If you've been on the internet in the last 5 years (if you haven't, welcome!) then you've probably seen photos of girls with dog faces, little white ghosts on yellow backgrounds, and brief, filtered photos and videos that last no longer than 10-seconds; basically, everything is related Snapchat now-a-days!

While the app's original premise was quite simple (basically it was designed to send nudes that would disappear after a certain amount of time and inform the sender if the person on the other end screen-shotted their photo), the app has evolved into a social media app, a communication tool, a news source, and so, so much more.

Here's absolutely everything you need to know about Snapchat!

October 10, 2017: Snapchat debuts context cards to let you hail rides, book tables by swiping up on some Snap!

Looking to add some contextual information to you geotagged photos, videos, and snap stories? Snapchat has you covered with it's newly added regional Our Story feature that will include context card automatically.

What does this mean? Well users can now swipe up on any and all snaps that display the word 'more'. An interactive card will then appear about the place in question, and people can go from there!

A few partners that are already supplying information for the brand new context cards include:

  • Foursquare
  • OpenTable -TripAdvisor
  • Lyft

With more to come in the next little while. Happy Snapping!

September 26, 2017: Snapchat introduces Sky Filters

Snapchat celebrating its sixth anniversary by adding a new feature that uses iOS 11's augmented reality capabilities to let you transform the sky in your photos.

Sky Filters work by recognizing where the sky is in the outdoor image you've just taken. The app will then prompt you to choose a new "forecast." All you have to do is swipe left (as you would usually do to choose a geofilter), and you'll be given options like rainbow, starry night, stormy clouds and more. The filters will also transform the actual lighting in your photo to make your chosen sky look as natural and in-place as possible. Awesome.

September 14, 2017: Snapchat is now animating your Bitmoji in 3D!

Move over, adorable dancing hot dog! If you have Bitmoji enabled in Snapchat, you can now project your animated (read: better) self into the real world by tapping the rear-facing camera screen in the app. You can then scale and move your Bitmoji by pinching, zooming and dragging. Your Bitmoji can get up to all kinds of things, from skateboarding to air guitar to yoga - scroll through your options in the carousel of Snapchat effects at the bottom of your display to try them all, and then inundate your friends with them. Snapchat will be continually updating and changing them, too, so you can check back on the regular to see new animations.

Currently the feature is only available for iOS, but according to Snapchat, Android isn't far behind.

August 14, 2017 - Snapchat and The Pokémon Company International launch a Pikachu Snapchat Lens.

Pikachu Snapchat lens

Move aside dog ears! Go dance somewhere else, Snapchat Hotdog! There's a Pikachu lens on Snapchat and we're pumped about it! Using the lens places Pikachu's ears, nose, and cheeks on your face. Opening your mouth will trigger Pikachu's voice and an animation of the mouse appearing on screen and striking a pose.

The Pikachu lens is only around for a limited time, so get your selfies in now.

What are Snap Maps?!

We've built a whole new way to explore the world! See what's happening, find your friends, and get inspired to go on an adventure!

Snap Map is essentially a new way to see what your pals nearby (and around the world!) are up to!

When you're on the main Snap screen, simply pinch to zoom out and show the Snap Map. Your location doesn't automatically get shown to your other Snapchat friends: you can keep to yourself with Ghost Mode.

If your friends are sharing their location with you, their Actionmoji will appear on the Map. Actionmojis only update when you open Snapchat.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is an app that was originally founded by Evan Spiegel and Reggie Brown in 2011, two Stanford University students who eventually had a falling out over who came up with what (if you're getting Social Network déjà vu, I do not blame you…)

The app's premise was simple: You could send and receive photos (videos didn't exist in the beginning of Snapchat) that would disappear after a couple of seconds. If you dared to screenshot someone's photo, it would instantly inform the person on the other end that their photo had been screen-captured.

The app blew up quickly, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg even allegedly offering $3 billion in 2013 – as of January 2017, Snapchat is valued at $25 billion or higher.

While the original layout for the app was quite straight-forward, Snapchat has now evolved into a jack of all trades.

The app offers direct communication like texting, calling, video messaging, and more with friends and family in a one-on-one messenger style, lets people record and post their videos and photos to their Snapchat Story that last 24-hours while giving people the option to save their Snapchat Stories to their camera roll, and delivers current news and information from credible sources and entertainment sites like IGN, The Economist, Refinery29, Mashable, Harper's Bazaar, VICE, National Geographic, CNN, The New York Times, and so, so much more.

Evan Spiegel, Snapchat CEO:

Somewhere along the way, when we were building social media products, we forgot the reason we like to communicate with our friends is because it's fun.

How does it work?

Open up the Snapchat app, take a photo or a video of something up to 10-seconds long, add your desired filters, stickers, text, and doodles (you can even make your own custom stickers from selfies and photos you've taken), add a geofilter to mark your location, and then post to your Snapchat Story or a personal message to a friend.

The cool thing about Snapchat is you can use the app without ever sending a Snap – you can follow your favorite celebrities based on their usernames and watch their shenanigans on their Snapchat Story all day long, watch and follow your favorite brands for exclusive content and announcements, or just creep through the Discover page to get up-to-date on current news and events as it's updated daily.

What are Snapchat Stories?

Snapchat Stories exist when you decide to post a Snap of a photo or a video to your Stories section of your account. The Stories section acts as a feed of sorts, and can be viewed by your friends – these are not private snaps, so don't upload anything scandalous that you wouldn't want to world to see.

Subsequently you can also see who's watching your Snapchat Stories and who's gone back to watch them more than once; Snapchat is all about spying on people who are spying on you!

What about the Discover page?

Snapchat:

Keep up-to-date on breaking news 📰 the big game 🏈 or your favorite celebs 👩‍🎤 with Discover! Watch Publisher Stories, Shows, or Our Stories to learn (and laugh) about things going on around the world right now!

The Discover page is essentially a news source aimed at millennials or people who don't like to read through long-winded reporting. There's a ton of different content in fast, punchy segments that help you absorb the news and what you find interesting quickly and efficiently.

When Snapchat first launched this option, there were maybe four or five different news options. Now, there are over 30.

Are there just dog-faced filters, or… ?

One thing that's become synonymous with Snapchat are the live filters available for people to play and take selfies with. If you've seen a photo of a girl with a dog nose and dog ears sticking out a giant tongue on Tinder in the last little while, then you have Snapchat directly to blame.

While the dog filter has become the unofficially official look for Snapchat users, there are actually dozens of different filters that are available to play with. Some turn you into an old man, some make you look like a goat and pitch-shift your voice, others add funky effects and glasses, some slim out your face and turn you into a Coachella flower-crown princess, and others just add subtle effects.

There are even world lenses that add a filter on your surrounding environment for people who aren't super keep on snapping selfies.

While these filters are super amazing, fun to play with, and have given different artists and designers ample opportunities to work with Snapchat, some people have accused the app of stealing their artwork without their permission. Snapchat also came under fire last year when users speculated that a filter that was Bob Marley-themed gave people blackface.

How much does it cost?

Snapchat is totally free, but we will never, ever forget the lens store.

Is there actually a solid way to screenshot someone's Snaps?

Well, yes and no. We're not judging you if you're looking for a secret way to screenshot Snapchat without being detected.

(Okay, I'm judging you a bit, but I'm also the one who wrote the article in the first place, so I really have no grounds to judge you…)

Where can I download the app?

You can download the app right here!

Questions?

Do you have any burning questions about Snapchat that you need answered ASAP?

Let us know what you'd love to learn about Snapchat in the comments below and we'll be sure to help you out!