Snapchat is easy to learn and use, as long as you have someone around to show you the ropes.
You can take a photo or a video, then add a caption or a doodle, and send it to a friend (or add it to your story to broadcast with select friends). Your friends will be able to view your snap for up to 10 seconds, but then it'll disappear forever. They'll also only have access to your stories for 24 hours.
While this is all basic knowledge to the average Snapchatter, you'd be surprised to learn there are many ways to spice up your snaps and stories and overall Snapchat experience. We'll admit it: Snapchat isn't the most user friendly, because it has a tonne of buried features that you have to hunt down.
Sometimes you have to download additional apps in order to truly take advantage of what this fun messaging app has to offer. If you'd like to learn all about Snapchat's untapped potential, we've laid out a few tips and tricks.
But first... download Snapchat from the App Store or Google Play Store or ensure you have an up-to-date version.
Enable filters and more
When you open Snapchat, you will see the camera view straightaway, which actually serves as the main screen in Snapchat. Swipe down to view a screen that lets you find friends to add. While on this screen, tap the Settings icon (gear symbol) in the top-right corner to access secret features and hidden settings.
You'll then want to tap "Manage" under Additional services. While in this section, you can toggle different options. As of December 2015, you can enable filters (go here to learn more) and a travel mode that reduces mobile data usage.
Going back to filters for a moment, once you've created a snap, swipe your finger left or right on the snap draft to preview all the available filters. You may see geolocation filters, which are, you guessed it, based on your location. There are also filters for time, temperature, speed while traveling in a vehicle, and more.
Access more colours
Like we said, when you open Snapchat, you will see the camera view straightaway. You can snap a photo or video while on this screen using the camera button at the bottom, and then you can tap the Doodle icon (pencil symbol) in the top-right corner to access a colour picker in the form of a sliding rainbow bar.
Use your finger to select a colour, and then simply start drawing on your snap. If you want to access an additional colour palette, which many users are unaware about, including the colours white and black, drag your finger down from the slider, across the bottom, and back up. Pretty simple, right?
You can also drag your finger from the right or to the top left to access a bunch of other colours. The image above from mplatco - who makes snaps for accounts like GrubHub, NBCtheVoice, WaltDisneyWorld, etc - serves as an illustrated example on how to access more colours.
Add special text
This one is crazy easy. After you capture a snap, you will then see a Text icon (T symbol) appear in the corner. It allows you to overlay snaps with text and emoji. In order to magnify either, all you need to do is tap the "T" again.
Upload local photos
One of the most annoying parts about Snapchat is that all snaps and videos must be taken and sent in the moment. You don't have time to perfect lighting or get rid of blemishes with Photoshop.
It's all about real-time and the ephemeral. But third-party app developers feel your pain. So many of them have created apps that allow you to upload perfect photos from your device's camera roll. Upload'n'Roll, for instance, is free.
Another annoying part about Snapchat is that it tells your friends whenever you screenshot (aka save) their snap to your device. Luckily for you... there are - once again - several third-party apps available, such as SnapCrack for iOS, that'll allow you to save snaps from friends, and they'll never even know.
Edit display names
Sometimes friends have confusing display names on Snapchat that are hard to remember. No worries.
You can edit them to display whatever you want. From the camera view, swipe down to access the Contacts screen, then tap my friends, and find the friend. Tap on their name, then tap the settings icon, and select Edit Name. Voila!
Similarly, you can change how your name will appear to friends. Double tap on your name on the Contacts screen to access a quick menu for editing your name.
Set your Snapcode selfie
You can add an animated selfie to your profile that will be shown to other Snapchatters to make it easier for them to recognise you. To add a selfie, which is called a Snapcode in this instance, tap the Snapchat icon at the top of your camera view, then tap the larger Snapchat symbol, and the Snapcode Selfie screen will appear.
To capture your Snapcode selfie, tap the camera button. The camera will take five selfies to create an animation.
Want to know more?
Check out Pocket-lint's Snapchat guide for more tips and tricks, including details on how to use Snapchat to send money to friends, etc.