Since 2011, people have been instant messaging photos using this thing called Snapchat. Since then, it’s taken the world by storm.  In May 2014, according to Snapchat, the app’s users were sending 700 million photos and videos per day, while Snapchat Story content was being viewed 500 million times per day. The company has an estimated valuation of $10–$20 billion.

This past September, Snapchat made a huge update that has taken users by storm. Familiarize yourself with these important updates to take advantage of all the fun this app has to offer!

Snapchat Lenses

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know what the term “Selfie” means. Snapchat has joined the party adding new Selfie filters called “Lenses”. Here’s how it works:

  1. First of all, make sure you download the update from the App Store or Google Play. (The fool in me didn’t think to do this and sat for hours holding my finger on the screen)
  2. Once it’s open make sure the camera is switched to the front-facing camera so that you can see your face
  3. Press and hold the screen with you finger and then the options will pop up for you to choose from. You have the ability take both photos and videos with this new feature

This gif shows how it works.

Now I would tell you what lenses are available right now, but there’s a good chance by the time you read this the types of lenses will be completely different than the ones on my phone right now.  In fact, Snapchat announced that new lenses will be added almost daily so who knows what ideas they may come up with next! Below you’ll see some examples of some of the lenses available at this time (and yes, that is my face).

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Snapchat Trophies

 Another new feature Snapchat rolled out is called “Trophies”. Basically Trophies are like achievements (if you’ve ever played a video game on Xbox). You receive certain trophies for completing certain things. To access trophies; select the trophy icon in the picture below. For example, below you’ll see my trophies. A VHS tape for taking a snap video, and the 3 stars given for attaining a Snapchat score of 1000. Here is a list of all trophies that you can achieve, as a guide for you to start to racking up that trophy case!

 

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Snapchat Friend Emojis

Remember when Snapchat gave you the ability to look at who your friends are snapping, or spy on your girl or guy to see who their “best friends” were? Oh those were the times, providing laughs while simultaneously destroying relationships. Snapchat finally decided that was an invasion of privacy, so instead they released “Friend Emojis”. Friend Emojis give you the ability to see what kind of friends you are with your Snapchat friends. Obviously, the more you snap someone the better friends you become. Fortunately in this case these friend ratings are private to only the user. You probably have started to see these emojis by your friend’s name and had no idea what they meant. Well below is a complete guide to ease your worries!

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Image via Snapchat

Now you have all the Snapchat updates under your belt (for the time being), go out there and try them! Want to learn more about other social apps? Check out our article about What your Instagram filter says about your personality!

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