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The first thing to understand about media sharing app RapChat is that co-founder Seth Miller is not a rapper and his other co-founder, Pat Gibson, is. Together they created RapChat, a service for making and sharing raps, and the conjunction of rapper and nerd seems to be really taking off.
Since we last looked at the app in 2016 (you can see Tito’s review below), a lot has changed. The team has raised $1.6 million in funding from investors out of Oakland and the midwest. Their app, which is sort of a musical.ly for rap, is a top 50 music app on iOS and Android and hit 100 million listens since launch. In short, their little social network/sharing platform is a “millionaire in the making, boss of [its] team, bringin home the bacon.”
The pair’s rap bonafides are genuine. Gibson has opened or performed with with Big Sean, Wiz Khalifa, and Machine Gun Kelly and he’s sold beats to MTV. “My music has garnered over 20M+ plays across YouTube, SoundCloud and more,” he wrote me, boasting in the semi-churlish manner of a rapper with a “beef.” Miller, on the other hand, likes to freestyle.
“I grew up loving to freestyle with friends at OU and I noticed lots of other millennials did this too (even if most suck lol) … at any party at 3am – there would always be a group of people in the corner freestyling,” he said. “At the same time Snapchat was blowing up on campus and just thought you should be able to do the same exact thing for rap.”
Gibson, on the other hand, saw it as a serious tool to help him with his music.
“I spent a lot of time, energy and resources making music,” he said. “I was producing the beats, writing the songs, recording/mixing the vocals, mastering the project, then distributing & promoting the music all by myself. With Rapchat, there’s a library of 1,000+ beats from top producers, an instant recording studio in your pocket, and the network to distribute your music worldwide and be discovered…. all from a free app. Rapchat is disrupting the creation, collaboration, distribution, & discovery of music via mobile
“We have a much bigger but also more active community than any other music creation app,” said Miller.
While it’s clear the wold needs another sharing platform like it needs a hole in the head, thanks to a rabid fanbase and a great idea the team has ensured that RapChat is not, as they say, wicka-wicka-whack. That, in the end, is all that matters.
Snapchat remains one of the most popular multimedia messaging apps on the planet. Although some millenials aren’t fans of Snapchat. The launch of “geofilters” in 2014 is one of the reasons Snapchat boasts 187 million daily active users.
With Snapchat geofilters, you can put artwork, names, logos, and other designs over messages in the app. In a unique twist, Snapchat geofilters only work in specific locations and are often only available for a limited time.
In recent years, Snapchat filtering uses has been dramatically expanded. Today, you can submit filters to represent birthdays, weddings, parties, and much more. These filters cost money and can be expensive, depending on the size of the location you wish to see the filter run.
In this article, you’ll learn all about how to make a Snapchat filter using the new geofilters feature.
How to Make a Snapchat Filter
Any Snapchat user can submit a filter for approval. At the time of this writing, they take two forms: custom and community.
Snapchat is an excellent resource for your workplace, and paid custom filters (sometimes called on-demand filters) can be used to show off your business or celebrate a special event, such as a wedding or birthday, etc.
Free community filters are intended to represent a location (city, university, landmark, or another public place) or moment (sports game, shopping, etc.)
You can create a Snapchat filter either in your web browser or through the Snapchat app. Once you’ve created a filter and submitted it, you should hear back from Snapchat within a few hours on whether it’s been approved.
Let’s take a look at exactly how to make a Snapchat filter.
How to Create a Snapchat Filter Online
Here’s how to make a custom Snapchat geofilter online. Note: Be sure to log into your account at the Snapchat website before you begin.
- Select Create a Filter from the left side of the screen.
- Under Design Online, select your occasion from the pulldown menu. Available choices include Celebrate, Business, Birthday, Prom, and many more.
- Once you select a topic, you can choose a template on the left side of the screen or submit your own.
- Next, choose a color palette on the right-hand side of the screen, write in new text and choose different fonts, and upload pictures as needed. You also add your Bitmoji or even Friendmoji.
- When the filter is to your liking, click Next.
- On the next screen, you must assign a start and end time for your filter. You can also select Repeating Event to have the filter run at different times, daily or weekly.
- Select Next to draw your geofence. Inside your geofence is the location where Snapchat users will find the filter.
- Note that the Snapchat geofilter cost is based on the square foot of the area. Please keep this in mind.
- When you’re comfortable with your geofence, click Checkout.
- Name your filter, enter your payment information, and then hit Select.
- Wait for the approval email.
Snapchat’s geofilter maker is a fun way to customize your Snapchat experience.
How to Make Your Own Snapchat Filter in the App
- From the camera page in the Snapchat app, select your Profile/Username at the top left of the screen.
- Select the Settings icon at the top right.
- Choose Filters & Lenses, then select Get Started.
- Click Filter.
- On the next screen, select the filter occasion. Examples include Birthdays, Baby Shower, Date Night, and more. You can also “Start from Scratch”.
