What is Snapchat, how does it work, and its purpose? New Guide

Snapchat has evolved significantly in recent years. Because of the frequent updates, the app no longer looks or functions as it previously did.

Even if you’re a regular user of Snapchat, it can be difficult to keep up with how the program works because Snap, the company behind it, is so quick to make changes. Pocket-lint has put together this guide to make things easier for you and beginners. You’ll be familiar with every aspect of the app by the end. And be sure to come back here for more information when the next update comes out.

What is Snapchat?

Snap is an app available for both Android and iOS devices. Evan Spiegel, one of the company’s co-founders, is in charge. One of the app’s fundamental features is that any picture, video, or message you send is only exposed to the recipient for a limited time before being unreachable. The app, which was momentary or passing, originally aimed at facilitating the flow of interaction in a more natural way.

Snapchat is created by Snap, a publicly-traded company. It advertises itself as a camera manufacturer. As a result, it develops a variety of goods, including hardware, such as Snapchat Spectacles. Also known as Snap, Snapchat is a popular social media platform.

Purpose of Snapchat?

Snapchat was originally designed to be used for private, one-on-one photo sharing, but it can also be used for a variety of functions, including sending short movies, live video conferencing, Text, make cartoons like Bitmoji, and transmit all your followers with a chronological “narrative” There’s even a “Discovery” section where you can find short-form content from prominent publishers.

Snapchat even has a private storage section where you can keep your media. Other capabilities include the ability to apply filters and AR-based lenses to photos, as well as the option to view your current location on a world map. However, the most important thing to remember about Snapchat is that it is all about quick communication via your smartphone. Before Snapchat, social media was primarily desktop-based and focused on data collection.

For example, you could publish statuses, tweets, photos, and videos, and you’d have a permanent record of all of them online, so your friends could remark on them and you’d all be able to see them. That has all changed thanks to Snapchat. It altered the way we communicated on the internet. With Snapchat, you can rapidly share a snapshot of yourself with a rainbow-colored AR lens to a friend, and it will vanish when they open it.

They can technically screenshot it and respond with their photo or video, which they can then broadcast to their story for their friends and followers to see. You may use this app in a number of ways. It’s difficult not to recognize its worth and why it’s special.

READ: What Is Snapchat Spotlight, and How Does It Work?

Snapchat jargons

The majority of those users, according to several statistics and research, are millennials. Because of those younger users, the app offers a variety of unique titles and names for its functions, ranging from “snaps” to “story.” If you’re not sure what any of this jargon means, go over the Glossary part of our Snapchat guide before moving on to how the app works. The app’s a developer/public firm is referred to as “Snap” informally.


This term is no longer widely used, however, it refers to a Snapchat user.

Snap: A “snap” is when you shoot a photo or video, or when you receive a photo or video. When someone asks you to snap them, they’re asking you to send them a Snapchat photo or video, or even a message using the app’s chat feature. The Snapchat app, as well as the app, ‘s a developer/public firm, is both referred to as “Snap.”


This was a popular term when Snapchat first began, but it has since faded. If you’ve heard it, realize that it merely refers to a response to a snap. So when you Snapback, you’re simply responding to a private one-on-one snap you’ve received.


As you collect snaps, you can join them together and broadcast them. Your followers will see them as a “story” reel. They can swipe through your story and view every photo to get a complete picture of your day. A reel may only be viewed for 24 hours before it vanishes forever, though you can always save your entire story, or a single snap from your story to your Snapchat’s Memory section – called private storage – to save forever.


A Snapcode is a scannable code that makes it even easier to add new friends. For example, a buddy can simply point their Snapchat camera at your Snapcode, and you will be added without having to seek for their handle and touch the “Add” button manually. On the Profile screen, you may find your Snapcode, which is comparable to a QR code. Tap the ghost icon or your Bitmoji in the corner of the Camera screen to open it.


