Guide to Snapchat: Filters, Stories, Spectacles, and more

If you can't keep up with the social media platforms of the moment, you're not alone -- ways to like, share and DM are popping up all over the place. Some thrive, some fail, and some are just silly (the Yo app comes to mind). One darling of the tech industry that has become the favorite app among teenagers is Snapchat. The app is available for both iOS and Android, and it's all about capturing little moments throughout the day that create the story of your life. And sharing it, of course.

Snapchat is pretty intuitive to young people and can take a bit of getting used to for everyone else. But don't worry, we're here with a getting-started guide. Once you learn how to use filters on Snapchat and send snaps to your friends, you'll be ready to use the popular app like a pro.

Starting With the Basics

Snapchat has made many improvements to its platform in a short amount of time, and it's now easier to navigate than ever. Once you log in, sending out your first snap is a breeze. Here are the major functions and how to use them:

• Find contacts: Use the search bar at the top of any screen to search for a friend's snap name and add them as a friend. If you don't know anyone's username, scroll to the bottom of the search screen to the "Friends" section. Scroll over to "Contacts" to see who in your phone's contact list is already on Snapchat.

• Send a private snap: Use the white chat box in the bottom left of the home screen to access private messages. When this box has a blue circle behind it -- you have a new message! Your private snaps are deleted after they're viewed.

• Create a story: On Twitter it's a timeline, on Facebook it's a feed, on Snapchat it's your story. When you make posts for your contacts to view, they get added to your story and stay up for 24 hours.

• View other stories: Want to view your friends' and favorite celebrities' stories? Tap the three dots on the bottom right of the home screen. Tap a name once to open the story. Pictures will advance automatically, or you can tap the right side of the screen to move to the next photo. Want to go back? Tap the left side of the screen to see a pic or video again.

• Save photos and videos: If you love that birthday video you just took, it doesn't have to disappear in a day. Tap the download icon, and it's saved to your phone's camera roll and the "Memories" section on Snapchat.

Make Your Selfies Pop With Lenses and Filters

OK, so you've navigated the app a bit and you're ready to up your snap game. One of the most fun ways to make your snaps stand out is by adding Snapchat filters and lenses. Those silly digital puppy dog ears your friends keep adding to their pics? That's a lens.

Adding lenses to your pictures is simple; just turn your camera to selfie mode (aka the front-facing camera) within the app and use your thumb to tap your face. Snapchat will detect your face (it's magic). You can also use lenses with your rear-facing camera (the one that faces outward) to take pics and apply lenses to your friends. Scroll through the available lenses along the bottom of the screen -- many of these change daily! Tap the big circle on the screen to snap the photo. You can also

Now, on to geofilters. Depending on where you're located, you may be able to add everything from city name filters to business filters. You can also add the time, a compass and other overlays. Learning how to use filters in Snapchat is easy -- just swipe up once you take a picture, then to the right to scroll through your filter options.

Take Photos Using Snapchat Shades

Want a first-person perspective snap? Grab a pair of Spectacles, which are sunglasses that let you take snaps. Just click the button on the side of the glasses, and you can capture photos or 10-second videos. The snaps automatically save to your "Memories" section in the app. You can keep them there or share them to your story! Even better, the company is working on a second version of Spectacles that are rumored to integrate augmented reality.

Make Your Own Filter

What's better than a Snapchat filter? Your own custom geofilter. Filters can say "Happy 21st Birthday, Eden," "Jane's Bachelorette 2017" or any other short message. You choose the colors, the font and the iconography. You also select the date for your unique filter to be available and the geofence (aka location) where you want it to be available within the app. Even better: You don't need to learn how to make Snapchat filters, because a professional can do it for you.

Whether you're looking for a new way to share moments of your life with loved ones and internet friends or you want your business to connect with new customers -- getting on board with Snapchat is a good move. Let us help you create and add your own Snapchat filters to the platform for your business or personal event. The more unique your snaps, the better!