I've written recently how Snapchat is the flavour of the month when it comes to social networks. Anybody and everybody is changing their avatar to their ‘snapcode’ and more and more brands are trying to drive their existing communities to the increasingly popular photo-sharing app.
One of the problems with the app is that it isn’t the most intuitive - getting used to it is notoriously tricky. There are also quite a few hidden features that you might not be aware of. That’s where this post comes in, because here are 10 of them…
1. Change the size, colour and orientation of your text
After you’ve taken your snap and gone into edit mode, you’ll see a ‘T’ up top right. When you tap this, a text editor appears. As you type you’ll see your text appear. Once you’ve finished typing, if you tap the ‘T’ again you’ll see the text gets bigger. Grab your two fingers and pinch the text and you’ll be able to make it bigger or smaller. You can also drag it around the snap as well as turn it so it appears the way you want it to.
2. Combine filters
After you take your snap, if you swipe to the right you’ll see there are some filters available. Some are Instagram-esque, while others have things such as the temperature and time. If you want to combine two, here’s how to do it:
i) Take a snap and swipe to the right
ii) Choose your filter
iii) Keep your finger on the screen and swipe again to choose your second filter
iv) Hey presto!
3. Zoom in on a video snap using one finger
You can zoom in when recording a video snap the traditional way by pinching the screen, similar to how you’d do it with a standard video. But here’s a handier way – when you’ve got your finger on the record button, push it up towards the middle of the screen. You will then begin to see the video zooms in.
4. Add a soundtrack to your snaps
A video posted by sixtwo digital (@sixtwodigital) on
Adding music to your snaps is surprisingly simple. Here’s all you have to do:
i) Launch a music-playing app on your phone such as Spotify
ii) Choose your tune and let it play
iii) Launch Snapchat
iv) Shoot your video snap
v) When you play it back, the song will be the soundtrack
5. Add and resize emojis and stickers to your snaps
After you take a snap, beside the ‘T’ for text you’ll see a post-it type icon. This is where you’ll get your emojis and stickers. Once you've chosen the one(s) you want to use, pinch it/them and move it/them. You'll see how your emoji gets as big or small as you want them.
You can see in this instance how I've combined this with the pencil function. You'll also notice that the drawing is in white - you'll find out how to do this in tip No. 8.
6. Find out who isn’t following you
From the camera screen (the first screen you see by default after launching the app), pull down and tap ‘my friends’ to see your contacts. When you tap on a contact, if you see a score under their name, that means they’ve followed you back.
If there’s no score though, it means they haven’t.
7. ‘Pin’ emojis to your subject
If you’re using emojis in video snaps, if they’re stationary they might not be in the right place for the entire snap – they’ll need to move in sync with the footage. To do this, after you’ve shot the snap, add an emoji to your desired position. Then keep your finger on it and the emoji will begin to move along with the subject.
8. Get black and white colours
When you add text to a snap and you tap the ‘T’ button to make it bigger and get the colour editing option to appear, you'll see it’s white by default. You’ll notice there’s no black or white (if you want to go back to it after choosing a different colour) there. But you can get both of these colours.
Tap the colour slider and, instead of keeping your finger within the range of colours to choose from, slide it to the top left and you’ll notice the colour go gradually lighter until it goes pure white. Similarly for black, slide your finger from the colours to the bottom left and you’ll notice the colour go gradually darker until it goes black. This works for the pencil/drawing function too.
9. Create custom filters
Emojis and stickers aren’t just good as emojis – they’re good for custom filters too. Take the rainbow emoji with the clouds, for instance. You could add it to a snap, then make it so big that only a small bit appears on the snap. This then essentially leaves you with a brand new filter, in this case a big, lone cloud.
10. Ensure your text fits neatly on one (or more) lines
If you, like me, are a bit pedantic when it comes to neatness, you’ll like this final tip… after you’ve entered your text and hit the ‘T’ button to make it bigger, start pinching the text to make it bigger/smaller. As you do you’ll notice not only does it increase/decrease in size, it wraps neatly to the edge too.
*Please note you can move text around the snap after you've hit 'Done', but you can only fix the alignment before hitting the word 'Done'.
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Written by Colm Hanratty
Colm is Founder and Managing Director of digital marketing agency Sixtwo Digital. After running Hostelworld.com’s content and social media for almost 11 years he felt it was time to branch out on his own, using all his experience to educate others in the travel space.