When Snapchat released their now-infamous lenses just a few weeks ago, it seemed like the Snap-game couldn't get any crazier. But you'd still be surprised at all of the fabulous ways you can take your Snapchat to the next level. At one time, the app seemed like a silly phase everyone was going through; now, though we're all living snap to snap, sharing our antics with our friends in 10-second tidbits. If Snapchat is here to stay, you may as well harness its power for the forces of good, right?
Why does it matter, you ask? Snapchat is one of the fastest growing forms of social media and is blazing technological trails that other social media networks only dream about. In the future, we'll probably snap our wedding vows to each other. OK, maybe that's a bit over-dramatic, but Snoop Dogg has Snapchat, for Pete's sake! Why would you not want to be on that level?
For your inner Snap Queen, here are eight ways to up your Snapchat game. They're all deceptively simple, but ridiculously cool. Isn't it great that becoming a Snapchat master doesn't have to be a tricky thing to accomplish?
1. Give Yourself a Fab Avatar
You can't be social media royalty without a flawless avatar. The best thing about Snapchat in particular is that your avatar comes in GIF format. That's right! You appear in all of your in-motion glory.
To edit your avatar, simply click on the ghost icon on your profile page. Then just press a button to begin recording a series of four quick shots that will be compiled into your avatar/GIF hybrid.
2. Login Verification
There would be nothing worse than having your Snapchat account hacked. They'd mess up all off the BFF streaks you and your friends have worked so hard on! Fortunately, there is a two-step verification feature you might not know about, which requires a password in addition to a code sent via text in order to login on a new device. To enable this feature, simply go to your privacy settings and check "Login Verification."
3. Video Chat
The "chat" portion of Snapchat is not to be taken lightly with their super-cool video feature. Just swipe right on the username of someone with whom you've exchanged snaps. If the person is online, a blue circle will show up by the "send a chat" box. If both of you then press and hold that box on your own screens, a video chat will open up.
4. Add Nearby Friends
Just met a bunch of new folks and want to add them all on Snapchat? You can save yourself a few minutes and add them all at once. Under "Add Friends," select "Add Nearby," and you will be alerted to Snappers in your area. This requires location services to be enabled, but it will save you from having to spell out your ridiculous username.
5. Use The 'Discover' Feature
Ever checked out the Discover menu on Snapchat? It's not just there to annoy you, I promise. You can actually check out tons of interesting news from sources like Cosmopolitan and Vice (after you download the Bustle app, of course!), all in the form of Snapchat stories.
6. Upload Photos From Your Camera Roll
Dream have finally come true with your new favorite app: Upload'n'Roll, which allows you to share images from your camera roll on Snapchat. You can perfect that selfie elsewhere and not have to worry about the restrictions of Snapchat filters. The best part? The app is free!
7. Draw With A Transparent Color
If you have an Android, today is your lucky day! Unlike your humble iPhone companions, you can draw on your snaps with transparent colors — that is, colors that still allow you to see the image underneath. To access this feature, hold down the color slider, and a full palette will appear. Select the transparent color from the bottom of the palette, and make some serious snap art.
8. Front-Facing Flash
If your phone isn't equipped with a flash on its front camera (don't worry — my phone is ancient, as well), Snapchat has a built-in feature to illuminate your selfies. To use it, simply click the lightning bolt in the top left corner when the front camera is activated. Snapchat will create a bright light so all the world can see your gorgeous mug.