Snapchat used to be the app known for those short-term, disappearing images called “snaps,” and it was a fun app to use. But when other apps like WhatsApp and Instagram started coming out of the woodwork, Snapchat had to up its game a bit. That’s when the filters and augmented reality lenses started pouring in, making the app even more fun to play around with.
Filters are used to let you play with your face. Whether it’s to distort your head, add marks to make you look funny, share your current location, or add a fantastical twist to something, Snapchat’s filters have created endless ways to use the already fun app.
If you haven’t been making the most of the filter feature, you’re really missing out with Snapchat. It is, in fact, one of the best parts of the app. So, it’s really important that you learn what these filters and lenses are and how you can make the most of these awesome features.
First things first, Snapchat filters are a special function that allows you to alter the qualities of images taken via the app, such as the color, as well as add some specific details about your location (i.e. weather and time). Think of it as an alternative to Instagram, but with a bit of differences.
Snapchat lenses, on the other hand, are what you use to augment your images to the point where they don’t look realistic anymore – in a fun sort of way. If you’ve seen people’s snaps showing them with doggy ears or tongues, then that’s down to the lenses.
Much like everything about Snapchat, you need to have a photo to work with. Take a photo with your phone with the app installed and them swipe left or right once you’re satisfied with the image. Swiping will cause the app to cycle through the different filters that are available to you. Note that the featured filters will vary depending on whether you’re using an image or a video. For example, you can apply fast-forward and slow-motion effects to your videos.
Swiping right will set you up with some geofilters that you might want to use. These are the kind of filter that cover different locations and cities, with most urban cities having their own unique geofilter. This selection grows as many other users submit their own filters from different places. These geofilters become even more diverse with special occasions such as sporting events or music festivals and concerts. Because of how geofilters work, the options you can choose from are always different, so don’t forget to check back every now and then.
The Snapchat filters also vary between Android and iOS users, so you might notice that there are some filters you have but your friends can’t access and vice versa.
Most people don’t know this, but it’s a nifty trick. After applying a filter, tap and hold the screen. This is as if you’re holding the filter in place. Once done, swipe right and you’ll be able to apply a second Snapchat filter. This trick is pretty useful when you want to combine certain filters. While you can’t always combine any kind of filter, there are some pretty useful combinations like adding a black and white filter over another one.
In some cases, you can even add a third Snapchat filter. All you have to do is to repeat the process above. If you’re using videos, then you’re going to love the fact that you can add up to five filters for all those overlays, coloring, and adjustments you want on your Snapchat movie.
Snapchat lenses are as much a gem of the app as the filters. In fact, the lenses section is a bit more hidden and is often missed out by those who don’t know about it. While it is hard to find, the feature can be accessed by holding down on your face when you’re taking a selfie. After pressing down for about 2 seconds, a 3D map of your face will appear. This trick applies to both the Android and iOS versions.
Doing so will track your face on the image, allowing you to choose the lenses from the bottom of the screen. At this point, no filters are being used yet, so you’re going to need to scroll right to start previewing the available filters.
Much like the geofilters, Snapchat occasionally changes the lenses, even as often as every few days. Make sure you take the time to go through them whenever you take a selfie. If you find one you like, make the most of it before it disappears.
Another interesting feature is the Snapchat Face Swap. As the name of the filter suggests, it allows you to exchange faces with another person on the screen with you. This, of course, leads to a lot hilarious results.
This, however, isn’t always available as a filter, so you’re going to want to enjoy it whenever it’s up. You can tell if it’s up when you see a filter that has a logo with two faces and arrow symbols above them.
A service called Bitmoji has a special interaction with Snapchat, giving you a chance to make your own emoji with a simple snap. To get this special filter, you’ll need both the Bitmoji and Snapchat apps on your iOS or Android device. You’ll have to connect both Snapchat and Bitmoji accounts as well. Once done, you can scroll through the lenses until you find your personalized Bitmoji on the list.
Hopefully, this short guide will help you get started with making the most of Snapchat filters. You can bet that Snapchat will keep diversifying this feature in the future, simply because it’s one of the best parts of the app. Just make sure to always check out what’s available and use the ones that are there before they disappear to make fun and interesting photos with your friends.