- You can select a design and customize your filter with text and stickers.
- Once you decide on these items, you need to enter a start and end time for the custom filter. Select Continue.
- Create a geofence showing where you’d like the filter to run. Hit Continue.
- After agreeing to the filter price, choose Continue.
- Select Purchase from the summary page, then make your payment.
- Wait for the approval email.
About the Snapchat Geofilter Cost
Now that you know how to make a geofilter, let’s talk about the cost.
The price for a Snapchat filter depends on the location of your geofence, how big it is, and how long you want it to run. Your payment isn’t charged to your account until the filter has been approved. Package prices are available to businesses.
At the time of this writing, Snapchat accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover.
What About Community Snapchat Filters?
You can only create community filters via the Snapchat website. You can submit a filter or moment filter. Community filters don’t include templates. Instead, you send an original design that follows Snapchat’s geofilter guidelines.
Snapchat suggests creating community filters in Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator. Canva is another good choice. Regardless, Snapchat offers the following submission tips:
- Provide a good description if the artwork does not speak for itself, including any relevant dates.
- Snapchat’s geofilter size is 1080px wide and 2340px tall.
- Make sure no text or important elements are within the buffer zone of your filter (210px from the top and bottom).
- Files should be under 300KB and in PNG format (transparency enabled).
If you stick with these guidelines, your custom Snapchat geofilter will look great.
Adding Snapchat Filters
To add one of the many Snapchat filters to a Snap, follow these simple steps:
- In Snapchat, capture a Snap, as usual.
- Swipe left and right to choose a filter.
- Next, tap the Stack button to stack filters.
To find filters specifically for your area, be sure to Enable Location “While Using the App” in your device’s settings.
Personalize Your Snapchat Experience With Filters
Making a Snapchat filter a great way to personalize your Snapchat experience. Whether you’re thinking of creating a customized filter for an upcoming event or want to advertise the town you call home, Snapchat filters have you covered.
You can create most filters via the Snapchat website and app. Select from one of the many Snapchat filter templates or create one of your own. There’s no limit to the type of filter you can create.
Now that you know how to make a Snapchat filter, you can learn how to unlock hidden Snapchat filters, too.
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No matter how much experience you have with Snapchat, the chances are you have some questions about how this social media platform works.
Hundreds of millions of people now use Snapchat every month. Most of these users are under the age of 25, and have grown up navigating the ever-changing world of social media apps.
However, while most social media apps have a clear purpose and function, Snapchat is simultaneously a news source, instant messenger, public broadcast platform, selfie-taker, and #1 source of that dog tongue filter. Honestly, even for its most experienced users, Snapchat can be pretty confusing.
To help, we have put together a single resource where you can learn exactly how to use Snapchat. Whether you want to send pictures of your breakfast to your best friend, participate in a location-based story, create a Bitmoji, or catch up on your favorite celebrities, this article will answer all of your questions…
What Is Snapchat?
Released in 2011, Snapchat began as a way to send friends pictures (the titular “snaps”) that would automatically disappear 10 seconds after being viewed. But that was only the beginning.
Now, Snapchat is really more of a social media platform than a singular app. You can still use the app to send and receive silly photos, but you can also use it to share an ongoing “story” of photos and videos from your day (either publicly or with friends), instant message your friends, follow the lives of celebrities, or keep up with current events by watching location-based stories happening near you.
Confused? You’re not the only one. So keep reading to learn more about all of the features that are now available on Snapchat.
You’re not imagining it – Snapchat has its own language. If you don’t know a Filter from a Lens, a Story from a Sticker, or what the heck a Bitmoji is, we’re here to help.
Here’s a short guide to Snapchat as a Second Language:
- Bitmoji: A cartoon character that looks like you, with a variety of different poses and expressions that you can add to your snaps and chats.
- Emoji: Just like most other messaging apps, Snapchat has a collection of smiley faces, animals, flags, and symbols that you can add to messages and snaps using your phone’s keyboard. This may also refer to the emojis next to your friends’ names – some of these have a secret meaning.
- Filters: Filters are photo editing tools that you apply after taking a snap, like “black and white,” “slow motion,” or “glow”.
- Friends: Friends in snapchat are the people you choose to add to your contact list. If you send enough snaps to each other, you may become “best friends”!
- Geofilter: A geofilter is a filter that appears automatically based on the location you are currently in.
- Geosticker: A geosticker is a sticker that appears automatically based on the location you are currently in.
- Lens: Like a filter, but you can apply a lens to your image before you take the picture or video. Many lenses distort your face in funny ways, give you animal ears, or change your voice.
- Memories: Want to save your snap forever? Snapchat Memories allows you to look back at saved photos and videos that you sent in the past.
- Sketch: A staple feature of Snapchat, the sketch feature allows you to draw on top of any picture that you take.
- Snap: The name for any photo or video that you take and send using the app.
- Snapcode: A QR code associated with an individual user. This makes it easy to add new friends.
