Once only newsworthy for it’s cringeworthy reputation as a teen sexting platform, Snapchat is now the main social media bea for your BFs, BFFs, and favorite brands, bloggers., and even news outlets. There’s a reason the company is valued at $16 billion and now we have your comprehensive Snapchat guide to break down everything you need to know to become a Snapping king or queen.

But for those of you new to the Snapchat game, the app can be confusing. The concept is simple (and once known, easily understandable as to why it became a teen favorite): You can take photos or videos (up to 10 seconds) and send them to a friend, where they can only be seen once before being deleted permanently, or uploaded to your ‘Story’ to be accessible for 24 hours. As you add snaps to your Story, a narrative of your day plays out – whether it’s a day out on an adventure or just your best donut-eating technique.

The best part: it is ONLY LIVE FOR 24 HOURS (or mere seconds if it’s a direct message). And then no more. This isn’t just good because it means you can share your obligatory but not-so-pretty travel selfies with your siblings, but it’s also becoming the best way to get an inside real-life peak into your favorite digital personas – bloggers, writers, celebrities, brands and magazines.

Once you’ve downloaded Snapchat and created your account, follow our easy guide to explore what will soon be your new go-to social app:

ADD FRIENDS: Pull down the menu on the opening camera display (you’ll see a little ghost) and Add Friends. This is where most logically-minded adults get frustrated. You can’t explore or search for friends like on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram; you must either add friends who are in your phone’s Address Book (that part’s easy) OR Add by Username. There are also ways to add people near you or with a Snapcode, which is mostly used by brands to let you know they’re on Snapchat and you can easily follow by snapping their code in the app.

TAKE A SNAP: The app will open to the camera, where you can either take video or photo and swipe to add filters. If you are in a major city or if the day is a major holiday, be sure to check out what kinds of special filters are available!One of the funniest ways to snap is to use Snapchat’s facial recognition feature. By holding a finger to your face on the screen, you will see a mask appear, recognizing your facial features and allowing you to access a number of different animated filters. I personally used this on my grandparents and even they thought it was hilarious!

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Click the Text to say something, the Pen to draw, and the Note to add emojis. If you press the arrow in the bottom corner, you can send your snap to a friend. Or you can press the plus sign to add to your Story. You will also see that you can change the amount of time for which a photo displays, or also download your snap to keep.

SWIPE RIGHT: If you swipe right, you’ll find the chat menu. Here you can chat with your friends and the concept is the same: where photos or videos can only be viewed once, chat messages also only last for a few minutes before they are gone.

SWIPE LEFT: Stories can be found on this menu. You can see the most recent updates from your friends and, below, All Stories. So if you see a killer surfing move in the Billabong Womens Snapchat story, you can scroll down to All Stories to view it again.

MY STORY: At the top of the Stories menu, you’ll find your Story. Press the three little dots on
the right-hand side and a drop-down of all your snaps will appear. You can see how many views your snaps have gotten and by clicking on an individual snap, you can see who viewed what. You can also download your whole story to your phone if you so wish.


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DISCOVER: The Discover feature includes everything from Cosmo to National Geographic, from BuzzFeed to CNN, from IGN to Mashable. Each day, these publications update their Snapchat feeds with new stories and content. A lot of it is really well done and could easily be your new morning news update (or daily makeup, recipe, or gaming tips). Find the Discover feature at the top of Stories or swipe left, again.

LIVE STORIES: Live stories are also incredibly fun to watch. See snaps from around the world on a single city-feed and walk in the shoes of a Mumbai or Berlin resident or watch snaps from the day’s major football game. If a major event is happening, such as a holiday parade or Carnival, you can bet there will be a live Snapchat feed available. You can even try to see if yours makes the Live story cut in your city! And now through the new Story Explorer feature you can also swipe up on Live stories to see more snaps from users witnessing the same event!

Now go, explore, and snap away! And be sure to add @milkandsugar.eu for the latest from our bloggers on Snapchat!