Read this post all the way through because today is the last day you won’t understand Snapchat.

The most common excuse I hear at the moment when I speak to the more mature demographic is that people feel like they are too old to understand Snapchat. I get that, when I first downloaded the app it took me time to get the hang of it.

Snapchat is a different language, on Facebook and Twitter we have feeds that we scroll through, although video is growing, these platforms are still predominantly text based. However, on Snapchat the language is different. It is swiping, video and photo.

Before I started really getting into Snapchat I hated selfies, I hated pointing a camera at myself and talking to it. I quickly got used to that, because Snapchat is not about the perfect shot or selfie. It is meant to be rough round the edges.

So let’s dive in to it, I am going to give you the entire run down on Snapchat – adult style.

Snapchat is not all about chat

Stop thinking about Snapchat as an app you use to chat, message, text or send nude selfies. Yes, messaging is a strong part of Snapchat for engaging and connecting but Snapchat is all about stories.

Stories is the killer feature on Snapchat, you compile photos and videos throughout your day and just keep adding to the end of your story. What you tell your story about? Well that is up to you.

The stories tab is broken into three sections – Discover, Live and Recent Updates.

Recent Updates

Recent updates are from your friends which you have added on Snapchat. When you add a clip or photo onto your story it has a life span of 24 hours. To view a story just tap on it, you can skip through by simply tapping on the screen.

Stories will roll from one person onto the next, you won’t be thrown out at the end of one story and they have to go into the next person’s story. Snapchat will just play right through the list (take note marketers, this is why an insane amount of content is being consumed on Snapchat right now).


Live stories are curated by Snapchat. With the permission of users, Snapchat curates stories into larger themed live stories which focus on either significant events or locations. Live stories also have a life span of 24 hours and are a great way of bringing content from multiple users together in one place around different themes.


Snapchat is working with media companies on their Discover platform. Here, media companies create content specifically for Snapchat. Just tap on a logo and you will be taken into their content which is refreshed every day. You can swipe to skip through and in some cases you can swipe up to display a longer video or article in Snapchat.

Posting Content

So now you know what stories are and how to look at them. Now you need to know how to post your own content to Snapchat. This is the main camera screen.

You have a chat notification button, the main camera button and a stories notification button. If you press the camera button once you will take a photo, if you hold your finger down on it then you will be able to take a video up to 10 seconds long. Keep your finger on the button to keep recording video and just release if you want to stop before the 10 seconds are up.

After you take a photo or video you will see the following screen.

You have a few more buttons on this screen. A timer button which is how long you want your photo to last on screen. A download button if you want to save it to your camera roll. An add to stories button if you want to add it to the end of your story and a button to send your photo to someone in a chat.

Double tapping on the screen will move between the front and rear facing camera.

Make your photos and videos fun

So you have taken a photo or video, this is the fun bit. You can swipe on the screen to bring up a filter. Some will be colour filters, then you have a filter with the temperature, a filter with the time and a range of geo-filters based on where you are.

There are also some buttons at the top of the snap which allow you to add text or scribble with your finger on the snap. You can also add emoji and stickers to a snap as well as positioning them on screen and resizing them. Get creative with it!

You can add multiple filters by selecting one, then hold your finger on the screen and swipe again to overlay a second filter.

Making new friends

You can add friends on Snapchat by swiping down with your finger on the main camera screen. When you enter the chat section of the app this is the screen you will see.

Here you can see who has added you, look at your friends list and also add new friends. You can add new friends by scanning their Snapcode (the easiest method) or you can type in their username and add them.

Chatting with friends

Swipe to the left of the main camera screen and you will be taken to the chat screen. Now you will see a range of different icons here depending on what kind of chat you have been sent. You can see all the different icons at the link below.

In a chat you will be able to simply text as normal, add a photo, call someone, record a video or use emoji and stickers. Again, chats disappear when you have opened them, so if someone sends you something important (like a recipe for dinner) then you need to screenshot it before leaving the chat screen because when you go back it won’t be there.


The final bit of fun for this lesson is the lenses. Turn on the front facing camera and then hold your finger on the screen until the camera maps your face. This will bring up the lenses you can use and they are pretty cool for some light hearted fun.

Swipe through them (Snapchat change them and add new ones regularly), some of them will alter when you open your mouth or make a certain facial expression. You can also pull off the now infamous face swapping features.

Lesson Over!

Thats everything in a nut shell folks! It is not as bad as you think and there are more things you will learn and pick up as you use Snapchat. Being an adult is tough, especially keeping up with all these new social networks the young folk like. However, once you read this then you don’t have an excuse to say you feel too old to learn!

All you need to do now to hone your snapping skills is to go and try it all out for yourself.

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