Some of Snapchat’s coolest tricks aren’t always easy to find.
The app is known to casually slip in new features during otherwise nondescript updates, and for hiding fun additions in random settings menus. But whether you’re a power user or not, there are plenty of features — from using two filters at once to adding extra text — that can help you use Snapchat like a pro.
Take notes, Snapchatters: Your snapping is about to change for the better.
1. Resurrect old lenses by changing the date on your phone.
Really miss the puking rainbow or demon lenses? Though Snapchat swaps in new lenses each day, you can revert to previous ones that have disappeared by changing the date in your device’s main settings.
On iOS, go to Settings —> General —> Date & Time and turn off “set automatically.” On Android, go to Settings —> Date & Time and uncheck “automatic date and time.”
Then, choose the date that offered the lenses you want to use again (if you want a look at the first batch, go back to Sept. 15, 2015, the day of the update). Remember, it’s probably not a good idea to leave your phone on the wrong date long-term, as it could mess with other apps. So once you’re done snapping, change your settings back to automatic.
2. Use two filters at once.
If you simply can’t choose between a geofilter and one of Snapchat’s photo filters, good news: You don’t have to. To use a combination, swipe over your photo as you normally would to add the first filter.
Then, hold down on the screen with one finger and carefully swipe over the photo with another finger to add the second filter. This may take several tries to position your fingers correctly, but the result is using two filters simultaneously.
3. Secure your account with two-step verification.
To add an extra layer of security to your Snapchat account, enable login verification. Once you do so, you won’t be able to log in to your account from a new device until you enter a code sent to you via SMS.
Go to the app’s settings and select “login verification” to set this up. You can also change the number associated with the account, if you prefer to get verification codes sent to an alternate number.
4. Change the name that your friends will see in chat.
You can easily view a friend’s Snapchat details from within a chat. Tap the hamburger menu in the upper-left hand corner to get a quick look at your contact’s Snapchat score and Snapcode. You can also edit the contact’s name, block them or remove the conversation.
Editing a contact’s name can be a helpful workaround to the way Snapchat organizes contacts, particularly if you have a long list of Snapchat friends. Add an “a_” before names you want to appear appear first in your friends list to eliminate unnecessary scrolling when you’re deciding who to send a snap to.
You can also bring up a similar menu by tapping and holding a contact’s name anywhere within the app, which allows you to edit that person’s name, send a snap or message or view his or her Snapcode.
5. Add extra text to your snaps.
A handy way to circumvent the character limit is using the Notes app. Select a range of blank text and copy it to your clipboard. Then, open Snapchat and paste it into the text field in your snap.
You’ll have to copy the blank text field — copying a longer text snippet won’t work — and then manually move the cursor to the next line in order to take advantage of the full amount of space.
6. Turn on travel mode to save data.
Anyone who uses Snapchat a lot knows the app can be a battery hog. But the app has a built-in feature that conserves your precious data: travel mode.
When enabled, the feature prevents snaps and stories from downloading automatically. Instead, users choose when they want to load a snap or a story. Head to the app’s settings, and find the “Additional Services” menu, select “Manage” to control when travel mode is on,
7. Add new friends even if you don’t have their contact info.
Snapchat’s “add nearby” feature allows groups of friends to easily add each other on Snapchat, provided they are in the same vicinity. Go to the “add friends” section of the app and select “add nearby” for a shortcut to add a new connection.
8. Use emoji to add extra color to your photos.
You can use the app’s emoji stickers to add some oomph to your photos. Choose one with the desired color and increase its size (by zooming with two fingers) so it takes up the whole screen and the edges begin to pixelate. Then, drag the pixelated area over the frame to make it look like a filter.
You can also find some helpful tutorials on YouTube that show creative ways to make these effects with multiple emoji and colors.
9. Decode and (change) those emoji in your friend list.
Snapchat will probably never bring back best friends, but its friend emoji offer a fun look at how you interact with your contacts on Snapchat. Hidden in the app’s “additional services” menu within the settings, you can find everything you need to know about this feature.
The menu offers an explanation of what each character means — for example, the difference between the red heart and yellow heart — and allows you to change them to customize the emoji for each designation.
10. Turn on night camera mode.
Snapchat’s low-light camera mode, which is symbolized by the moon icon near the camera flash, is meant to help you take better photos at night or in poor light. Switch it on helps brighten what’s in the frame.
Though the low-light mode is triggered automatically, you can activate it in any kind of light. Simply cover the camera for a few seconds so enough light is blocked to activate the setting. (If you’re in a brightly lit room, your finger may not be enough, so try holding it up to dark-colored object or article of clothing.)
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