- Snap Map: A map that shows you your friends’ locations, and all of the stories happening near you.
- Snap Streak: When you and a friend send snaps back and forth within 24 hours you start a snap streak. Your snap streak counts the number of days that you have snapped each other.
- Sticker: A sticker is like an emoji, but you can change its size and location on your snap. The app personalizes several stickers based on your location, the time of day, and any events happening near you.
- Story: A story is a collection of snaps that you play in sequence. You can create a general story for your day, add to a public story, watch a celebrity’s story, or create a specialized story for a single event. Usually these expire after 24 hours.
- Trophy: Snapchat awards trophies to users for completing certain combinations of actions on the app. How many can you collect?
How to Set Up Snapchat
Start by downloading Snapchat for iOS or Snapchat for Android — it’s only available as a mobile app. When registering, the app will ask you for your name, date of birth, username, password, email, and phone number.
Choose your username carefully, because there’s no option to change it in the future.
After you create your account, Snapchat will guide you through the steps you need to take to start using the app.
If you want, Snapchat can access your contacts to see which of your friends is already using Snapchat. Alternatively, you can skip this step using the button in the top right-hand corner and add your friends manually instead.
That’s it. The selfie screen will now open automatically, and you’re all set.
Navigating the Snapchat App
Snapchat is a maze. Here are the key screens you need to know about to find your way through the app and access the features you want to use.
- Camera Page: This is the “main page” of the app, and it’s where you go to take photos and videos using the front or rear camera. While taking a snap you can add lenses, and after taking a snap the page will automatically load the filters, geofilters, sketch tools, and stickers available for you to use.
- Profile Page: Find this page by pressing the outline of a person’s head and shoulders in the top left-hand corner. This page shows you your Snap Code and Snap Score, and gives you access to your Trophies, Stories, Contacts, Bitmoji, and Settings (the gear in the top right-hand corner)
- Friends Page: Find this page by tapping the chat bubble in the bottom left-hand corner or by swiping to the right. This page shows you all of your friends and current conversations. This is where you can check on your snap streaks, snap or message friends directly by tapping on their name, and place audio calls or video calls to friends.
- Memories Page: Find this page by tapping the image of two photos in the bottom centre of the camera page, or by swiping up. This page gives you access to your saved snaps (memories) and phone’s camera roll.
- Discover Page: Find this page by tapping the map icon at the bottom right-hand corner of the camera page, or by swiping left. This page lets you watch stories from celebrities, publications, and events around the world. You can also access the Snap Map by pressing the search bar – it will load as your first result!
How to Add Friends on Snapchat
Snapchat is only fun if you have friends to snap with. You can add people you already know by letting Snapchat access your contacts, or pressing Add Friends on your Profile Page.
Use the top search bar to search for friends using their username, or press Snapcode to add a friend using a photo of their unique snapcode.
If you want to follow a celebrity or brand on Snapchat, you can try searching for them by name. But, beware, as there are a lot of fake accounts out there. You’re better off looking for the person’s information on another verified social media platform, or checking this list of verified Snapchat users.
How to Take (and Send) a Snap
You’re navigating the app like a pro, and you have friends to talk to — it’s time to send your first snap!
Taking a snap is as easy as one, two, three:
- Choose whether you want to take a selfie or a rear camera photo. You can switch between these two options by pressing the lens button in the top right-hand corner of your screen.
- Press the Circle in the bottom centre of your screen to take a photo. If you’d prefer to take a video snap, press and hold the button to film. When you remove your finger the camera will stop filming.
- Press the Blue “Send to” Button in the bottom right-hand corner of your screen. We’ll talk about editing your snaps later – for now, simply select the friend or story you wish to send the snap to, and hit “send” in the bottom right to confirm.
How to Send a Photo From Your Phone on Snapchat
Already taken the perfect picture? You don’t need to try to replicate it on the Snapchat app. Immediately under the circle button you’ll see an icon with two rectangles overlapping. Press that icon to access saved snaps and your camera roll, then send your photo using the method above.
How to Chat With Friends on Snapchat
Do you want to use Snapchat for instant messaging? Then simply tap on their name on your friends page, and use the buttons at the bottom of the screen to navigate your chat options.
Moving left to right:
- Memories icon: allows you to send your friend a saved snap
- Phone icon: will let you start a voice call with your friend
- Circle button: lets you take a snap to send directly to this friend
- Video icon: lets you start a video call with your friend
- Smiley face icon: lets you send a Bitmoji to your friend
Like snaps, your chat messages will disappear after you view them a single time.
Want to save a message to re-read later? Press and hold on the message to pin it to your chat.
How to Use Snapchat Stories
Snapchat stories are easily one of the most addictive features of the entire app. This is the best way to tell a cohesive story about an event you’re at, showcase a vacation, or answer questions from friends and fans. Your snaps remain on your story for 24 hours, and can be viewed an infinite number of times before being deleted.
