How does Snapchat Work?

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This is where this app guide gets really tricky. Snapchat is updated so frequently that it is a waste of time to write an extensive step-by-step instruction manual on how to operate the app, as Snapchat could look and function completely differently in just a few days, so we’ll focus on what is popular. , key features and how they work in general, but more importantly, the main screens you will see when browsing Snapchat.

How does Snapchat Work?

If you need more details on how to get around the app or do specific things, we recommend visiting the Snapchat support center.

Camera screen

  • Tap the capture button to take a snapshot, or press and hold to record a video snapshot of up to 10 seconds in length. Holding it down will record a multiple snapshot.
  • After taking a photo, you can use all kinds of creative tools. For example, tap the pencil tool to draw everything, tap the text tool to add a title, tap the label tool to add a label or Bitmoji, etc.

From the moment you open Snapchat, you will see a view of whatever your device’s camera can see. This is the camera screen.

Now its appearance and the options it displays may change over time, but generally, you’ll see a capture button at the bottom, with buttons to access the Memories screen, Chat screen, and Stories screen. At the top, you can also see options to access your profile screen, search screen, and maybe even turn on the flash or switch the camera view to the front. Anyway, mainly, from this screen, you can take snapshots.

To do so, tap or hold the capture button, for a photo or video respectively, and then you will see options to save it to Memories / your camera roll, add it to your story, or send it to a friend or group of friends. But before you share it with someone, be sure to decorate the plugin with text, a doodle, a sticker, a link, etc. You can even adjust the viewing time from a few seconds to an unlimited number.

Also remember, when taking a photo, if you tap the camera view, you will see Lenses and World Lenses appear. Swipe through them and tap one to apply it. From there, you can decorate the plugin and share it with others.

Snap Map screen

  • Only the people you choose can see your location, or you can even activate ghost mode when you want to disconnect from the network.
  • Your location on the Snap map is only updated when you have Snapchat open.

When you open Snapchat and face the camera screen, pinch in as if to zoom in, to see the Snap Map. You will then see your Bitmoji avatar, if your Bitmoji account is linked, on a live map. Tap the Settings button if you want to enter “ghost mode” and become invisible. Either way, any user you follow who hasn’t enabled ghost mode will appear on the map so you can see their exact location in real-time.

Snapchat can also offer stories from users around the world so you can quickly tap and see what’s going on elsewhere, like a Father John Misty concert in Los Angeles.

Memories display

  • On the Memories screen, you can create new Stories, edit and send snapshots that you have saved in Memories, and use smart search to find old snapshots.
  • To open Memories, simply swipe up from the Camera screen or tap the circle/cards below the Capture button.

Near the capture button, you should see an icon that looks like a card or a circle. Tap it to access your Memories, an area on Snapchat where you can not only store snapshots on Snapchat, but also access locally stored media on your device. You can search for memories, share memories, bookmark memories, and more. On the Memories screen, you can also access your profile, take a snapshot, and go to the Chat and Stories screens.

Chat screen

  • When you are chatting one-on-one with someone, a blue dot will appear at the bottom of the chat screen, which means they are present in the chat. If they have Bitmoji set up, their Bitmoji will appear instead.
  • When you are chatting in a group chat, a Snapchatter’s name will light up within a bubble above their keyboard. This lets you know that they are present. Just tap on a name bubble to chat with that Snapchatter one on one. Or, to see who has read a chat, just tap on it.
  • Chats are deleted by default once you both leave the chat.

When you open Snapchat and face the camera screen, tap the Chat button in the corner or swipe from left to right to access the Chat screen. From there, you can start a new chat, search for chats, view all of your active chats, and even go to your profile screen, take a snapshot, quickly switch to stories, and more. Again, these options may change over time.

Read More: What does Pending mean on Snapchat?

So, the goal of this section is to share one on one or in a group with friends. You can start a conversation or tap an existing thread to send a message, send a snap, send cash, start a live video chat, send a Bitmoji sticker, and more. You can also long-press on your friends’ names to see their Snapcode, Snapstreak, and other options to interact with them on Snapchat. To edit a friend’s name, or even block or delete them, tap their conversation thread, then tap the hamburger icon (menu) and you will see the additional options to manage that friendship.

Discover screen

  • Stay up-to-date on the latest news with Discover! See editors’ stories and shows. To use Discover: swipe from right to left on the camera screen to open Discover. Play a story that piques your interest
  • Touch the right side of the screen to go to the next Snap in this story, or touch the left side of the screen to go back and see the last snap again. You can also swipe down to exit a story.

Swipe from right to left on the Stories screen to access Discover, a section that displays stories from publisher brands like Daily Mail and MTV. You can’t control what kind of content is offered to you, but you can subscribe to certain publishers by long-pressing a thumbnail of a publisher’s story and then pressing the subscribe button. To view an editor’s story, tap their story thumbnail.

Like other stories, you can skip them, and while watching, you can long-press any snapshot to bookmark it and then send it to a friend or group of friends. You can do this with both photos and videos.


  • To post a snapshot to your Story, take a snapshot, then tap the arrow at the bottom of the screen to add your snapshot to your Story (and if this is your first time creating a Story, tap Add to confirm that you want to post to your history).
  • Go to the Discovery screen to view your friends’ stories.

When you open Snapchat and face the camera screen, swipe from right to left to access the Discoveries screen. From there, you can view all the snapshots streamed by your friends on a reel that plays for up to 24 hours. Recent updates from friends are at the top, followed by editors’ stories at the bottom. Just tap on a friend’s name to start viewing their story and then tap on the individual snapshots within the reel to jump forward

Read more: How to Record on Snapchat without Holding the Button Android

You can also swipe up from a snap in a story to send a chat to that person. Anyway, from the Discover screen, you may see options to add to your story, search for stories, find friends, quickly add suggested contacts, access your profile and audience settings, take a snapshot, and return to chat. Snapchat also highlights Discover content on this screen.

Search screen

  • Search is the fastest way to find a friend, a group you’re in, and more. Just tap the magnifying glass at the top of the screen to start searching.
  • Write down something you’re trying to find or look for suggestions on friends and topics.

When you open Snapchat and face the camera screen, tap the Search button at the top. From there, you can search for other users by their Snapchat name. Verified users will have an emoji next to their name. The search screen that appears will also recommend related users, show you the best stories, and allow you to view other users and their stories by criteria such as music, sports, fashion, and animals.

Profile screen

  • There are a few different ways to add other Snapchatters. Here’s the easiest way: from the camera screen, swipe down or tap Bitmoji in the upper left corner of the screen. This will take you to your profile screen, where you will see options to find and add friends.
  • Also, from your profile screen, you can create a Snapcode. With a Snapcode, friends and followers can visit a link simply by scanning it on Snapchat.

On most Snapchat screens, you will see a ghost button or your Bitmoji avatar in the corner.

Read More: How to Search for People on Snapchat

Tap it to access your profile screen, where you’ll find your Snapcode, Snapstreak, and options to view your Trophy Case, who has added you, your friends, and a way to add more friends. You can also capture a new snapshot from here, access Chat and Stories, and even find additional settings or search for Snapchat, although these options may change over time.

Setup screen

  • Change your privacy settings, Snap Map location settings, Birthday settings, Memories settings, Snapcash settings, and more from Settings.
  • Just tap on the gear icon in the corner of your profile screen.

When you see the gear icon on your profile screen, tap on it to access your Snapchat account settings, where you can link your Bitmoji account, manage geofilters on demand, create or scan a Snapcode, add two factors, adjust your Souvenirs, Shows, and Shazam preferences, change your password and phone number, and much more.