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A 16 year old’s guide to Snapchat

My daughter explains the popularity of her favourite app Snapchat. It’s mainly used as a means of messaging friends and consuming news media.

By Freya Waddington

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What is it?

Snapchat is a social media app that allows friends to communicate using images, often selfies. The app holds a list of your best friends showing who you Snapchat the most.

I’m too old, right?

I use Snapchat to communicate with my friends. It’s a quick and easy way to send a message. It’s free and open to anyone over 13 years of age. It’s mainly used by people under 25 as most people this age find it an easy way to communicate. Stick to Twitter.

How do I get started?

You need to download and install the app and click on the sign up button on the bottom of the screen, you then enter your first and last name. Enter your birthday and then choose a username and password. You then add your mobile number to be sent a verification code via text message. Once you’ve added your friends, your account has been created.

How do you find your friends?

There are several ways to add friends on Snapchat: you can add them by username; add them from your address book if they have their mobile number connected to their account; and you can add them using the Snapcode assigned to your account.

How do you create a Snap?

Head to the camera page, strike a pose and then take the snap by clicking the button. Send it to a friend. That’s it.

How do you view a Snap?

To view a Snap you need to head to your friend’s page. New Snaps will come up with the person’s name and a red box. Hit the red box and the snap will appear. Images are deleted once they’ve been viewed.

What’s a filter?

It’s something that you can put over an image. Swipe left or right on your image to pick a filter. There are colours and tints, and geofilters for popular locations such as London.

What’s a lens?

This is a relatively new feature that allows you to add different effects to a selfie. Press down on your face and it will be recognised by the camera and give you different lens options. There are lenses such as a dog that gives you dog ears and a nose.

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Mary Meeker, Internet Trends 2016

What’s a Snapchat Story?

A. This a public snap that is shared with friends. The Snapchat can be viewed for 24 hours by any of your friends however many times they want to.

What’s Snapchat Discover?

Snapchat Discover is a page where you can view different channels. It can be used for entertainment such as Buzzfeed or recipes on the Food Network. There are also news snaps from The Mail Online, Sky News and the Sun.

What’s a Snapchat score? And what’s yours?

My Snapchat score is 168,700. It means that I’ve have sent, received and posted 168,700 snaps.

Who do you follow?

I don’t follow any celebrities or brands because I find that they mostly post too many Snapchat stories that I have no interest in viewing. Brands could use it as a smart way of communicating with young people but few do.

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Stephen Waddington

Partner and Chief Engagement Officer, Ketchum and Visiting Professor in Practice, Newcastle University.

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