Unfortunately, Stories are also one of Snapchat’s most confusing features. Here’s what you need to know…
How to Make a Snapchat Story
You can add to your story by taking a snap the usual way and then selecting “My Story” as one of the recipients.
Or, you can navigate to the “My Story” button on your Profile Page to take a snap that will be sent directly to your story and no one else.
From your Profile Page you can also choose to make a “New Story”. This story will be separate from your default story. These stories can be a “Private Story” (only you can add to the story, and only invited friends are able to view it), a Custom Story (you choose who can add to the story and who can view it), or a Geo Story (visible to you and anyone nearby).
Your Profile Page also lets you change the privacy settings of any story. Just press the “…” button to change an individual story’s audience.
Want to save an entire story for later? Press the download button next to the story you want to keep.
How Do I Know Who Has Viewed My Snapchat Story?
View your own story by pressing the circle button next to your username on your Profile Page. Then, tap the tiny arrow found at the bottom of your screen. It will slide up to show you how many views your snap has (the eye icon) and how many screenshots have been taken (the overlapping arrows).
Want to delete a snap from the story? Press the garbage can icon. Or, if you’d rather save an especially good snap forever — simply tap the download icon at the bottom right.
How to Watch Someone Else’s Snapchat Story
All of your friends’ stories are found in the circle next to their username on your Friends Page. Tap on the circle, and enjoy watching what they’re up to!
To navigate a story, you:
- Tap the screen anywhere to skip a snap before it times out
- Press and hold the screen anywhere to send the snap to a friend
- Pull down to exit out of the story
How to Add to a Snapchat Our Story
Want to participate in a public story curated from snaps submitted by tons of unrelated users? These may be linked to an event, a geographical location, or a worldwide theme.
To participate, take your snap like normal from the Camera Page. Then, instead of “My Story” select “Our Story”. Your photo will be reviewed, and then will be available for anyone to view publicly based on your location or event.
Our Story is an incredibly fun feature. But be careful, as you never want to give identifying information or locations in your public snaps — the photos could go anywhere or be seen by anyone.
How to Block People on Snapchat
Snapchat can be a lot of fun, but like all social media there’s a dark side. Unfortunately, bullying and harassment can easily happen on an app that immediately deletes most of its content.
If someone is being offensive, creepy, or even just annoying, you don’t have to put up with it!
To block a user after they have snapped you, tap and hold on their user name. A menu will appear on your screen. Press “settings” and then Block. If you simply don’t want to be friends with them anymore, you can also choose “Remove Friend”.
How to Use Snapchat Discover
Snapchat Discover is equal parts chaotic and fun. Immediately your feed will be populated by shortened stories from publications around the world.
If a Discover story draws you in, you can swipe up to read the full article. Or, tap and hold to send the snap to a friend.
Don’t like what you see? Press and hold on any story that you aren’t interested in and choose “See Less Like This”. This will help Snapchat’s algorithms give you only the content you want.
If you especially like a publication, you can press and hold on their story. Then, choose “Subscribe” — these stories will now show up higher on your newsfeed.
How to Use the Snap Map
Much like the Our Story feature, the Snap Map is a really cool feature that also has some privacy issues. Don’t let that put you off, but do read our Snapchat security tips first.
On the plus side, the Snap Map lets you see cool events around you, keeps you up-to-date with your friends’ activities, and helps you find fun things to watch around the world.
On the other hand, if you don’t choose your settings carefully, your friends can watch your every move on a scarily accurate map!
To find the Snap Map, go to the discover screen. Then, tap on the “search” button at the top of the screen. Your Snap Map should appear as your first result.
Press on the map to open it fully. Now, you can scroll around — if your friends have Bitmojis it will be easy to recognize them no matter where in the world they are.
In the top right corner of your Snap Map there is a Settings icon. Tap on this icon to access a menu that lets you access “Ghost Mode” (where no one can see your location), choose which friends can see your location, or create a Bitmoji.
How to Make a Bitmoji on Snapchat
You might already be familiar with Bitmoji — they were made for Facebook years and years ago. If you don’t already know, you can think of a Bitmoji as an emoji that looks just like you!
You can customize a small cartoon character (or avatar) that Snapchat then animates into a number of different expressions, emotions, and poses that you can then integrate into your snaps. Your Bitmoji will also be featured on your friends’ Snap Maps so that they can easily locate you.
The easiest way to create a Bitmoji is to press the “Add Bitmoji” button on your Profile Page. But, as mentioned above, you can also access the feature through the Settings icon on your Snap Map.
After you press “Create Emoji” you’ll be asked to download a separate Bitmoji app. Then, the app will guide you through creating a character in easy-to-follow steps.
You can use your Bitmojis as stickers in any snaps or chats you send! (See below for more information on using stickers).
Bonus Snapchat Features
Are all of these basic features not enough for you? Don’t worry — Snapchat is full of extra features for you to explore.
How Do You Earn Snapchat Trophies?
