What Are Snapchat Geofilters? Here's Everything You Need To Know About These Festive Sticker-Like Graphics

As someone who is unabashedly bad at Snapchat, I'll be the first to admit I often have to Google various Snap-cabulary (Snapchat vocabulary, naturally) terms. And lately, the question on my mind has been, what are Snapchat geofilters? I hear talk of them. I know people use them. I just haven't ever been entirely sure what they are — until now. Lest everyone discover how tragically unhip I really am, I decided to do a little digging to pinpoint the precise nature of this particular Snapchat feature.

But first, let's start with the basics, in case you're new to Snapchat or your Snapchat game is so super low-key it's basically on life support ... like mine. Snapchat is a social messaging app that allows you to send photos and videos to friends — with accompanying text, if so desired. You can also open chats, string together Stories, earn points, and a whole bevy of other stuff. The big difference between Snapping and tweeting or other forms of social media is that Snaps disappear mere moments after the intended recipient sees them. Of course users still have to exercise a certain degree of caution-slash-decorum, since screengrabs can immortalize anything.

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Now, onto the big question at hand. Here's what you need to know about geofilters.

What Are Snapchat Geofilters?

Snapchat geofilters are special overlays for Snaps that can only be accessed in certain locations. So, basically, they are pretty graphics that dress up a Snap. They're very similar to digital stickers, except they are actually built into the program. Geofilters change depending on where someone is when they take a photo or video, so the geofilters I see here in Charleston will be different from the geofilters you see in NYC.

Where Do You Get Geofilters?

Initially, Snapchat geofilters were only offered through the company and were therefore relatively limited. And while that selection has grown considerably with time, there are also now community submitted geofilters that are free and available for users. Custom geofilters are available for one-day or one-month purchase periods.

What Are Geofilters Used For?

Geofilters are often used by companies and businesses for corporate events and conferences, but they are also used by individual Snapchatters to commemorate all manner of special events — think weddings, birthdays, festivals, bar/bat mitzvahs, baby showers, or anything of the like.

Where Do I Start?

The first step in getting a Geofilter is designing it or picking an on-demand style. Users can either create the filter themselves or have Snapchat's team of designers create it from scratch (for a price). Once a design has been submitted and approved, you'll move on to mapping.

How Do I Map A Geofilter?

Geofilters only show up for users within a certain range. If you purchase a custom geofilter, that range is roughly 20,000 square feet or more. You provide the details about the area you want your geofilter to pop up within, and Snapchat will create a "geofence."

How Do I Find A Geofilter?

For starters, you'll need to open Snapchat, click on your settings cog icon, choose Manage, and make sure the Filters box is checked. Aside from that, my friend, I suppose you just need to be in the right place at the right time.

Image: Giphy