For those of you who don’t know, we’ve put together a few tips on how to use the new Snapchat update, as well as how to navigate the app in general.

Okay, so starting with the big question first for those of you completely out of the loop – What is Snapchat?

Basically, it’s a social media messaging app – yes, another one, but this is different from Twitter, Facebook and the rest, because it’s specifically designed for mobile, and focuses on direct image messaging between friends and groups.

The other unusual thing is that the images and messages disappear a short while after they’re viewed, so everything is fresh and new, and there’s no past… indiscretions to worry about. Plus, there’s a lot of filters. A lot.


How to use Snapchat

Before you ask, Snapchat isn’t just for kids. Not at all – recent surveys suggest that adults are using the service these days even more than they use Instagram. So if you’re itchin’ to get onto it, but don’t know where to start, here’s a few basics.


Snaps, Stories and Snapstreaks

Okay, admittedly, there’s a lot of terms to get used to, but the big two are Snaps and Stories (We threw Snapstreaks in there to make the title look nicer).

Snaps are the pictures or videos that you send to your friends or groups. Once they’ve been seen by your friend, or by everyone in the group, they disappear and are gone forever.

Stories are pretty similar to the function on Instagram, in that they’re pictures or videos that you post to your main feed, and can be seen by any of your friends, until they disappear after 24 hours.

If you and a friend send each other a snap within 24 hours for three consecutive days, then you’ve got yourself a Snapstreak, complete with a little flame icon beside the number of days your streak’s been running for. It can get addictive.


Filters and lenses

Once you’ve taken your snap (this applies to video as well as pics), it’s time to slap on a filter. Because what’s a snap without a cool little filter on top, right?

We can feel you shaking your head in protest, but trust us. There’s a lot of filters in Snapchat, and it can get addictive, very quickly.

The only big difference between filters and lenses is that you can put on a lens before you’ve taken your snap. Ever seen videos of people with cute li’l doggy ears and noses? Or big cartoon eyes? Or garlands of flowers in their hair? Those are lenses. Now you can put a name to the phenomenon.


Memories, Chat, Snap Map, Discovery…

There are a lot more features to discover in Snapchat, but really the best way to find out is to download the app, get stuck in with the basics above, and learn as you go. It’s much more fun that way.


How to use the new Snapchat update

It’d be wrong of us to talk about Snapchat without mentioning the, uh, digital elephant in the room. They recently released an update to the app that included a pretty big redesign. That redesign has not been so popular, with many users complaining that they’ve made it hard to do even simple tasks like sending snaps.

While it’s not the most intuitive redesign we’ve ever seen, it’s still pretty simple once you get used to it. Here’s a couple of tips on properly figuring out how to use the latest Snapchat update.


How to see your friends’ stories

Alright, so if you’ve already used Snapchat before, there’s a couple of new things you need to do here.

First of all, instead of swiping left to go to Stories, now you swipe right to go to a new area, entitled Friends. Then, if one of your friends has a new story up, you’ll see a little preview bubble beside their name. Just tap on that, and you’ll see their story.

Plus, if any of your other friends have stories up, you’ll automatically move to them once you’re done watching the first one.


How to send a Snap

There’s a small update to this one, nothing too harsh. Basically, once you’ve taken your snap and gotten it ready, your Send To page has had a little bit of a makeover. Now, you’ll see the 8 people you interact with most, sitting front and centre. And in the top right corner, you’ve got all your options to add a new story.


If you’re brand new to Snapchat, don’t worry – you won’t even know what’s been changed. If you’re a Snapchat die-hard, though, it might be tempting to consider ways to go back to an earlier version. Our view? It’s best to just go along with it, and get used to the new functionality. According to Snapchat’s CEO, it’s not changing back any time soon. And if every other app update is anything to go by, we’ll all eventually have forgotten it was any other way.