Snapchat is a video messaging application that allows users to take photos, record videos, add text and drawings and send them to a list of recipients. These are known as “Snaps.” The viewing time for these is limited to about 10 seconds.
People tend to use this app to share a wide range of pictures. Until recently the recipient had to keep a finger on their device’s touchscreen in order to view the message. If you let go the message would disappear. Snapchat users could keep photos by taking a screenshot but it could be difficult as contact had to be maintained with the device while doing so.
A recent update rolled out for both iOS and Android no longer requires you to hold a finger down to view snaps and stories. Snapchat has also added two new ways to add friends. The first is an “add nearby” feature allowing you to add people who are nearby. There is also an option in the Add Friends menu, called “Add Nearby” which generates a list of everyone in the vicinity who in that menu. Adding friends is done by simply tapping their username inside this menu.
One of the best things about Snapchat is being able to text chat with friends with a tap and a swipe. They don’t instantly disappear after you send them but they do vanish once you leave the conversation or close the app.
You can also video chat using Snapchat. Both you and the person you want to chat with have to be in the app and viewing your conversation page. When the little yellow button at the bottom of the conversation page turns blue, tap and hold it down to start the chat. Your contact will see your video stream full screen.
If they want to share the feed, they need to tap and hold the blue button also. If both people are sharing the video your view will show up as a bubble on the screen which you can move around. You can also toggle between the front facing and back facing cameras. It sounds a little confusing but once you get the hang of it, you will find it faster than using Skype or Hangouts.
Along with the new text and video chatting features, you can still send photo and video recording snaps to your friends, just like before. When you are on the camera page, you can either tap the shutter button once for a picture or hold it down to shoot a video. You can also import photos from your Gallery app (Android) or Photos app (IOS). When you are done shooting you can add a text overlay, draw on the photo or video or add a photo filter by swiping left.
Snapchat is a big hit with the twenty and thirty year olds but it’s simple enough for any rookie to use. If you haven’t tried it yet, you should.
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