Have you ever noticed the number next to a friend’s Snapchat handle? It’s a score based on the number of snaps they’ve sent and received, the stories they’ve shared, and other factors. When you hold down on a friend’s name in your contact list, story feed, or chat area, you can see their score. And you can find it in the center of your Profile screen, under your Snapcode. The higher your score, the more likely you are to use Snapchat.


Some of your friends or individuals you follow on Snapchat may have different emojis next to their Snapchat names in the Chat area. That means they are on a Snapstreak with you. In other words, you and that friend or friends have snapped at each other (excluding chat messaging) for more than one day in a row. Go to Settings > Manage > Friend Emojis for a complete list of what each friend emoji means.

READ: How Do I Recover My Snapchat Streaks? 

Trophy case

If Snapchat notifies you of a new trophy you’ve earned, tapping the notification will take you to your trophy case, which houses all of your awards for Snapchat accomplishments. Trophies encourage user participation and content production, from submitting a snap with a filter to sending 50 pictures with five or more pen colors.


With the Lenses function, you can add augmented reality-based unique effects and sounds to your snaps, making them even more entertaining. To use lenses, open Snapchat and navigate to the Camera screen. Long-press on your face in the camera view, and lenses should appear in a row next to the capture button. Swipe through the lenses to find one you like, then hit the capture button to shoot a photo with it. The ‘rainbow puke’ and ‘dog with tongue’ are two popular lenses.

3D World Lenses

In contrast to the real-time lenses that mainly apply to your face – or a selfie – World Lenses influence your environment. They display next to Lenses on the same row, but only when your camera is facing outward. You might even see one with your Bitmoji avatar on it. For example, a recent one depicts our Bitmoji character sitting at a workstation preparing potions and chemicals. This animation is superimposed on the real environment, and it can be captured and shared with friends in a chat or followers on our story. Snapchat changes both Lenses and World Lenses regularly, though popular ones are always available.


By applying a colorful filter overlay, you may spice up your snap. After a snap, go left or right on the preview screen and add colored filters to your photo or video during the present time, local weather, speed overlays, or geofilters. You may press, hold and slide to add another filter after snapping your picture and applying your initial filter.

READ: Snapchat Slangs SCM, BRB And SMH Explained!


Like the filters, snaps may be decorated with a geofilter. In contrast to the filters, however, your locations or an event you attend are particular to geofilters. They urge other users to talk with friends and followers about their experiences. On-demand geo-filters are also available and may be developed and bought by individuals or smaller organizations just when a user reaches a certain place such as a wedding or graduation facility.


This is a Snapchat messaging tool that allows you to chat directly with other users. From left to right on the camera screen, you may reach the chat section. You can send Bitmoji stickers from here as well, make a live video call, transfer money, exchange photos, and more.

Memories: Snapchat has added many functions since its inception, enabling you to screenshot or store snapshots. Memories is the newest example. It provides you not only another means to save snapshots in the cloud of Snapchat, but also a section to view material stored locally on your smartphone. You may notice the option to stock a snap in your Memories, where you can organize, modify, search, lock, and share the paddle. After that, you can save it to your Memories.

READ: Snapchat Slangs Like SU, BTW And TBH Explained Here!


This part is designed for companies and publications, on the Camera’s right side, and may broadcast stories to everyone. You find branded content from Vice, Cosmopolitan, Daily Mail, ESPN, Tastemade, CNN, Buzzfeed, and more on Discover.

Snap Map

You may share your location with friends or supporters with us with this function. You may also scroll around an actual map to check the whereabouts of your pals. Naturally, you can opt to share your place. Go to Snap Map, then squeeze your fingers on the screen and the Snap Map should then be shown when you are zooming out of a shot. Bitmoji will reflect you and your pals.

