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(Custom-made geo-filters for festivities like weddings are all the rage these days.) Alternatively, before you take a photo, press and hold on a person’s face and Snapchat’s lens options will pop up.
This hugely entertaining feature maps out the face (or faces) on screen, and can apply animations and other graphics to the mug.
However you tweak it, once you take a photo or video, the app shows your work, and new options pop into the frame.
At the top right, you’ll see a sticker icon, which yields a bunch of emoji-like graphics you can use to gussy up your image. If you’re not in love with the default sans serif font in a gray bar across your photos, tap the text icon again, and you get more options.
At the top right of the camera screen, there’s a button for toggling between the rear and front-facing camera, and at the top left there’s a control for the flash.
Snapchat’s camera filters are the app’s secret weapon.
(You can also swipe left one more time for the “Discover” screen, which displays stories by media entities like ESPN, CNN, and People, also a Time Inc.
publication.) Sure, there are also buttons you can press to reach these screens (the bottom-left square for your chats, the top-center ghost for your account, and the bottom-right hamburger menu for your stories), but kids these days swipe their Snapchat like it’s Tinder—another app you’re probably too old to be using.
There are even some cool geo-located filters based on where you are, whether it’s in a city or at an event.
The philosophy behind this unconventional landing place is that chats all begin with the conversation, and in Snapchat, images do the talking.
That makes even more sense when you think of how the app treats its photos and videos ephemerally.
Hidden from plain view, you have to know how to access them to use them.
Take an image, then swipe left or right while on the camera screen and you’ll see a filter slide over across it.
For instance, the puking rainbow lens is a favorite among Snapchat users.