How to get the most out of the new Snapchat update

Snapchat just got a huge update.

The latest version of the app, which rolled out to iOS and Android Tuesday, adds a suite of new selfie tools, in-app purchases, a new Trophy case feature and more.

See also: You can now add rainbow tongues to your Snapchat selfies and pay for extra replays

With so many updates it can be hard to know where to start. We’ve found all the most important features in the update and the best tips and tricks to using them whether your a Snapchat newbie or a hardcore power user.

Animated selfies a.k.a ‘Lenses’

The biggest change to Snapchat is the addition of “Lenses,” which allow you to add an array of special effects to photos taken with the front-facing camera. You can unlock the lenses by holding down on your face when the front-facing camera is open in the app.

From there, select the effects from the row on the bottom and follow the instructions. The Lenses aren’t limited to still images either: You can record videos with the effects by holding down on a Lens (just like you would record a video by holding down the app’s shutter.)

There are seven different effects right now, including a rainbow tongue and animated heart eyes, but Snapchat says the Lenses will be updated regularly, with a new effect being rotated in each day. If the effects look familiar, it’s because they are powered by Looksery, the startup behind popular photo apps of the same name, which Mashable’s sources have confirmed was acquired by Snapchat.

The effects seem to work best when you’re facing the camera straight-on and you may need to remove glasses for the best results. The Lenses appear to have some difficulty distinguishing between glasses and eyeballs.

Friend emojis, explained

Though not exactly a new feature in itself, Snapchat’s update also includes a guide to the app’s “friend emojis” system. If you remember, Snapchat introduced the friend emojis after removing the “best friends” feature.

Snapchat uses the emojis to describe your Snapchat relationship with the people you exchange messages with the most. But now, Snapchat makes it much easier to tell the difference between the yellow and red heart (Besties vs. BFFs) and the smiling face and the smiling face with sunglasses (BFs vs. Mutual BFs).

Snapchat friend emoji

Image: Snapchat

The feature is hidden in the app’s main settings menu, which can be found in the top right corner of the app when you swipe down from the camera. From there, head to Additional Services -> Manage -> Friend Emojis.

You can also use this menu to reset your friend emojis (in case you’re worried about someone snooping in your app) or customize which emoji are used for which friends. Simply select the emoji you want to change and pick a new one.

Pro-tip: you can also customize Snapchat’s friend emojis with the new update

— Karissa Bell (@karissabe) September 15, 2015

Extra replays and the Trophy Case

Snapchat also added the ability to unlock extra replays via an in-app purchase. You still get one free replay per 24-hour period, though you can get an additional three by paying $0.99 or get 10 for $2.99 or 20 for $4.99. Even with the paid replays, you can still only replay a snap one time so your replays must be used for separate messages.


Image: Snapchat

The Trophy Case is another playful feature added in Tuesday’s update. Each “trophy” is a different emoji that represents a different achievement, such as reaching a certain score or using a particular feature.

Snapchat Trophy

Image: Snapchat

Sending a video Snapchat, for example, unlocks the VHS tape trophy while using five or more pen colors in a singleSnap unlocks the lollipop. It’s not clear what all the available trophies are (though at least one user has already started compiling a list) but it’s likely Snapchat will also update the trophies regularly in the future.

We might even get some new trophies once iOS 9.1, which includes dozens of new emoji characters, becomes available later this year.

BONUS: What makes people like Snapchat so much?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *