How To Use Snapchat World Lenses

by Lily Feinn
Courtesy of Snapchat

Snapchat is consistently setting the bar when it comes to adding new tools that improve our experience, so it's no surprise that the app's latest update is poised to change the social media landscape yet again. If you're a Snapper eager to learn how to use Snapchat World Lenses and take your videos to the next level, well, buckle up, because the latest 3D filters to hit the scene are really freakin' fun. The new slew of interactive lenses at your fingertips will help you see you world in a whole new way (and besides, everything looks better in Snapchat-colored lenses).

On Tuesday, April 18, Snapchat announced World Lenses in a post on their blog. These lenses are not intended for selfies, like the Lenses introduced in 2015 that we all know and love; rather, to utilize these new ones, you need to Snap with your phone's rear-facing camera. A simple tap of the screen will produce a selection of cool new overlays to "paint" the world around you. For the first time, you can place the filter in a location on your camera screen and move around to explore the augmented reality feature's three dimensions. Toss seeds around and watch them land and bloom into flowers; comment on your environment by adding words such as "cute," "gross," and "OMG"; make your world sparkle; fill it with bubbles; and so much more.

It's hard to believe that Snapchat only released Lenses a year and a half ago — the infamous puppy dog faces, sparkling flower crowns, and rainbow puke options seem like they've been filling our feeds for so much longer. Irreverent and fun, the filters have since taken on all kinds of shapes and forms, enlivening posts, and Snapchat's impressive tech has taken them to the next level.

Here's what World Lenses look like in action:

Itching to give World Lenses a try? Here's how to make fellow Snappers say "OMG" when they see your latest video:


Update Snapchat

Lily Feinn/Bustle

The latest update was is dated April 17, 2017. Head on over to the iTunes App Store or Google Play Store to update Snapchat, and get ready to decorate your videos with bubbles, hearts, and more!


Start Snapping!

Lily Feinn/Bustle

to test out the new feature, open Snapchat and and start snapping. World Lenses work the same as regular lenses, so there are no new skills required. Just make sure you're using the rear-facing camera and press down anywhere on the screen, and the Lens options should appear.


Select Your Fave New Filter


The new Lens options will pop up alongside the filming button. There are currently 19 to choose from, but Snapchat says they will be updated daily, so Snappers will never be at a loss for new things to play with. Scroll through the options to select the perfect augmented reality overlay to add to your landscape. You can only use one at a time, so choose wisely (or get ready to Snap a bunch today).


Drag And Drop It Into Place


Some of the Lenses encourage you to move your camera to see how the filter transforms your scene, while others generate 3D objects and words that can be placed and sized within your environment. To play around with moving the filter elements, simply select your desired filter and press on the crying cloud or happy rainbow or whatever and move it around your screen with your finger. The object will stay where you put it — even if that place is off camera (when you move the camera over that area again, the augmented reality object will reappear). Pinch the object with two fingers to make it larger or smaller. When you play with depth of field, the object will shrink when placed further away from the camera and grow as you move it closer with your finger.


Play With Your New Environment


Snapchat's impressive technology allows you to interact with the new feature in exciting ways. Move your camera around the 3D object you placed to see it from all sides. Press down and hold the central button to start filming and let your imagination guide you. Once your 10 second video is complete, send your innovative Snap to a friend.

It probably won't be long before we see this type of tool popping up on other social platforms, but for now, Snapchat is leading the charge when it comes to transforming our environments.