Snapchat 101 : Part I The Basics (Creating an Account, Adding Friends and Snapping)

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SarjeantsOnFire Snap Code

I love snapchat.

I love snapchat because it allows you to act silly and do silly things.   What better way to enjoy life then by laughing and making other people laugh.  Laughing makes you live longer, who doesn’t want to do that?

Snapping is easy once you learn the basics.

I mean who doesn’t want to look like a bunny rabbit for a day. So have no fear, if you regret snapping yourself using the bunny filter while singing Adele, you have nothing to worry about, it will be gone in 24 hours.


Silly isn’t the only thing you can do on snapchat, you can also share your travel adventures, recipes, day to day life–you name it.

But here’s the piéce de résistance—-you can torture your kids!  I love sending these beauties to my kids I can just imagine them rolling their eyes at me. Payback…for all the years they eye rolled me!

With all the cool filters, geofilters, lenses, stickers, text, etc., you can really add detail to your snaps.

But, in order to do those things you need to learn how to use it.  I am going to walk you through the basics of snapchat.

You will have enough to at least enjoy yourself, send some silly snaps, torture your loved ones, and maybe share a few adventures.


When snapchat started years ago, it was geared toward teenagers.  Teens for some reason don’t want to be in the same place their parents are even when it comes to social media.  So they all jumped the Facebook ship and went over to snapchat.  It was great for them because the older crowd couldn’t use it.  And since things disappear in 24 hours–the beer pong pictures wouldn’t be seen.

But that is changing my friends—and I am here to change it!  In 2016, the demographic for Snapchat has finally ‘aged’  and I am a proud member of that club.


Download the app.   For iPhone users go here.  For android users go here.  I am going to assume you can download an app (if you can’t –go out to the street right now, ask the FIRST person you see and they will help you)

Once downloaded, open the app, follow the steps to sign up and create an account.  You will need to allow access to microphone, contacts and camera.  So be sure to click OK.

REMEMBER–once you create your username, you can’t change it.  So don’t choose “MomFarts” because I am 100 percent sure you will have buyers remorse over that one.  The only way to change it is to delete the account and start over.


Before we snap, we are going to need to find you some friends!  There are many ways to find friends.  Here’s a few:

Method 1:  From Your Contacts

  1. Open Snapchat
  2. You will see Camera Screen


3.  Swipe Down 


3.  Click Add Friends


4.  Click My Contacts


5.  Now click +Add, to add all your friends.  (*Important point:  You will only see  contacts with Snapchat accounts)


Method 2: By Snap Code

  1.  Take a screenshot right now of my Snapcode

2.  Follow steps 1-4  “From Your Contacts” above.

3.  At this screen select Snapcode, instead of My Contacts


5.  You will see YOUR Camera Roll.  Tap my picture and POOF it will add me to your friends list!


These are just 2 ways to add friends, there are many more.  Read the snapchat support help page Find and add Friends for more ways to add friends.


First, there are a few things you need to know about the camera.  The CAPTURE BUTTON is where all the action happens and is very important to know.  Here’s other important buttons.


1- Capture Button- You can tap it for a picture, or press and hold to record a 10 sec video.

2- The selfie camera use it to flip between front and rear-facing camera.

3- Blue circle (#3) is unread Chats.

4- Lenses –  use these to make the snaps more fun by adding special effects and sounds!-

PURPLE CIRCLE  with 3 dots is to view stories

Take A Snap!

  1.  Tap the Capture Button for a picture, or hold it down for a 10 sec (max) video!


2.  Once you snapped a pic or video you will see this screen, click the BLUE ARROW


3.  Now lets torture, I mean send it to some friends.  Just select who you want it to go to!  As  many people as you want.


4.  MY STORY is a feed of all your snaps and videos that can be seen by you and your friends over and over for 24 hours.

Whereas, snaps sent to individual people disappear once they open it.  (Ridiculous I know- think teenage kid and beer pong).  It’s basically a one shot deal.  In my early Snapchat days – I would get snaps from my daughter, open them without thinking forget, look away and miss the whole darn thing!

Now when I open her snaps– I make sure I am sitting and staring at the screen! Don’t want to miss her precious “Do you like my hair?” pics!!

Aww…. look at my beautiful girl.

Phew!  I think that’s plenty for one day.  I know it sounds complicated but it really isn’t.  I mean if me- a fairly normal ‘Joe’ can do it, so can you.   So go ahead, make an account and just play around.  The more you do it, the easier it will get, I promise.

Just go forth and set the Snapchat world on fire!

~~Mike and Donna~~

NEXT WEEK–SNAPCHAT FOR BOOMERS TUTORIAL:  Part II  The Basics (Lenses, GeoFilters, and Text)

*DISCLAIMER:  I am not a snapchat expert, just a long time user–the above tutorial is how I use snapchat.  I am sure there are bigger and better ways *


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