Snapchat is a fun and exciting application where millions of users share their lives and keep in touch with their family, friends, and followers every single day. It is increasingly becoming the teen’s social platform of choice. Yet, it has the reputation of being difficult and confusing for people to use.

However, as soon as you get the basics, it is not as hard as people perceive it to be. If you don't get it or are just wondering what the rave over the app is all about, here is an overview of what Snapchat is and how to use it.

What is Snapchat?

Snapchat, colloquially referred to as Snap, is an iOS and Android app. It was launched in 2011 and is now headed by its co-founder Evan Spiegel. Snapchat provides a great way for its users to communicate without using written text. The core concept of this application that is that any images or videos you post are only aired for a short while before they become unavailable to your followers.

This temporary or short-lived nature of the application is said to inspire a more natural stream of communication.

Snapchat Usage in Asia

Despite its popularity in other areas, Snapchat has not enjoyed the same impact in Asia as it has in Europe and the US. This is especially because it took too long to give the Asian brands access to some of their key features like Discover channels, lenses geofilters, and ads. Also, competition from local brands like Snow is nipping at its heels in Asia.

However, the ever-ambitious Snapchat is looking to onboard Chinese advertise and marketers from other APAC (Asian Pacific) countries with the hope that it will help grow their popularity in the region.

How to use Snapchat

There are plenty of things you can do with Snapchat, from sharing photos and videos with friends, sending self-destructing messages and videos among other things. Originally, Snapchat focused on creating a private communication channel for one-on-one photo and video sharing. Today, you can use it for a variety of tasks including live video chatting, sending short-lived videos, creating customized caricatures, thanks to Bitmoji and sharing photos and short videos over a chronological “story” that is aired to your friends and followers.

This application also has a designated “discovery” section where a short content from well-established publishers like the Dailymail and the Buzzfeed feature. Recently, Snapchat has added a “memories” feature which allows users to save stories, pictures, and videos also known as snaps to a private location within the app.

Another nifty feature that has contributed to Snapchat’s popularity is the drawing tool. Users can now easily draw pictures and add a text on top of their photos and videos before sending them. This feature is a hit among youngsters looking to creatively express themselves on social media as well as having a laugh while at it.

Other key features on Snapchat include the ability for users to send cash with the partnership of Square Cash, add filters and AR-based lenses to snaps create stickers that are specific to their city, as well as display live location on a global map.

Before Snapchat, social media platforms were mostly desktop based. It was also about collecting data like tweets, statuses, messages, photos, and videos. You could make these posts available to your friends or followers to look at, like, share or comment whenever they felt like it.

However, Snapchat has changed all that in the sense that you can now quickly send short videos and photos of yourself to a friend and include a rainbow puking lens or a doodle scrawled onto them. Your friends, on the other end, can access them, reply with their own video or photo. They also have the option to screenshot it or to air it to their Snapchat story feature for their followers to see.

Some of the latest features on Snapchat include;

Snapchat lenses

This is one of the most popular features on Snapchat. This feature allows users to add fun real-time special effects and sounds to their photos, swap faces with friends, change their voice in the videos or ever super-impose a face from their photo gallery onto their face.

Snapchat memories

Snapchat now allows users to upload and save snaps from their device photo albums. This feature was created so that users can share photos and videos from the app. These memories can be shared as a story, to show a friend their album in real life or to share them directly with their friends.

Snapchat Discover

Snapchat now shares a range of news and entertainment videos through its discover feature. Here, they feature articles and videos from their media partners. Users can now stay up to date with their favourite brands.

Ultimately, the key goal of Snapchat is instant communication through videos and photos that are sent or received on your mobile phone.