Snapchat trophies are awarded for the most random of accomplishments, and no one truly knows the full extent of the trophies out there. Try using as many features as possible and sending snaps regularly — you’ll be amazed at how fast the trophies pile up.
To view your trophies, go to your Profile Page. There, you can press the “Trophies” icon to view your Trophy Case. Press on each trophy to learn how you earned it.
How Do You Increase Your Snap Score?
The exact algorithms behind the Snap Score are a closely guarded secret. You can view your score on your Profile Page, directly under your name.
All we can say for sure? The more active you are on Snapchat, the higher your score. If you figure out the exact formula for raising your Snap Score, please let us know.
What do the Snapchat Emojis Mean?
Sooner or later you may notice that Snapchat has a set of emoji hieroglyphics placed next to your friends’ names. These emojis will change based on how you and your friends interact with each other.
Curious about their exact meanings? Check out our list of surprising things Snapchat users should know.
How Do You Get a Snap Streak?
Snap Streaks appear next to the name of any friend that you snap every day. Each time you both snap each other a photo or video (text messages don’t count) within a 24 hour window of time, you add one day to your snap streak. How high can you go before one of you breaks the streak?
Getting Creative With Your Snaps
Basic snaps are fine enough, but the real fun of Snapchat happens when you get creative with your snaps. After taking your snap, you’ll see a row of icons appear along the side of your image.
Here’s what each of them lets you do, in order from top to bottom:
How to Add Text to Your Snap
Type in any message you want, then change the color and font to give your message just the right amount of emphasis.
How to Draw on Your Snap
This was the first feature ever released, and it’s still key for adding emphasis (or art!) to your images and videos.
Change your brush size by pinching or expanding your fingers on the screen. You can also change your ink color using the rainbow slider at the side of the screen.
Undo any mistakes using the rewind arrow in the top right corner.
How to Add Stickers to a Snap
You can scroll through endless sticker categories (including ones based on your location, the time of day, or the weather), or search for your favorites using the search bar.
This is another great place to use your Bitmoji to add some truly individual expression to your snaps.
Simply click on a sticker to add it to your snap. You can now press and drag on the sticker to move it around, or pinch your fingers to change its size or rotate it.
Want to delete a sticker? Press and drag it over to the garbage can icon that appears at the end of the list of icons.
How to Make Your Own Snapchat Sticker
Is there an especially funny part of your snap that you want to duplicate in the future? Click on the scissor icon, then the add sticker icon to outline the part of your snap that you want to save. It will appear on top of your snap, where you can modify it like any other sticker. These stickers will appear under the “scissor” screen of your sticker menu in the future.
How to Hide Blemishes on Snapchat
Is there a part of your snap that you want to clean up? Instead of using a third-party editor (which is WAY too time consuming for a simple snap), press the scissor icon and then the star icon. Highlight the blemish, speck, or sunspot you want to remove and snapchat will automatically blur it into the surrounding area.
How to Add a Backdrop on Snapchat
Want to have a fun pattern overlaid on your snap? Press the scissor icon and then the scribbled-square icon. You can choose from several predefined backgrounds.
Use your finger to outline any part of your snap that you don’t want to be affected by the backdrop — this can be a great way to emphasize a key detail.
How to Change an Object’s Color on Snapchat
Press the scissor icon, and then the paintbrush. You can now draw on any area of your snap that you would like to tint a specific color (choose the color from the rainbow slider). This can be a great way to highlight key areas of a snap or make your picture of the sunset a little more brilliant.
How to Add a Link on Snapchat
Want to use your snapchat to link to a webpage? Simply press the paperclip icon and enter your target URL. A preview of the page will appear, and once you know it’s the page you want, you can press “Attach to Snap”.
How to Change Your Snap’s Time Limit
The stopwatch icon changes the amount of time that your snap is visible for. You can choose a time between one and 10 seconds before the snap disappears. Or, choose the infinity symbol – meaning that the viewer will have to tap the screen to move past your snap. Be careful though, as this allows more time for screenshots!
Add Filters to Your Snap
There aren’t icons for filters — you add them by swiping left and right on your photo. Be careful not to accidentally move a sticker when you do this.
You can’t edit filters the same way you can other design elements, so what you see is pretty much what you get. Filters change daily and are often based on your location, so check out your selection regularly.
There are also fun filters for video snaps like slow-motion and reverse.
How to Use Snapchat Lenses
Snapchat lenses are a little different from most other Snapchat design elements because they are added while you are taking your snap, not afterwards. To access the lenses available today, tap the Camera screen. Then you can swipe through the small circles that appear along the bottom of the screen and give yourself a preview of the different lenses available.
Have fun — a lot of these lenses add sounds and fun effects that react to the movements you make on the screen.
There’s an almost infinite number of Snapchat Lenses out there, so get busy sending them all.
How to Delete Your Snapchat Account
Has this all been a little much? Or are you too addicted to designing “Snapsterpieces” and need to take a break from it all?
