boring), while pressing down on their story with one finger use another finger at the same time and tap to advance to the next story. Read that a few times for it to make sense.

(Note: Snapchat counts your stories in seconds. So that number in the top left hand corner of everyone’s story is the number of seconds you have yet to watch of someone’s story.)

The button to the left of the circle will take you to your personal snaps aka your messages.

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Snapchat12Be sure to have your headphones with you or be in a quiet place to watch your personal snaps. You have one time to watch your personal snaps (maybe two times if you have opted for the replays in your settings).

Literally, they are gone into the abyss of snaps!

Snapchat cheat sheet for my advanced users!

Snapchat cheat sheet for my advanced users!

So that’s all my tips and tricks. Here are a few do’s and don’ts!

It okay to:

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Do snap all day but only if your day is interesting. If you’re just sitting on your couch or walking down the street, please don’t bore us. Those snaps are cute and are great for filler content but shouldn’t represent your entire story.

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Do draw on your snaps. Doodling on your snap is one of the app’s most popular features. Here’s where you can get creative and create masterpieces of art. Well, not really but you can enhance your story with a little artwork. Quick tip, tap the letter “T” next to the pencil icon in the top-right corner of your snap draft. The characters and emojis you type will now be magnified.

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Do record your friends doing silly things, especially when they are unaware of it. These are probably the best snaps to send and receive. Snaps of your friends looking at the camera while doing something dumb can be entertaining, but not as entertaining as photos or videos of them that they don’t know are being taken.

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Do screenshot when appropriate. If you receive embarrassing photos from your friends, it’s almost your responsibility to make sure they get screenshot to be used for future blackmail, or just a random laugh.

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Do Rant. Just make it funny and relatable. We all get annoyed every moment of the day so it’s nice to know we are not alone.

It’s not okay to: 

Don’t snap an entire concert or anything else that’s not funny. I’m not watching it. No ones watching that. We’re just going to get annoying and unfollow you. Put your phone down and actually enjoy your surroundings. You paid to be where you are (or someone did); don’t let social media consume you. One or two short videos is fine, but don’t overdo it.

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Don’t take selfies. Unless you are a beauty blogger and you are showing us a new product, save it for the gram! Selfies are mostly unnecessary, unless you can offer a hilarious caption that will make it all worth it.

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Don’t film a video with your nostrils directly under in front of the lens (or any other unflattering position). Nothing about this is flattering or funny. It’s one thing to take a funny picture but I don’t want to be able to count the number of hairs on your face. Back up bruh!

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Don’t take pictures of your food. Save that for the gram also. Unless you record a funny video about the food you’re about to eat without me.

Don’t send your timeline stories to your friends if they don’t apply to your friendship. PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE don’t send a snap to someone just because you want them to watch it. This is like bullying! Whenever you send a personal snap, make sure it applies to your friendship and in some way enhances it at the moment.

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WOW, this was like a dissertation on Snapchat. Welp, it had to be said. Anyways! I’m sure there’s a few that I missed but I’ll share the rest on Snapchat. If you manage to get back on the Snap  follow me @GorgeousInGrey.

P.S. Also follow my friends otherwise known as #SnapchatQueens (KelaWalker, ECurvyNChic, Rhapsodani, ThisThatBeauty, StyleNBeautyDoc, DivasAndDorks, & PrettyGrlsGuide)

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7 Comments

  1. May 13, 2015 / 4:25 pm

    add me on the snapchat, i promise it will be a good time: ariel_cherie

  2. Shawness
    May 13, 2015 / 5:10 pm

    Gorgeous in Grey! I follow you on Snapchat and instagram but I cannot communicate with you on Snapchat. Help! 😉

    • May 13, 2015 / 5:20 pm

      What’s your snapchat name? You can only send personal messages to people who follow you back.

  3. May 13, 2015 / 5:15 pm

    This post is perfect! I just started out on Snapchat, it’s taken me about a month just to get even remotely close to getting the hang of it but I’m determined to become a snapping pro!

  4. May 14, 2015 / 7:45 am

    I’m totally guilty of the snapchat selfie 🙁

    Great post Ty!

  5. May 15, 2015 / 9:37 pm

    WOW! This is a very comprehensive guide. I did the exact same thing with the SnapChat app…downloaded it then deleted it. I am still undecided on whether I will download it again because I am not sure if I can [wo]man another social media account but this post makes it more appealing.

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