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The past two decades brought with them an influx of social media platforms with the sole purpose of connecting friends and strangers alike.

In September 2011, Snapchat —a new and unique platform— was launched. Till date, Snapchat stands out from its counterparts in terms of functionality and purpose.

What is Snapchat?

This app is a relatively new social media platform which lets users post and shares multimedia with their contacts.

This app is quite popular among teens and a tiny fraction of young adults. So, if you have never heard of Snapchat, you probably belong to the older generation.

You can use Snapchat on both Android and iOS platforms. Unlike other social media apps which let you save or archive chats, Snapchat does not provide users with that opportunity. Instead, messages disappear almost immediately after being seen. However, the app settings can be modified to allow recipients to view the message for up to 24 hours.

Although Snapchat comes with a lot of features, it is more famous for its wide range of filters, especially animal lenses. So if you have ever come across a photo of someone with dog ears or cat whiskers, that picture was probably taken using Snapchat.

How Does it Work?

If you are confused as to how Snapchat works, do not panic. This app is quite user-friendly and easy to navigate. The first step to understand and get the hang of Snapchat is by downloading the app from Google PlayStore or Apple store.

Once you open the app, you have to sign up using an email or phone number. Next, you can then pick out a username and password; This is the fun part for a lot of users because they get to pick out crazy and unique usernames.

It is important to note that you have to be 13 at least before you can use Snapchat. However, the app has no secure means of verifying ages, so a lot of children can get past this restriction.

Once you sign up, you have to grant the app access to your contacts so you can add all your friends. Similarly, the app gives you a QR code popularly known as the SnapCode. So whenever you run into a friend, you can quickly scan their SnapCode and add them to your Snap contacts.

Top Features on Snapchat

Snapchat comes with a wide range of features which make it quite enjoyable for users. If you are new to Snapchat, you may find some of these features or terminologies confusing. Here are some features you’d come across:

Snapchat Stories

Stories are one of the most attractive features on the app. With this feature, you can take a picture using the camera and upload how your day is going. Contacts can view your story for the next 24 hours after which they would disappear.


SnapMap is a feature which you can either turn on or off. SnapMap enables your Snapchat contacts to see your current position. Similarly, if any of your friends activate their SnapMap, you can equally see their real-time location.


This feature provides you with content posted by celebrities and blogs. Here, you can catch up on the latest entertainment news and equally stay tuned to promos and ads.

Snapchat is so easy and fun to use that a couple of social media apps have borrowed a leaf from its features. Today, on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram, users can post stories which will disappear within 24 hours.

Updated September 16, 2019