I avoided Snapchat for a long time. I didn’t have time for another social media platform in my over-crowded life. I still don’t. But curiosity and FOMO finally drove me to sign up. And it’s pretty awesome.
Remember when people posted random stuff on Facebook and no-one really cared? When photographs could be ugly and status updates never came with a side of politics, inspiration or selling? Remember when instagram was “instant”? Before flat-lays were a thing. Before all the beautifully curated photographs selected to match the colours of a feed. Well, all that old-fashioned randomness can be found over at Snapchat.
Viewing other people’s “stories” is a bit like a back-stage pass to every-one else’s life. The unedited version. And there are some people with pretty fabulous lives to follow. There are also people (like myself) who just post random snaps of their kids playing with filters, their coffees and the very rare night out. But those people are still awesome and you should definitely follow them (I swear).
It’s not the easiest platform to use. I’m a pretty tech savvy kind of girl but I had to google stuff to figure it out. I’m kind of embarrassed to admit that. Turns out that I could have just waited for my seven year old to get home from school as he knew exactly how to use it. Even more embarrassed to admit that.
So just in case you are looking to add Snapchat to your over-crowded life and you don’t have a seven year old handy, here are some tips:
- There is no such thing as uploading a profile pic. Setting snapchat up is pretty easy. But then you get to your profile pic, and you’ll try to upload that cute photo of you with your dog where you look quite a bit younger than you actually are. And you can’t. Snapchat is pretty committed to the instant. You have to take a little snappy video of yourself right then and there. So maybe wait until you have a little lippy on (or dark glasses). Whatever floats your boat.
- You send snaps (photos or short videos) to your story or directly to your friends. When you first sign up you probably won’t have any friends, so publish your snaps to your story. To access the story feature you’ll need to go to your account > settings > filters and turn them on. You’ll also want to makes sure that everyone can view your story in the “who can” bit. Your story hangs around for 24 hours, becoming a cumulative feed of what you have been up to during the day. Unless you, or someone else, chooses to download your snaps they are then lost forever after that time. If you send your snap directly to a friend, it will self destruct a few seconds after being viewed.
- You can’t upload existing photos/videos. Well you can, but you need to use a third-party app and it’s kind of beside the point. However, when you first start using it you’ll try really hard to upload stuff. You cannot. The point is to create your content within Snapchat. And you should because there is a lot of fun stuff in Snapchat that lets you do that.
- The lenses are awesome. The best part about Snapchat is the lenses. You access those by going to take a selfie and then holding your finger on your face (the face on your screen – not your actual face). The lenses will appear on the bottom of the screen and you swipe to apply them. If that makes no sense, the nearest kid will know exactly how to use them. They also come in different levels of terrifying for toddlers. The puppy dog is a hit, anything that distorts features is a bit concerning, swapping my face with my mother’s led to a 10 minute bout of crying. Lenses change each day. This may mean that your older kid will consider checking them as soon as they get up a necessary start to the morning.
- The filters are pretty good too. You access those after you take a shot by swiping left or right.
- You can add fun stuff to your snaps. You can add stickers, text and writing to your snaps (including video). You can resize them and rotate them using your fingers once you have selected the object. You can choose different colours for the text and if you want to go back to white, slide on over to the left hand side of the screen.
- You cannot see who everyone else is following. Figuring out who to friend on Snapchat is a bit like the riddle of the sphinx because, unlike other social media, you cannot see who other people are following. You need to go outside of Snapchat to figure out who is actually on Snapchat. A quick google of best accounts to follow will give you some great celebrity, blogger and fashion feeds. I am a bit in love with Kate Hudson. Closer to home, I’ve been enjoying mrseatsworld (BoyEatsWorld), thelifeofclare (Clare), themmsisters (Merries), stylingyou (Nikki Parkinson), carly.jacobs (Smaggle) and STEELEMyStyle. The first part is the username and what you need to add to find them.
- It’s not an engagement/likes competition. The only stat you can see with regards to your friends is how many snaps they have posted. The only stat you see of your own is how many views your snaps have received. Which makes it a bit more fun and quite refreshing. The pressure is off.
Still completely confused about Snapchat? This is a summary on why it’s so popular:
Do you snapchat?
Feel free to leave your username below and/or add any great accounts to follow.
You can see random snaps of my day at minxymummy.