Snapchat: The ultimate guide

Updated February 2017: Added info about additional features and updates within the Snapchat app.

Real talk: Snapchat (opens in new tab) isn't the easiest app for many people to get started with. The interface is anything but standard and the mechanics can be super tricky at first. In other words, its learning curve is of the steepest. But if you give it some time, and read through this guide, we'll show you how to sign up for and set up Snapchat, how to add your friends, how to take photos and videos, a bunch of useful tips and tricks, and even how to delete your account if it turns out you don't like it.

How to sign up and get started with Snapchat

Chances are, if you've heard of Snapchat but aren't already using it, you're a bit curious to learn more. Well, that's exactly what we aim to show you. Although it's different than the built-in Messages app, and can seem confusing at first, we think you'll find Snapchat is simple to understand once you get going. So, consider this a jumping off point. This is how you set up and start using Snapchat.

How to take photos and videos with Snapchat

Alright, you've signed up for Snapchat! You should now be seeing a live camera view with a bit of instruction on how to take a photo or record a video, and several icons surrounding the frame, so let's dive in!

How to use filters, emoji, sketches, lenses, and more!

So you know how to use Snapchat, take your photos and selfies, and shoot your videos, but now you want more. You're looking to add some emojis and Bitmojis, play around with filters, adjust the text, maybe even draw sketches. Here's how you do all that!

How to use the Snapchat Chat screen

The Snapchat Chat screen contains a list of conversations with your friends and an easy way to quickly communicate with an individual person. It might seem complicated at first, but here's how to understand it!

How to use Stories and Discover on Snapchat

Snapchat Stories and Discover give you a way to follow the activities of people you follow, and of major publishers, all in one place. If you're not sure what all the colorful, tappable circles, squares, and photos mean, we'll walk you through it. Let's dig in!

How to use Memories on Snapchat

Memories is a cumulative archive of all of the snaps you've been sending and posting to your story and followers. Memories actually doesn't just act as a backup for your Snapchat account — it also allows you to upload photos you didn't take on Snapchat from your Camera Roll, changing how Snapchat itself works.

Add us on Snapchat!

Mikah Sargent

Mikah Sargent is Senior Editor at Mobile Nations. When he's not bothering his chihuahuas, Mikah spends entirely too much time and money on HomeKit products. You can follow him on Twitter at @mikahsargent if you're so inclined.

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  • This may not be right place to say this but this snapchat is a data hog. My granddaughter data use soared to like 5gb in a months time. This is about as useless of an app and waste of time and data as I have ever seen. It's even worse than facebook . I mean who cares what you had for dinner looks like. Come on people get real. I had to turn her data plan off for the remainder of the month because she could not understand how much data she used. I mean the rest of us in the family would like to have a little left over in case we needed to use it.