Also READ: Meanings Of SMH, ROFL & OMFG on Snapchat


You will see AR lenses with your avatar and conversation stickers in a chat with your avatar if you have downloaded the Bitmoji app, had an avatar generated, and have a connection with your account to Snapchat. Also, you may see “friendmoji” stickers in a discussion between a friend and you. Bitmoji is meant to increase user interactions on Snapchat, as are other features. Keep in mind that until Snapchat purchased it some years ago, Bitmoji was its distinct platform.

What’s the work of Snapchat?

This app’s instructions are extremely challenging here. The Snapchat update is so frequently time-consuming to create a long step-by-step instruction handbook on how to use the app, because Snapchat may appear and perform entirely differently within a couple of days, so we will instead concentrate on popular core features and how they work on a general basis.

We urge you to visit Snapchat’s help page if you need additional information on how to move about the app or accomplish certain tasks.

You may also Read: What Does OML, AMA & IMHO Mean On Snapchat?

Screen camera

Press and hold down to record the video snap for a maximum of 10 seconds by clicking on the Capture Button. It will capture multiple snaps if you keep holding it.
You may utilize all types of creative tools after taking a picture. Tap the pencil tool, tap on the text instrument to add a title, tap the binding tool to add a sticker or bitmoji, etc. For example.

You’ll see a glimpse of anything the camera on your device can see when you open Snapchat. That’s the screen of the camera.

Now, what it looks like and what options it presents can change over time, but you will usually notice a capture button below, with buttons for accessing your Memory, Chat, and Stories screen. You can also notice choices on top, to access your profile page, to search, and even to switch on the flash or front-facing camera view. In any case, you may mostly capture snaps from this screen.

To accomplish this, press or hold down the photo or video button and you will see options for saving the camera roll to your tale, adding it to the narrative, or sending it to a friend or a group of friends. But please make careful to embellish a text, a doodle, a sticker, a link, etc. before sharing it with anyone. The time it may be seen from few seconds to limitless can even be adjusted.

Be aware that when you take a snap, you’ll notice lenses and lenses emerge, if you tap the Camera view. Swipe them and press one for it to be applied. The snap may be decorated from here and shared with others.

READ: Here’s How to Fix Camera Issues in Snapchat

Snap Map screen

Only the individuals you select can see your position, or even ghost mode may be activated when you wish to leave the grid.

Only when you open Snapchat will your location on the Snap Map be updated.
Pinch inwards as if to zoom in to view Snap Map when you launch Snapchat, faced with the camera screen. If your Bitmoji account is linked, then you will see your Bitmoji avatar on a live map. To enter the “ghost mode,” tap the Settings button, and it will become invisible. In any case, every user who has not activated ghost mode appears on your map so that in real-time you may view its actual position.

Memories screen

You may create new stories, modify and submit snapshots to Memories on the Memories screen and utilize intelligent search to search for previous snaps.
Just press the circle/cards under the “Capture” button from the Camera screen to open memories!

Next to the button, a card-like or circular icon should be seen. Tap on it in Snapchat, a zone where not only snapshots in Snapchat may be kept, but material stored locally on your smartphone can be accessed. It allows you to search for memories, exchange memories, set memories, etc. You also have access to your Profile on the Memories screen, take a snap, and navigate to the Chat and Story displays.

READ: How To Make A List On Snapchat For Streaks?

Chat screen

When you talk to someone, a blue point at the bottom of your chat display will be displayed, which signifies that the chat is present. If you have Bitmoji set up, instead your Bitmoji appears.

When you communicate in a group chat, your keyboard is covered by the name of Snapchatter in a bulb. This allows you to know that they are there. Tap a bubble name to communicate one-on-one with the Snapchatter. Or, just touch on it, to discover who read a chat.

Default chat deletion after the chat is left by you both.

Tap the Chat button in the corner, or swap from left to right to reach the Chat screen when you open Snapchat, and you are facing the camera screen. You can start a new chat, search for chats, look into all your current chats, go to your Profile display, pick a snap, switch fast to a story, and so on. Again, over time, these possibilities may alter.

Thus, it is a matter of sharing alone or with friends in a group or groups. You can start a talk or tap on a current thread, email a snap, transfer cash, start a live video chat and send a sticker for Bitmoji, etc. You may also press friends’ names at long distances to see their Snapcode, Snapstreak, and other settings on Snapchat. Press their chat thread, tap the hamburger (menu) button, or even block or delete a friend name, and you’ll discover the choices for controlling that connection.

READ: How to create a cameo selfie in snapchat


Keep up to speed with Discover about breaking stories! See the tales and shows of publishers. Using Discover: Turn left to open Discover on the Camera screen. Tap a story you are interested in

Go back and look at the last snap by tapping the right-hand side of the screen to make the next snap in this tale. You may also go down to get an account out.

Swipe on the Stories screen from right to left to Discover, a section that features sponsored stories from publications such as Daily Mail and MTV. You cannot check the kind of material you are serving, but by selecting a thumbnail to view the narrative of the publication and tapping the subscriber button, you may subscribe to specific publishers. Tap the thumbnail for your tale to view a story from a publication.

You may go through like other tales and, while you watch, you can touch any snap and then send it to a buddy or a group of friends. Both photographs and videos are available to you.

Take a Look: How To Get Shortcuts On Snapchat?


Press and tap the arrow on the bottom of the screen and add your snap to this story (and, for the first time, create a story tap ‘Add’ that will confirm that you wish to publish in your story). to post a snap in your story.

Go to the Discovery screen to see the tales of your friends.

Turn right to left to access Discoveries when you open Snapchat and are facing the camera screen. You may watch from there all the snapshots transmitted by your pals in a 24-hour roll. Recent updates from friends and publications are at the top, followed by articles from below.

You may also take a snap in a story, to send the individual a conversation. Anyway, you may see choices on the Discover page for adding tales, searching stories, finding friends, rapidly adding suggested contacts, entering profile and audience settings, snapping, and returning to chat. On this screen, Snapchat emphasizes Discover content as well.

READ: How to create a new private story on Snapchat?

Screen for search

Search is the quickest means of finding a buddy, a group in which you are, and more. Tap the loupe on the top of the screen to begin your search.

Type anything you’re seeking to locate or browse through friends and subjects recommended.

Tap the Search icon above while opening Snapchat and facing the camera screen. Then, by their name Snapchat, you may find other users. Checked users will see an emoji next to their name. The pop-up search page also recommends relevant people, shows top stories, and enables other users and their stories to be viewed using criteria such as music, sports, fashion, and animals.

Screen profile

There are several ways to add other Snapchatters. The quickest approach is by swiping the camera from the upper left corner of your screen or taping Bitmoji. You will find choices for finding and adding friends on your profile screen.

You may also generate a Snapcode from your Profile screen. Friends and suppliers may access a link by scanning it easily on Snapchat with a snap code.

You’ll see a fantastic button or Bitmoji character in the corner from most displays on Snapchat.

Tap it to your Snapcode, Snapstreak, and Options page, which will show your Trophy case and add you, your friends, and a method to add additional pals. From here you also can grab a new snap, access chat, and story, and even search Snapchat for more settings, although these options might change over time.

READ: This is How to Enable Dark Mode on Snapchat

Screen Settings

Change your confidentiality settings, location settings for Snap Map, birthdate settings, memory settings, snapcash settings, and more.

Tap the gear icon in your Profile screen corner.

If you see the gear icon on your Profile screen, tap it to access your settings for Snapchat Accounts, to link your Bitmoji account to your geofilter, to create or scan the Snapcode on-demand, to add two factors, to adjust your memories, shows or preferences for Shazam, to change your password, phone number, etc.

What are the icons of the chat?

You can notice another arrow or icon next to each chat thread when you look at your Chat screen. This means several things:

icons of snapchat and how does it work

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