Home : Software Terms : Snapchat Definition


Snapchat is a mobile app and service for sharing photos, videos, and messages with other people. Once you view a message received via Snapchat, it is automatically deleted. This makes the service ideal for sharing quick updates with friends without accumulating media or messages on your mobile device.

The Snapchat app is available for iOS and Android devices. Once you download and install the app, you can create an account and add friends. You can then take a "snap" and send it to one or more of the people in your friends list. You can also use Snapchat to send quick text messages that disappear once the recipient reads them.

To take a photo in Snapchat, simply tap the capture button while the camera is active. To take a video, hold down the button for a few seconds to record a short clip. Once you've captured your photo or video, you can swipe right or left to apply filters or add other effects. You can tap the "T" icon in the upper right to add text and tap the pencil icon to select a color and draw on your snap before sending it. If you're taking a selfie, you can press and hold on your face before capturing the shot. This will allow the app to detect your face and you can apply fun effects to your selfie before sending it.

Snapchat allows you to send snaps directly to specific friends or share them with all your friends by adding them to your "Story." After you capture a photo or video, you can tap the "+" icon near the bottom of the screen to add the snap to your story. Your friends can view the images and videos you've added for 24 hours after you publish them. You can also view your friends' stories by swiping to the Stories screen within the app.

Updated: February 21, 2016

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