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Digital - 10 Snapchat Tricks for Beginners and Pros

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The messaging app Snapchat is particularly popular with young people. Snapchat can also be fun for elderly users. For everyone who already knows Snapchat, we have 10 tricks in store with which you can take even better snaps. And there's a little Snapchat introduction for all beginners.

A few days ago the Financial Times reported, Link opens in a new window, Snapchat is now counting around 6 billion video views per day. The big rival Facebook, Link opens in a new window is still ahead with 8 billion videos a day (Youtube does not publish any comparable figures), but Snapchat is particularly impressed by the rapid growth: It was not six months ago that it was The number of daily video views is only two billion.

And in contrast to Facebook and Youtube, Snapchat videos are only viewed on the smartphone. There is no desktop page. Snapchat focuses its business in the advertising industry's preferred mobile market.

The age structure of Snapchat users is also attractive for advertising: in the USA, almost two thirds of 13–34 year olds are said to use the service regularly. Other statistics say three quarters of college students log into Snapchat every day.

Swipe gestures and mysterious icons

But for older semesters (read: people over 35), Snapchat is difficult to understand at first glance. There are no clearly labeled buttons, just icons and swiping gestures that can be used to control various functions.

If you click and swipe your way through the app, you will have quickly grasped the most important functions. But Snapchat has a few surprises in store that even more experienced users may not be aware of. And certainly not the over 35-year-old grandpas and grandmas. So: raise the curtain on our 10 Snapchat tricks for advanced users. And for total Snapchats noobs, there's a little introduction to the app below.

10 tricks for beginners and professionals

  • 1) Retrieve missing effects

    Since September, the Snappchat app has been able to recognize our faces in selfies and decorate it with “funny” effects - such as a puked rainbow. The effects are exchanged in quick succession, new ones are added, old ones disappear. However, if we turn back the clock on our smartphone, we can bring back old effects. With the setting «15. September 2015 »for example the beloved rainbow. Note: For a few days, Snapchat has also been offering some of these effects for sale in the so-called "Lens Store". The “Lens Store” is not yet available in Switzerland. It is not clear whether the trick with the deferred data will still work after its introduction.

  • 2) Use color filter and fade-in at the same time

    If we swipe our finger horizontally across the screen, we can add color filters or fade-ins to an image. If we then hold down one finger on the screen and swipe the screen with another finger, it is even possible to do both at the same time: color filter and fade-in together on one picture.

  • 3) Homemade color filters

    If the given filters are not enough for us, we can use a trick to add more colors to them. To do this, we select a matching emoji (with the icon at the top that looks like a leaf that has been turned over), place it on the photo or video and enlarge it so much that only its now transparent edge lies over the picture. Voila, a new color filter already adorns our snap.

  • 4) Sexy videos with sexy music

    Even the sexiest snap can get sexier with sexy music! A video of your freshly shaved man's breast? Well ... A video of your freshly shaved man's breast with Marvin Gaye's “Let's get it on” running in the background? Uh la la! To make it work, we open the music app we trust, look for a suitable piece, let it play over the smartphone speaker and then record our sexy video snap.

  • 5) Switch between camera and front camera

    Snapchat lets us shoot snaps either with the actual smartphone camera or with the front camera, for example when taking a selfie. With the camera icon in the top right corner we can switch back and forth between the two cameras. The change is even faster if we quickly tap the screen twice. Particularly useful for including our reaction to something on display.

  • 6) More characters in the text box

    Thanks to the text icon («T») we can add text to our snaps. However, there is little space, there are no more than a few words. This restriction can easily be circumvented with an iPhone: Simply open the Notes app, enter any number of line breaks ("Return"), copy the supposedly empty document (select all -> copy) and paste it into the Snapchat text field. And then we can express ourselves in epic breadth on world events.

  • 7) Draw in black or white

    With the pen icon, you can paint our snaps and decorate them with color. With a trick, we can also paint in black or white: If we first move over the color scale on the right-hand edge and then drag the finger into the upper or lower left corner without removing it, the pen color changes to white or black. Particularly useful for subsequently decorating our selfie with chic black metal corpse paint.