Deleting your Snapchat account isn’t as easy as you might think. The easiest way to delete your account is to use this link:
After entering your username and password, your account will be deactivated for 30 days. After 30 days pass, your account will be permanently deleted. Logging back in at any time during the 30 day period will completely reactivate your account.
Just need a little break from notifications? You can log out from your account by going to your Profile Page, selecting Settings, and scrolling down to the “Log Out” button.
Does Snapchat Make Sense Now?
This guide should have helped you understand Snapchat a lot better than you did previously. Unfortunately, Snapchat has a habit of updating the app and changing how it all works. So make the most of this moment of clarity!
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Snapchat hasn’t had the best of times recently. A major update upset users who promptly started a petition. And then Kylie Jenner expressed her disappointment, sending Snap’s share price tumbling. However, Snapchat weathered the storm, and is now moving on.
How to Start a Snapchat Group Chat
Snapchat’s latest trick is group video chats and group voice chats. You can now engage in group video chats with up to 16 people. If more than 16 people want to join in you can switch to a group voice chat, which allows for up to 32 people at a time.
To start a group video chat, just enter a group chat and tap the video camera icon. Friends in the group chat will receive a notification inviting them to join, and can choose whether they want to see your ugly mug or not. You can then chat away as normal.
Introducing Group Video Chat! https://t.co/2gwVsk8mDc
— Snapchat (@Snapchat) April 3, 2018
You can also start a group voice call by tapping on the phone icon. Either way, you’ll get an alert telling you when people join the group chat, and individuals can opt to be on camera or just on microphone. You can also use the usual lenses while chatting.
Snapchat is rolling group video chat out gradually starting this week. This feature comes two years after Snapchat introduced one-on-one voice and video calling, and Snapchat clearly feels that this is the right time to up its game by adding more participants.
The Homogenization of Messaging Apps
This is another sign of the homogenization of social media and messaging apps. Each successful app starts out offering something unique, but soon adds new features already pioneered by one of its competitors. The only question is which app will rule them all?
Most teenagers are using Snapchat these days, although millenials aren’t all that impressed. There’s obviously also Instagram, with these tricks to get more followers. And then there’s Telegram, the privacy focused alternative. So, choose wisely!
Do you know your Snapchat score? Chances are, you’ve seen the random number by your username at least once. Maybe you’ve even tried to increase your Snapchat score in the past.
But do you know what your Snapchat score means? Like many frustrating Snapchat features, your score appears to be illogical. But don’t worry, and we’re here to tell you what your Snapchat score is and how to improve it.
What Is a Snapchat Score?
Snapchat isn’t exactly forthcoming about its score feature. The image below shows all of the official information that the help section of Snapchat’s website offers about your score. Helpful, right?
Essentially, your Snapchat score is a running tally of your activity on the app, including snaps sent, snaps received, users added, stories you send, and more. Many users compare Snapchat scores as a way to compete with each other or add trophies to their Snapchat Trophy Case.
How to Find Your Snapchat Score
If you’ve never looked for your Snapchat score before, it can be a bit difficult to find (especially after the unpopular new Snapchat update).
To start, head over to your Profile screen on the Snapchat app (tap your Bitmoji’s face or the circle icon in the top left of your screen).
The top of your Profile page will show your Snap code. Underneath your Snap code will be your display name, and then three grey pieces of information: your username, your snap score, and your zodiac sign.
Tapping on your snap score will reveal two other numbers. The number on the left is the number of snaps you’ve sent since creating your account, and the number on the right is the number of snaps you’ve received.
How to Find Someone Else’s Snapchat Score
Do you want to see how your score compares to a specific friend or celebrity (such as the Snapchat share price-scaring Kylie Jenner)? While there is no public leaderboard for Snapchat scores, you can check an individual’s score with very little effort.
Simply swipe right on the user whose score you want to check, opening a chat window. Then, press the icon with three lines at the top left of the screen. A page will open showing you their display name, with their username and snap score underneath in grey text.
How Does Snapchat Score Work?
You may notice after doing some quick math that simply adding together your number of Snaps sent and Snaps received results in a number that’s less than your Snapchat score.
Welcome to the “couple other factors” that Snapchat mentions. While no one knows what exactly these factors are, there are some solid theories. Based on our research, these are the likely contributors to your score:
- Snaps Sent
- Snaps Received
- Number of users added
- The number of stories you post
- Maintaining Snap Streaks with friends
- Bonus points when you start using the app again after not using it for a while
How to Get Your Snapchat Score Up
Snapchat isn’t trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. If you want to increase your score, you need to use the app.
So your best bet for increasing your Snapchat score is to use the app as much as possible. With some dedication, you’ll be breaking records in no time.
With that being said, it’s important to know some of the common misconceptions about adding to your Snapchat score.
- Your Snapchat score will only increase by sending photo and video snaps! Text messages sent through the Snapchat app do not count.
- You don’t get extra points for sending the same snap to multiple users. You need to send a unique snap in order to get a point.
