What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is a messaging app that is used to take photos and videos, decorate them with text and pictures, and then send them to friends. These photos and videos are called ‘Snaps’. Snaps aren’t saved like regular messaging apps – they’re only available to view for a few seconds and then they disappear. Once everyone that has been sent a Snap has viewed it, Snapchat’s system automatically deletes it from their servers.

What can you do on Snapchat?

Snaps: You can send photos that last up to 10 seconds, or send videos that last up to 30 seconds to your Snapchat friends.  You can decorate your snaps with filters, lenses, stickers and text – and add them to your Story if you want them to last a little longer.

Stories: Adding images or video to your Story creates a series of Snaps that stay on Snapchat for 24 hours. You can choose to have your Story visible to all Snapchatters, just your Snapchat friends or a group of your choosing.

Filters: Filters are a way to customise your Snaps. You can add a filter to your image or video that shows the time, weather, the location that you’re at and others.

Lenses: Lenses add real-time special effects and sounds to a Snap. For example, some lenses add animal masks to the users face and another makes the person appear to be surrounded by butterflies.

Stickers: Stickers are colourful images and cartoons that you can use to decorate your images and videos.

Screenshot: Snaps disappear once the person who it was sent to has seen it, but people can still take screenshots of Snaps. It’s important to know that even though Snapchat deletes Snaps once they’ve been seen, if someone does take a screenshot there is a record of the Snap. If someone screenshots a Snap, the person who sent it will get a notification to let them know.

Discover:  On Snapchat you can view content from established publishers like the Discovery Channel, BuzzFeed and Comedy Central. You can also view Live Stories which are a stream of Snaps submitted by people at different locations and events around the world.

Text chat: You can also use Snapchat to send text chats. Like with Snaps, the message will disappear once it’s read, but people can choose to save text chats in the app.

Memories: Memories is your own personal collection of Snaps and Stories you’ve created that you want to save.

Age restrictions

Snapchat isn’t intended for children under the age of 13. Teens aged 13-17 should have permission from a parents or legal guardian to use the app.

A Snapchat account can be deleted by entering the child’s username and password here.

Privacy settings

To see who can view your Snaps and Stories, or to change who can view them tap on the ghost image on the camera screen to access your profile, then tap the gear icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and scroll down to the ‘Who Can’ section.

For Snaps: tap the ‘Contact Me’ option and choose either:

  • ‘Everyone’ – This allows anyone to send you Snaps (even strangers).
  • ‘My friends’ – Only your friends are able to send you Snaps.

For Stories: tap the ‘View My Story’ option and choose either:

  • ‘Everyone’ – This allows anyone to send you Snaps (even strangers).
  • ‘My Friends’ – Only your friends are able to view your Story
  • ‘Custom’ – This allows you to choose which friends can see your stories.

Blocking and deleting

Blocking someone on Snapchat means they won’t be able to send you Snaps, Chats or view your Stories. If you delete someone they will no longer show up on your friends list, but your privacy settings will determine whether they can still see your Stories.

To block or delete a contact:

  1. Tap the username you want to block or delete in you ‘My Friends’ page.
  2. Tap the gear icon that appears next to their name.
  3. Select ‘Block’ or ‘Remove Friend’

To block someone who isn’t on your friends list, just swipe on their name on the Chat screen to open a Chat with them. Then tap the button in the top left corner to access their profile, where you can block them.

Reporting a problem

If you see an inappropriate Snap you should report it.

This includes Snaps that share:

    • Pornography, nudity or sexually suggestive content involving people under the age of 18
    • Invasions of privacy or impersonation of others
    • Threats, harassment or bullying of other people
    • Self-harm

To report something:

    1. Tap on the ghost picture on the camera screen
    2. Tap the gear icon
    3. Choose ‘Support’

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