  • 8) Mocking friends

    Instead of text, we can also use emojis in a Snapchat picture or video. If we grab the emoji with thumb and forefinger and then open and rotate the fingers, we can also change its size and orientation. This is particularly suitable for copying stupid emojis on unsuspecting friends and making fun of them.

  • 9) Choose your own friendship emojis

    Snapchat shows certain emojis in addition to the names of our best Snapchat friends. We find the explanation of these characters somewhat hidden in the settings of the app (Settings -> More options / Settings -> Friendship emojis). There we can also assign new, self-selected emojis to the individual meanings (for example «very best friend» or «you are her best friend, but ...»).

  • 10) Back up pictures and videos

    Finally, there is an important feature that Snapchat newbies in particular often only become aware of too late: Once we have taken a picture or video, we can save it to our smartphone's photo gallery before sending it. This is very easy with the save icon, which can be seen at the bottom of a snap (see picture).

Helpful tips for Snapchat newbies

Pictures and videos that we send with Snapchat can delete themselves after viewing them. With the stopwatch icon at the bottom, we can determine how long our photo is shown to the recipient - in the case of “daring” snaps (keyword: sexting, Link opens in a new window!) A short duration is recommended to prevent screenshots as much as possible.

With the icons next to it, we can save our snaps or post them in «My story». “My story” shows a snap for 24 hours to anyone we have given permission to do in the Snapchat settings.

If we - without taking a photo or video - swipe directly to the right from the camera window, we see our friends list. If we swipe right again on one of the names, we land in the shared chat window.

There we can find the last unread text message or unseen photos and videos. They are all automatically deleted once they are opened. A blue icon at the bottom right indicates that our friend is currently online. If the icon also pulsates, we can start a live video chat with it.

If we swipe directly down from the camera window, we get to the settings window, where we can also search for friends and add them to our Snapchat list.

If we swipe left, we get to the «Stories» page. There you can see video collages composed of the best public user videos on specific events (sporting events, local celebrations, city portraits, etc.).

In addition, on the “History” page, we can find video content from Snapchat's media partners such as Buzzfeed, Vice and National Geographic.

Snapchat for beginners

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Anyone who has just installed the Snapchat app will find detailed instructions on how the service works in Philipp Steuer's blog.

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  • Commentary by Lore Meier, Basel
    I can only agree with the last two critical comments: this is a highly insecure app, has already been massively hacked several times, X giga personal data is even parked on a public website, can be viewed and copied by everyone! ... and you don't say a word about it! ...incomprehensible...
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment
  • Commentary by Urs Oelle, near Basel
    Thank you very much for the important contribution (first contribution from the new intern?). I've been looking for the great opportunity to send my wife to her work colleagues with a funny rainbow puke for a long time. Perhaps SRF should limit the journalists' contributions to 400 letters and have them checked by readers before approving them.
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment
    1. answer from Guido Berger (SRF)
      So far, we have no interns here in the digital editorial team. Would you like to apply? I look forward to your best contribution idea!
      Agree agree to the comment
    2. answer from Urs Oelle, near Basel
      Maybe you name the interns differently? Otherwise it would be even worse. Best contribution? Maybe a better contribution is enough. No problem. How long can the post be (the same length as the post or only 400 characters)? Theme? Link allowed? Or how would you like it?
      Agree agree to the comment
    3. answer from Guido Berger (SRF)
      We like to write our articles ourselves. But topic suggestions are always welcome! Either here or by email, where you can let off steam without restriction.
      Agree agree to the comment
    4. answer from Urs Oelle, near Basel
      So how about that: Had 2 friends. Mocked them everywhere (Pt. 8). I do not have any more.
      Agree agree to the comment
    5. answer from Isabelle, Aarau
      Why Urs? It was quite ok. It doesn't have to be a grandiose intellectual article about global warming - it did exactly what I needed for this topic.
      Agree agree to the comment
    6. Show answers
  • Commentary by Urs Ammann, Frauenfeld
    Thank you for not pointing out the dangers of Snapchat in the addendum to the radio report.A single sentence would have been enough! Why exactly do you need this app again? What exactly do you want to hide / hide and why? Why should you send something via smartphone that shouldn't be visible to the whole world?
    Agree Agree to the comment Select answers to reply to the comment

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