What Trophies Can You Get With Your Snapchat Score?
One of Snapchat’s fun features is its Trophy Case page. The app awards trophies to users based on the different ways that they use the app. As you increase your score, you gain access to seven different trophies (as shown in the image below).
You can see your current trophies by pressing the Trophies icon on your profile page.
Can I Raise My Snapchat Score Online?
There are a lot of websites out there that promise you they will add hundreds of thousands of points to your Snapchat score. They make promises that sound too good to be true, and guarantee that you will watch your Snapchat score increase in minutes.
Don’t be fooled! All of these websites and apps are scams.
Your Snapchat score cannot be modified by third party apps or websites. You can only increase your Snapchat score by using the app—there are no easy workarounds or cheat codes for this feature.
My Snapchat Score Isn’t Updating: What Do I Do?
If you’ve been using the app regularly but haven’t noticed a change in your Snapchat score, don’t panic! Here are some steps you can take to make sure all your effort isn’t wasted:
- Make sure your app is updated to the most recent version available
- Wait a few hours—it may just be a glitch!
- Talk to Snapchat support. In a worst-case scenario, they might be able to help troubleshoot your individual situation.
How High Can Your Snapchat Score Go?
Given how popular Snapchat is, it may come as no surprise that many users have Snapchat scores in the hundreds of thousands. Of course, this does raise a question: do you really want to have a systematic measure of how much time you’ve wasted on this app?
Like with any social media tool, you’re likely going to enjoy Snapchat the most if you focus on using it to communicate with your friends. They’ll enjoy it more too—no one wants to receive 1,000 selfies of someone who is just trying to increase their score.
OK, so that’s your Snapchat Score sorted, but do you still have questions about Snapchat? If so check out these Snapchat tips and tricks to be sure that you’re using all the best features.
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With rising concern over social media’s ‘toxic‘ content problem, and mainstream consumer trust apparently on the slide, there’s growing pressure on parents to keep children from being overexposed to the Internet’s dark sides. Yet pulling the plug on social media isn’t exactly an option.
UK startup SafeToNet reckons it can help, with a forthcoming system of AI-powered cyber safety mobile control tools.
Here at Mobile World Congress it’s previewing an anti-sexting feature that will be part of the full subscription service — launching this April, starting in the UK.
It’s been developing its cyber safety system since 2016, and ran beta testing with around 5,000 users last year. The goal is to be “protecting” six million children by the end of this year, says CEO Richard Pursey — including via pursuing partnerships with carriers (which in turn explains its presence at MWC).
SafeToNet has raised just under £9 million from undisclosed private investors at this point, to fund the development of its behavioral monitoring platform.
From May, the plan is to expand availability to English speaking nations around the world. They’re also working on German, Spanish, Catalan and Danish versions for launch in Q2.
So what’s at stake for parents? Pursey points to a recent case in Denmark as illustrative of the risks when teens are left freely using social sharing apps.
In that instance more than 1,000 young adults, many of them teenagers themselves, were charged with distributing child pornography after digitally sharing a video of two 15-year-olds having sex.
The video was shared on Facebook Messenger and the social media giant alerted US authorities — which in turn contacted police in Denmark. And while the age of consent is 15 in Denmark, distributing images of anyone under 18 is a criminal offense. Ergo sexting can get even consenting teens into legal hot water.
And sexting is just one of the online risks and issues parents now need to consider, argues Pursey, pointing to other concerns such as cyber bullying or violent content. Parents may also worry about their children being targeted by online predators.
“We’re a cyber safety company and the reason why we exist is to safeguard children on, in particular, social networking and messaging apps from all those things that you read about every day: Cyber bullying, abuse, aggression, sextortion, grooming,” he says.
“We come from the basis that existing parental control systems… simply aren’t good enough. They’ve not kept up to date with the digital world and in particular the world that kids socialize on. So Snapchat, Instagram, less so Facebook, but you get the idea.
“We’ve tackled this using a whole mixture of deep tech from behavioral analytics, sentiment analysis and so on, all using machine learning, to be able to contextualize messages that children send, share and receive. And then block anything harmful. That’s the mission.”
Once the SafeToNet app is installed on a child’s device, and linked with their parents’ SafeToNet account, the software scans for any inappropriate imagery on their device. If it finds anything it will quarantine it and blur the content so it no longer presents a sharing risk, says Pursey.
The software runs continuously in the background on the device so it can also step in in real-time to, for instance, block access to a phone’s camera if it believes the child might be about to use it for sexting.
It’s able to be so reactive because it’s performing ongoing sentiment analysis of everything being typed on the device via its own keyboard app — and using its visibility into what’s being sent and received, how and by whom, to infer a child might be about to send or see something inappropriate.
Pursey says the AI system is designed to learn the child’s normal device usage patterns so it can also alert parents to potential behavioral shifts signaled by their online activity — which in turn might represent a problem or a risk like depression or aggression.
