How does Snapchat work and how can you get started using it? Follow along and we'll show you!

Snapchat is one of the most popular social networks around. While it started off as a way to send quick, self-destructing picture and video messages, it now includes all sorts of storytelling features, and from some of the biggest stars and publications in the business. It's also... a little tough to figure out. The navigation is heavily gesture based and features can be hard to find if you don't know where to look. That's why we've made our complete Snapchat Guide, to walk you through every feature, step by step. Including how to download, sign up, and get started!

How to download Snapchat on iPhone

You can download Snapchat right from the App Store:

See Snapchat on App Store

If for any reason the link above doesn't work:

  1. Launch the App Store on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on the Search tab.
  3. Type in Snapchat
  4. Tap on Snapchat in the results.
  5. Tap Get.

How to create a Snapchat account on iPhone

Once you've downloaded Snapchat, you can sign up for an account.

  1. Launch Snapchat from your Home screen.
  2. Tap Sign Up.
  3. Enter your name and tap Sign Up.
  4. Dial in your birthday (no cheating!).

    Sign up for Snapchat by entering your name and birthday.

  5. Pick a username. (Unfortunately, there are a lot of selfie lovers on Snapchat so I had to get clever.)
  6. Enter a (hard to guess) password
  7. Enter your email address.

    Pick a username for SnapchatSet a password for SnapchatEnter your email on Snapchat

  8. Verify your account by hunting for ghosts in a grid of nine images.

Pick out the ghosts in the images to verify your humanity

How to add Friends by scanning a Snapcode

A Snapcode is a lot like a QR code. It's a unique image that represents an individual Snapchat account. If you're talking to a friend in person, or they've sent you their Snapcode, and want to add them to your Snapchat, it's quick and easy to do.

  1. Launch Snapchat
  2. Center your camera on their Snapcode. (If they don't know where to find it, just ask them to tap the ghost icon at the top of their Snapchat screen).
  3. Touch and hold on the image of their Snapcode.

When it works, you'll get a confirmation!

If you want to practice, or you're simply looking for some Snapchatters to get started with, several of us here at iMore are waiting for you!

How to add Friends manually

If you don't have a Snapcode handy, you can add friends the old-fashioned way — by username!

  1. Tap Add Friends to see a list of other ways to add friends.
  2. Enter the Snapchat username if you have it.
  3. Tap on a Contact to add existing contacts who already use Snapchat (if you granted Snapchat access to your contacts).
  4. Tap Add by Snapcode if your friend sent you a screenshot of their Snapcode. (Snapchat will show you your camera roll with images it thinks might be a Snapcode at the top. Just tap the Snapcode screenshot to add your friend.)
  5. Tap Add Nearby if you and your friend(s) have "Add Nearby" open. You'll be able to see their username and add them to your friends list. This is a particularly handy feature if you've got a big group of friends you'd like to add.

Any questions?

This should get you started on Snapchat but there's still lots more to learn. Keep reading our Snapchat guide and if you have any questions, throw them in the comments below.