Snapchat has updated to allow users to create shortcuts of their best friends’ Bitmoji and add them to their home screen.

These nifty shortcuts appear in a new Snapchat Widget that's rolling out. If you tap a shortcut, it will immediately open a text chat with that friend. Here's how the new feature works, including how to set it up.

Bitmoji allows you to create your own emoji that look like you. Snapchat bought Bitstrips, the startup behind Bitmoji, a couple years ago. The acquisition was worth a reported $100 million, but it was unclear at the time how the product would be integrated into Snapchat. Since then, Snapchat has begun letting users customise Bitmoji and send them each other.

First, download the Bitmoji app and link it with your Snapchat account (follow on-screen prompts). You'll need the latest versions of both apps installed. If you and a friend have set up Bitmoji in Snapchat, you’ll both see “friendmojis” (aka stickers) that include the two of you. You can send them in a chat or snap. Go here to learn more about how Bitmoji works in Snapchat.

Ever create a shortcut to a webpage on your mobile device? The Snapchat Widget works the same way. You can add a shortcut to a friend in your Snapchat Widget on the Today screen (iOS) or home screen (Android), depending on the device you use. The idea is that, if you constantly send someone chats or snaps in Snapchat, you can tap his or her shortcut to easily begin chatting with them.

Only best friends with Bitmoji will show up in the Snapchat Widget, so make sure that they have a Bitmoji account active and linked to Snapchat. Also, if you have an iOS device, the Snapchat Widget will only display on the Today screen, but if you have an Android, you can put it wherever you want on the home screen. Got it? Cool.

Now, follow these steps:

  • Swipe right from your home screen to bring up your Today view.
  • Scroll down to the bottom, and tap the Edit button.
  • Tap the + button next to the Snapchat Widget to add it to your Today view.
  • All your Best Friends with Bitmoji will automatically be placed in the widget.
  • Just tap a friend's Bitmoji shortcut to chat.
  • Press and hold on an empty space on your home screen.
  • Tap Widgets, then select the Snapchat Widget.
  • Chose whether to place just one friend or several.
  • Place the widget wherever you want.
  • Just tap a friend's Bitmoji shortcut to chat.

Best Friends are the friends you send snaps and chats to most frequently. You'll see Best Friends in the My Friends screen, and also in the Send To screen you see before sending a snap. Nobody but you can see your list of Best Friends, which is refreshed regularly.

Snapchat is updating now for all Android and iOS users, so expect the feature to appear soon.

Check out Snapchat's Help hub for more tips. Also, if you need more details on Snapchat, Pocket-lint has this guide:

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