He says SafeToNet’s system is drawing on research into social behavioral patterns, including around digital cues like the speed and length of reply, to try to infer psychological impacts.
If that sounds a little Black Mirror/Big Brother, that’s kind of intentional. Pursey says it’s deliberately utilizing the fact that the children who are its users will know its system is monitoring their device to act as a moderating impulse and rein in risky behaviors.
Its website specifies that children have to agree to the software being installed, and kids will obviously be aware it’s there when it pops up the first notification related to something problematic that they’re trying to do.
“If children know they’re being watched they automatically adjust their behavior,” he says. “We’re using a high degree different methods to deploy our software but it is based upon research working with universities, child welfare support groups, even a priest we’ve been talking to.”
On the parent side, the system hands them various controls, such as enabling them to block access to certain apps or groups of apps for a certain time period, or lock out their kids’ devices so they can’t be used at bedtime or during homework hours. Or ground access to a device entirely for a while.
Though, again, SafeToNet’s website suggests parents use such measures sparingly to avoid the tool being used to punish or exclude kids from socializing digitally with their friends.
The system can also report on particular apps a child is using that parents might not even know could present a concern, says Pursey, because it’s tracking teen app usage and keeping an eye on fast-changing trends — be it a risky meme or something worse.
But he also claims the system is designed to respect a child’s privacy, and Pursey says the software will not share any of the child’s content with their parents without the child’s say so. (Or, in extremis, after a number of warnings have been ignored by the child.)
That’s also how he says it’s getting around the inevitable problem of no automated software system being able to be an entirely perfect content monitoring guardian.
If/when the system generates a false positive — i.e. the software blocks content or apps it really shouldn’t be blocking — he says kids can send a request to their parents to unlock, for example, an image that wasn’t actually inappropriate, and their parents can then approve access to it.
Though the vast majority (circa 80%) of the data processing it needs to do to run this pervasive monitoring system is being done in the cloud right now. So it obviously cannot guarantee its systems and the data being processed there are safe from hacking risks.
Asked about the company’s intentions towards the user data it’s collecting, Pursey says SafeToNet will not be selling usage data in any form whatsoever. Activity data collected from users will only be used for making improvements to the SafeToNet service itself, he emphasizes.
But isn’t deploying background surveillance of children’s digital devices something of a sledgehammer to crack a nut approach to online safety risks?
Shouldn’t parents really be engaging in ongoing and open conversations with their children in order to equip them with the information and critical thinking for them to be able to assess Internet risks and make these kind of judgement calls themselves?
Pursey argues that risks around online content can now be so acute, and kids’ digital worlds so alien to parents, that they really do need support tools to help them navigate this challenge.
SafeToNet’s website is also replete with warnings that parents should not simply tune out once they have the system installed.
“When you realize that the teenage suicide rate is through the roof, depression, all of these issues you read about every day… I don’t think I would use that phrase,” he says. “This isn’t about restricting children it’s actually about enabling their access to social media.
“The way we look at is the Internet is an incredibly powerful and wonderful thing. The problem is is that it’s unregulated, it’s out of control. It’s a social experiment that nobody on the planet knows how it’s going to come out the other end.”
“I’ve seen a 10 year old girl hang herself in a cupboard,” he adds. “I’ve seen it. I saw it online. I’ve seen two 12 year old boys hang themselves. This morning I saw a film of two Russian girls jumped off a balcony to their death.
“I’ve seen a man shot in the head. I’ve seen a man — two men, actually — have their heads chopped off. These are all things that six year old kids can stumble across online. When you’ve seen those sorts of things you can’t help be affected by them.”
What about the fact that, as he says, surveillance impacts how people behave? Isn’t there a risk of this kind of pervasive monitoring ending up constraining children’s sense of freedom to experiment and explore boundaries, at a crucial moment when they are in the process of forming their identities?
A child may also be thinking about their own sexuality and wanting private access to information to help them try to understand their feelings — without necessarily wanting to signpost all that to their parents. A system that’s monitoring what they’re looking at and intervening in a way that shuts down exploration could risk blocking natural curiosity and even generate feelings of isolation and worse.
“Children are trying to determine their identity, they’re trying to work out who they are but… we’re not there to be the parent,” Pursey responds on that. “We’re they’re to advise, to do the safeguarding… But [parents’ job] is to try and make sure that their children are well balanced and well informed, and can handle the challenges that life brings.
“Our job is certainly not to police them — quite the opposite. It’s to enable them, to give them the freedom to do these things. Rather than sledgehammer to crack a nut, which is the existing parental control systems. In my opinion they cause more harm than they actually save or protect. Because parents don’t know how to use them.”
SafeToNet’s software will work across both Android and iOS devices (although Pursey says it was a lot easier to get it all working on Android, given the open nature of the platform vs Apple’s more locked down approach). Pricing for the subscription will be £4.99 monthly per family (with no limit on the number of devices), or £50 if paid up front for a year.
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