All the Snapchat hacks and tips you'll ever need

Getting good at Snapchat used to take time and practice but not for you. Here are the best tips and tricks for your Snaps, Stories and more…

Photo and video hacks

Building on what you learnt as a beginner on Snapchat, here’s how to point and shoot like the best.

Snap professional looking pictures

Up your game with simple Snapchat tips many underestimate.

Tap the arrow for tools

With the grid turned on, splitting your screen into 9 squares, you can follow the rule of thirds or line up your subject dead-centre to compose a more pleasing photo on Snapchat. Blur out your background with focus mode or use the timer so your selfies aren’t blurry. You've all the features you need for a decent Snap.

Look relaxed and genuinely happy

Working your angles for your Cameo Selfie or group photo? Hold your phone out to your good side and find your best light by slowly spinning around while looking up at your camera. Push your shoulders down, as though you're relaxed, and hold your head out a little to look confident. To make your eyes seem larger, raise your eyebrows a little rather than using a Snapchat Lens for a natural look.

Rescue your perfect shot

Having a finger in frame or a mark on the table could ruin the moment but you don’t have to struggle to re-capture it because you can fix mistakes in your photo with one of the lesser-known Snapchat hacks. The magic eraser tool. To save yourself re-snapping your image, tap the scissors button, then the stars for the magic eraser and draw over the problem area and this will disappear.

Or add magic and new dimensions to your videos

These Snapchat hacks could even boost your chances of being featured on Spotlight where all the most creative, vertical videos are scrolled through, TikTok-style, by Snapchatters everywhere.

Paint in 3D and walk around your masterpiece

Tap the smiley face icon, next to the record button, and take your pick of Snapchat's paintbrushes. These create different effects in 3D – matte, metallic, rainbow, neon, iridescent. Then choose your paint colour and go to town, dabbing and splashing to create a 3D work of art that looks as though it’s floating in front of you in the real world. Change your brush size to add realistic details or huge swathes of colour. To admire your piece from a different perspective, move your phone.

Unlock new or limited edition Snapchat Lenses

Just when you think you’ve seen it all, you’ll come across a cool looking new Lens and wonder where it came from and what you’ll have to do to get your hands (or face) on it. Well, here are three Snapchat hacks you can try. Swiping up on a Snap to see the Context Card works for some. You can also scan Snapcodes that have a circle in the middle and unlock special Lenses you can use for a limited time. Or if your friend has a Lens you're jealous of, ask them to try to share it with you – they'll need to tap their Snapchat camera screen to see their Lenses, then scroll to the one you want. If it’s shareable, they'll see the information icon which they can tap for the option to Send To Friends on Chat.

Tap the smiley face, you can also use Snapchat’s camera to…

Shop around for a better deal with Scan

Something on the shelf catch your eye? Check you’re getting a good deal by scanning products on the app. Scroll left for the shopping bag icon, aim your Snapchat at the object and press and hold the screen for links to similar products online – mostly on Amazon for now.

Crack rock-hard problems with Math Solver

Press and hold the screen to scan the question – calculus, equations, addition, whatever has you stumped – and Snapchat will calculate the answer using Photomath and even show you its working out.

Save bangers to your Shazam playlist with Song Finder

Hold the screen while the tune's playing and Snapchat will name the singer and the track so you can listen on Shazam.

Text, drawing and editing hacks

Doodling with your finger is fun, but have you tried this?

Add Face Lenses after you’ve taken a selfie

Forgot to wear your flower crown? Wish you had dramatic eye makeup? Rather than re-take your shot, try one of the most convenient Snapchat hacks on the Android app. If your full face is visible in your photograph you can add a Face Lens by tapping the smiley button below the paperclip icon and choosing from the full range.

Choose animated text with bags of character

Breathe life into your captions by swapping your flat, static words for fonts that dance on your screen and add a filter to your entire image or video. Tap the smiley face button, then ‘T’ for a bit of pizazz. Play around – with Round, Spooky, Bubble, Wavy, Layers, Script – and you’ll find the style that perfectly emphasises your point.

Fill your sticker drawer with stuff you've photographed

Tap the scissor icon. Trace the object you want to copy, doesn’t have to be neat. And Snapchat will save this bit of your picture as a sticker. From now on, when you choose the memo button while editing a Snap, you can slap on and resize this object as many times as you like. What it lacks in power – these can't submit your Snap to Snapchat’s Discover Story like a Topic sticker can – your custom sticker makes up for in being uniquely yours.

How to use up to 3 filters at once

You know to swipe left or right on your photo to apply a filter, it’s one of the first tricks beginner’s learn, but have you spotted the Layers button? Tap this, the stack of 3 squares, to add more than one filter to the same Snap. Easy.

The old two-handed technique for layering filters was one of the best Snapchat hacks. You’d choose your first, then press a finger on your screen while you scrolled to find your second filter with your free hand – when you landed on it, you’d stop touching the screen. Two filters applied, you chose one more by tapping and holding the screen again until you made your third pick. That was how to apply more than one filter. Today, it’s much simpler, don't you think?

How to make Snaps last more than 10 seconds

Film Long Snaps in the first place – the longer you press and hold the circle record button on the app’s camera screen, the longer your Snap will be. Alternatively, change how long your Snap will play when your friends open it up. When editing, tap the clock and press the infinity icon, so your friends can see your Snap as long as they like. Or have your video play on a loop, by pressing the circular arrow button below the paperclip, so your Snap plays again and again until your friend closes it.

Add links in Snapchat

The paperclip button to the right on your toolbar? Tap it, paste in the URL you copied or type or search the link, then choose Attach to Snap. That’s all there is to it. Now, when your friends swipe up on your Snap, they’ll go to the website you picked. Be it a news story, online petition, crowdfunder or something else.

Snapchat Story hacks to keep yours fresh

Remix a friend’s Story Snap. If you were mentioned or want to reply, press and hold your friend’s Snap and tap Remix Snap to put your own spin on it, then Send. Using Snapchat on your iPhone? Create a Story from Memories. Swipe up on the Snapchat camera to go to Memories, where you can tap the red circle with a tick in it and choose the Snaps that you want to create your Story with. And did you know? You also can share Stories on your other apps, just by tapping and holding the Story for the option to Share.

How to find your friends on Snap Map

Swipe right twice from the main camera screen to open Snap Map and you’ll see the world dotted with hotspots where Snaps were taken in the last 24 hours – blue is a few, red is lots. Pinch and zoom to roam the planet and you’ll see your friends who are sharing their location with you. You can tap their Story to watch it or their profile picture or Bitmoji to message them in Chat. Can’t seem to find your friend? Use Search at the top of the map. Or tap Friends at the bottom of your Snap Map and use the Friends Tray feature to catch up on their travels and see where they’ve visited.

Be invisible for 3 hours, 24 hours or till you toggle off Ghost Mode

Enjoy being off grid for a while. When you go to Snap Map and tap the gear icon for Settings, you can toggle Ghost Mode on to hide your location from your friends for as long as you like. Or you can do this in your main privacy settings on Snapchat, below the Who Can section is See My Location.

Perfect your Snapchat privacy settings

Want to hide your Stories from a friend? Tap the cog button on your Snapchat profile page to get to your privacy settings and choose the Custom setting, below View My Story, to block them from seeing what you’re sharing. While you’re here, have an explore and make choices about your privacy everywhere on the app. See Me In Quick Links, for example, let’s you control whether you pop up as a recommended friend for other Snapchatters.

3 More privacy tips for Snapchatters

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