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Guide: How to use Snapchat for beginners

Everything you need to know if you are joining the Snapchat platform.


Are you on every other social media platform but Snapchat? Did you decide that it’s now time to join the app? According to Snapchat Demographic Stats by published on the 1st May 2022, Snapchat has more than 293 million daily active users around the globe. If you thought about joining for your influencer profile or for your business, then now is the best time to do so.

We give a full breakdown of everything you need to know about Snapchat from what it is and how to create a Snap, to saving Snaps and trending stories.

What is Snapchat?

To put it simply, Snapchat is a social media platform to talk to each other. Adults are more likely to use Facebook to communicate with one another, whereas, the younger generation is using Snapchat to give updates about their day through images and videos called ‘Snaps.’

How to download Snapchat on iPhone?

  1. Open the app store
  2. Type Snapchat in the search bar
  3. Click the iCloud to download – you may have to enter your Apple ID and password to continue
  4. After the download has finished, it will show up on your home screen

Creating a Snapchat Account

  1. Click on the app which is downloaded on your home screen
  2. Click Sign-up
  3. ‘Push turn on Notifications’ will appear – click OK
  4. Enter your name
  5. Enter your birthday
  6. Create Your Username – once you choose your username, you cannot change it so pick one you like
  7. Set password
  8. Add your mobile phone number for security reasons
  9. You’re in!

Find Friends

You can quickly find people on your Snapchat by seeing which of your contacts are on the app already. It will then ask “Snapchat” Would Like to Access Your Contacts, and you can choose ‘Don’t Allow or OK. If you click OK, a contact list will appear of who is on the app, and you can then add who you like to your profile.


Snapchat will then ask if it can access your camera, so click OK otherwise you will not be able to send pictures or videos which is the main reason you would have downloaded the app!

It will then ask to access your microphone so click ok so everyone can hear your video.

How to send a Snap

  1. Press the center button on your camera to take a picture or record a video
  2. Snap will ask to use your location – you can choose Allow or Don’t Allow. There are different reasons why Snapchat would want to access your location involving features and Snap Map which will talk about later in this article
  3.  When you take your Snap, you will see a lot of features on the right-hand side to edit text, gifs, draw or crop your image
  4. You can then click on the blue arrow at the bottom when you are ready to send
  5. A list will appear of who you want to send your Snap too

What are Snapchat Stories?

Your Snapchat Stories will allow you to take pictures and videos in the same way as above and instead of sending them to a friend, you can allow everyone to see them. Similarly, to Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Based on your location, you can also make it a public story and it will add onto the Snap Map which is a feature for everyone to view what stories are in that location.

What is the Snap Map?

Again, Snap Map is a map of where all of your friends are. It is a feature that you can switch off or on at any time.

How to see a Snap on your phone?

  1. Click on the app
  2. Swipe right on the camera screen
  3. You will find a friend request
  4. You can then view the story that has been sent to you

Once you click on the app on the screen, the story that someone has sent to you will disappear forever.

Security and Privacy

This is the reason why younger generations use the app as they don’t want the content to stay around for a long time. The post can easily be removed within seconds as the user is finished watching the Snap.

People can, however, save your Snaps or screenshot them and even do screen records so you have to be careful about what you are sending. All of your Snaps are also backed up into the Snapchat database. You will be notified if someone has screen recorded your Snap or if they have screenshot it as Snapchat is trying to create transparency on their app.

Swipes and Taps

Everything you do on the app includes swipes and taps so play around with the different functions and just see what you find.

How to use colour filters

Filters are one of the best things that are on Snapchat.

  1. Once you have taken a picture or video you can swipe left to right to pick the Snapchat basic filters that are available to change the colour of your Snap
  2. Swiping will also give you other filters like frames and text like ‘My first Snap’ frame

How to use face filters

  1. Center your face on the camera
  2. Hold down on your face
  3. At the bottom filters will appear
  4. You can swipe left to right and choose the filter that you want to take your picture with or create a video

How to see if your friend has viewed your Snap

  1. It will say on the chat if your friend is viewing the Snap
  2. It will also tell you if your friend is responding as it will say ‘typing’

You can also do phone calls and video calls when you are on chat

How to use the Snap Map

  1. Go to the main camera screen
  2. Swipe down on the screen
  3. It will show you where you are on the Snap Map
  4. You can also see where all of your friends are around the world

Viewing public stories

  1. Zoom into the map and you will see heat zones
  2. If you click on one of the heat zones you can see Snaps in that area

These Snaps have been taken and uploaded to be viewed by everyone around the world. They would not necessarily be your friend, but Snaps uploaded to be seen by the public.

NOTE: Snapchat will approve what goes on the public story so make sure you don’t upload anything inappropriate.

How to save a Snap

  1. Take a picture
  2. Hit the bottom left corner ‘Save’ button
  3. You can either save it to ‘Memories’ or ‘Memories & Camera Roll’

You don’t have to save every picture on Snapchat but if you did, then you have the option of saving it on the app or on your camera roll.

What is My Eyes Only?

My Eyes Only is a place that is password protected and where you can access posts using a password. If there are images that you want to show friends and family in your memory folder that you don’t want people to see, then this can easily be saved in your My Eyes Only folder.

  1. Choose a passcode to access My Eyes Only

To access it

  1. From Snap you just Swipe left twice
  2. When you’re off the page, it will automatically be locked

Trending stories

To get to trending stories:

  1. Swipe left
  2. You can see your friend’s stories and For You videos
  3. You can pick and choose the type of stories you want to see by clicking on the 3 dots in the top right corner and picking your favorite categories
  4. You can also subscribe to stories that you like by hitting the subscribe button when on the video or swipe up and see more seasons of video by creators and influencers

There are more features to use on the Snapchat app, but this is the basic formula to practice on Snapchat that will help you start your account.

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