When it comes to Snapchat, there's way more than meets the eye. It has all kinds of capabilities that might not be evident at first glance. We've already shared one round of hidden features with you, but there have been way more updates to the app, with way more hidden features you'll definitely want to keep up with. Let's do this.
Link Bitmoji to use a mini-you in your Snaps
Snapchat acquired Bitstrips, the maker of the Bitmoji app, last year. Bitmoji is a way to create an avatar of yourself from a menu of cartoon features, then use the finished avatar to express yourself however you wish. Any feeling you could possibly think of, from "WTF" to "A-OOO-GA!", is represented in the Bitmoji menu. It's basically an extremely expressive, full-body emoji.
Bitmoji is fully integrated into Snapchat, so now all you have to do is create an account and assemble your avatar and it'll be available in stickers you can slap on your Snaps, as well as filters you can swipe to add.
Try it out: Go to the settings page, tap "Bitmoji," and follow the instructions to create and link a Bitmoji account. Then they'll be available in stickers after you take a Snap.
Use Bitmoji with friends
That's not all the Bitmoji feature can give you -- if you happen to use Snapchat's chat feature to chat with a friend who has linked their own Bitmoji, a bunch of new Bitmoji become available that feature the two of your Bitmojis together. Aww!
Try it out: Search for your friend's name on the chat page and tap the tongue-out smiley face all the way to the right of the menu; if your friend has Bitmoji too, you'll see your special co-Bitmojis at the top of the list of stickers.
Make a GIF-style profile pic
Don't let a blank white ghost represent your vibrant personality -- Snapchat lets you create a GIF-y profile pic to add to your Snapcode (that's the profile picture/ID badge you can use to get people to follow you, as we explained a while ago) by taking a photo booth-style series of pictures. As of now the feature looks like it only works with your front-facing camera, so it's basically selfies or bust.
Try it out: Go to the settings page, tap the center of the yellow-and-white Snapcode, get your various facial expressions under control (or not), and tap the round button. It takes five photos in a row to make the complete GIF.
Understand the mystical trophy case
There's a little trophy icon at the top of your profile page. Tap it and you'll see emojis that represent Snapchat milestones. Yes, that's correct: You get "trophies" for spending way too much time on your phone. It's the millennial dream.
The trophies are all mysteries until you unlock each achievement, and it can be hard to figure out what an achievement is until you've already accomplished it -- but this website has begun the process of collecting all the trophies in one place. Some of the goals are pretty ridiculous: You apparently get a trophy for sending 1,000 selfies (Jesus), and another one for sending 10 Snaps that use zoom. Anyway, these are great for bolstering your self-esteem if you're the kind of person who came in 19th in your sixth-grade shot put competition.
Try it out: Tap the trophy icon on your profile page to see your "prizes" thus far.
Create Story Playlists
Sometimes visiting the Story page to check what your friends have been up to is exhausting. Watching all of your friends' stories on a Saturday afternoon at once would take longer than all three Lord of the Rings extended editions, and wouldn't contain a single hobbit. Although, maybe not? I don't know your friends.
Luckily you can cull down the heap of stories by using Story Playlists -- this lets you pick and choose which friends' Stories to play in a single stream.
Try it out: Tap the circle-shaped thumbnail next to one of your friend's Stories. This turns it into a purple circle with a white checkmark. Now tap any other thumbnails you want added to your playlist, and hit the purple play button when you're ready to watch all of them.
Add friends in your general physical location
There are lots of ways to add friends on Snapchat -- scan a Snapcode, add someone by their username, integrate your contacts -- but one way that doesn't get a lot of attention is "Add Nearby," which lets you quickly add friends who are physically near you. Let's say you meet someone moderately interesting at a party and want to add 'em on the ol' Snap -- if you both have the Add Nearby menu open, you'll be able to find them on that list of people.
Try it out: On your profile page, tap "Add Friends," then tap "Add Nearby" -- profiles of people you can add will show up there if anyone around you has it open too.
Resize text so it's all on one line
Left alone, captions on Snapchat can do an annoying thing where sentences and words get cut off by line breaks. There's an easy trick that resizes text so it all fits on one or two lines, which makes for an easier reading experience for your loyal viewers.
Try it out: Type your full caption and tap the big "T" once to turn it into block letters. Then tap it again to make sure the cursor appears in the text box, and pinch the whole caption with two fingers to shift the lines. It won't work without the cursor selected in the text box, so that step is crucial.
Make your Snaps look super cool with World Lenses
We all love lenses. Anything that makes your face look like a bunny or a tomato is a very good thing. Now you can turn the camera around and augment your surroundings as well -- World Lenses let you add effects like twinkly lights, falling stars, and snow to whatever you're recording.
Try it out: In camera mode, lightly tap your screen just once -- a menu of lens options will appear, and the first four or five will be World Lenses. Select one, record, and go nuts.
Take audio off your Snap after the fact
Maybe someone was gossiping a little too hard about their various frenemies in the background of your party Snap. Maybe you Snapped something amazing but let loose a curse word and don't want your Aunt Linda, who loyally watches all your Stories, to know that you have a potty mouth. Turns out you actually have the ability to cut out the audio from your video Snap before you send it or post it. Who knew?
Try it out: After you've recorded a video, but before you've sent it, tap the speaker icon on the lower-left corner and you'll see a little "X" show up. Audio: gone.
Post a multi-Snap Story all at once
Some of us are perfectionists. And even in the sloppy-ass world of Snapchatting, there's actually a little trick to help you achieve Snappy perfection. Say you've channeled some David Fincher-esque control freakiness to plot out the perfect sequence of Snaps for your Story, but you don't want to publish your masterpiece unless it all goes perfectly. All you need to do is turn on airplane mode before you start taking Snaps and you'll be able to share the whole Story once it's already done.
Try it out: Turn on airplane mode on your phone. Take Snaps as usual and hit the publish button as you normally would -- the Snaps won't actually post to your Story because your phone is getting no data or Wi-Fi. Once you're done, turn airplane mode off and tap each Snap to repost them. Movie magic.
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