Snapchat is one of the social media success stories and is here to stay. It seems like the simple ideas really are the best with the ability to send photos and video that are only available for a few seconds a real hit. This is our complete guide to Snapchat including Face Swap, lenses, filters, geofilters and loads more. Also see: Snapchat phone rumours.

If you're in any doubt as to Snapchat's success then get your head round the fact is has more than 100 million daily users globally. Although it started with just photos, it now records 8 billion video views per day and has even launched its own smartglasses called Snapchat Spectacles.

How to use Snapchat

We're going to be talking about many of the latest features in this article so you'll need to make sure you have the latest version of the app first. Find out how to update Snapchat.

We'll look at how to do all kinds of things in Snapchat, sometimes with a brief overview with a link to a more in-depth and step by step guide.

How do I use Snapchat filters?

In similar fashion to Instagram, Snapchat has filters which you can add to your photos. However, they're not switched on by default so here's how to switch on filters in Snapchat.

Once you've taken a photo, simple swipe left or right and you'll see a message which says 'turn on filters'. Click the 'I want filters' button at the bottom of the screen. This will take you to the 'additional services' part of the settings menu where you can tick the filters box. Note that you'll need to enable location to be able to switch them on and for some to work properly.

How to use new Snapchat filters

How do I face swap in Snapchat?

One of the most popular filters on Snapchat is Face Swap, which, you guessed it, swaps faces.There's also a new face swap feature in Snapchat that introduces the ability to face swap with a photo from your phone's photo library.

You can find out exactly how to use Face Swap here.


Lenses are one of the most popular features of Snapchat - after the ability to send videos/photos that expire after 10 seconds, of course. It seems that Snapchat has also noticed this, with the photo-sharing giants offering the ability for its customers to buy (with real life money) lenses to be used at any time.

The firm has since scrapped the idea of selling Lenses, and to stop the feature becoming stagnated, has introduced a new system. Instead of offering the same range of lenses on a day-to-day basis, the selection is updated regularly, removing the oldest Snapchat lens and replacing it with a brand new one. Don't worry, though - if you did buy any lenses, these will still be permanently available to you.

One of the most confusing things to new Snapchat users is how to access these lenses.

Turn the camera so your face is on the phone's screen as if you were to take a selfie, then tap and hold on your face until a mesh appears then release. Snapchat will load several lenses to the side of the capture button, which you can slide through to access. 

Snapchat lenses

What's new in the redesigned Snapchat?

Following a successful 2016, Snapchat released an update (10.0) in January 2017 that overhauled the Snapchat UI, and introduced a handful of new features to the app. So, what's different?

Apart from the obvious changes in design on the Chat and Story pages, there's a new Search bar available on the Camera section of the app. Tap the Search bar to bring up a Quick Chat window that displays the people you've recently spoken to via Snapchat. Simply tap on the profile icon of the person you want to speak to, and you'll be taken to the relevant Snapchat chat.

Along with the Quick Chat menu, there's also New Friends, Quick Add and Contacts menus. The New Friends menu is self-explanatory, listing a handful of your recently-added friends, while the Quick Add menu suggests Snapchatters that you might know, and finally, Contacts displays Snapchat users via your smartphone's address book. 

Last but not least, there's a new feature similar to the clone tool on Photoshop. Once you've taken your Snap, simply tap the scissors in the top-right hand corner and outline the area you'd like to clone. Once the selection has been cloned, simply move it (and reshape it with two fingers like with other stickers) and let go to place it. This can be done as many times as you want! 

How do I screenshot on Snapchat without them knowing

With photos only being viewable for a maximum of 10 seconds, many users will take a screenshot to immortalise images – potentially to post them on other social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter.

Snapchat built in a system to notify users if a snap they sent got screenshotted, however, there's a way of doing it so they don't know. If you want to be sneaky, find out how to screenshot in Snapchat without them knowing here.

Snapchat Playlists

Snapchat has been updated again and now puts your friends first. Previously, Auto Advance made it difficult to choose which friend's story you wanted to watch, automatically playing one after the other.

Now you can select the friend whose story you want to watch, and even create playlists of various friends' stories. You just tap on the thumbnails next to your friends' names in the order you want to create your playlist, then press play at the bottom of the screen.

Snapchat Playlists

Delete Snapchat messages

Snapchat also has a messaging section of the app where you can type text and also send stickers. You might not want these to remain available so check out our guide on deleting messages in Snapchat.

How to make and submit geofilters

Geofilters are special filters that you only have access to in certain locations, so you might get a range of options if you're on a day out in London. But did you know you can make your own? See how to make and submit your own geofilter for Snapchat.

Use Snapchat on PC or laptop

Snapchat is a mobile app so you are no doubt using it on your smartphone or perhaps a tablet. However, you can use it on PC or laptop so find out how.

Add emoji to Snapchat video

If you're running the latest version of the Snapchat app you can add emoji stickers to your videos. These can be pinned to anything in the video, and will move with that thing. They're resizable, too.

To add emoji stickers to a Snapchat video just tap the add sticker icon and choose an emoji, then press and hold to pin on your Snapchat video. For full instructions on how to use Snapchat video emoji stickers click here.

Snapchat emoji video