If you have teenage or young adult children or grandchildren, you’ve likely at least heard about Snapchat.

With more than 100 million users, it’s the fastest-growing social network, which means you need to know about it.

Snapchat is becoming increasingly popular with brands and marketers, many of whom provide fresh visual content on a daily basis. You can follow CNN, ESPN, National Geographic, and Food Network, among others.

I’ll admit I’ve been a bit of a Snapchat hater, but I’m finding it more useful and fun these days with the increased participation by those over the age of 20-something.

My caution remains, however, with regard to privacy: don’t assume your posts will really be gone; nothing is ever completely gone from the Internet, and Snapchat’s young audience would do well to remember this.

You owe it to yourself to at least check it out. Here’s how to get started.

Once you’ve downloaded the app, you’ll set up an account with a user name and password. Then you can start adding friends. Tap the ghost icon at the top of your screen and you’ll see this:


Add Friends

There are three ways you can add friends:

  1. By username – if you already know the name they use on Snapchat.
  2. From your address book
  3. By snapcode, a special code you create in the app. You can share the code on social networks so your friends can easily find you.
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Post a Snap

Here’s how you post a snap. Take a photo or video (hold down the button for video) and add text, emoji to decorate as you like.


The icons along the bottom allow you to (from left) control the length the photo displays; download the photo or video, and add it to your story. Your story is a collection of snaps that are visible to all of your friends.

Tap the arrow at the bottom right to send the snap to selected friends.

View Your Friends’ Snaps

On this screen you’ll see brands at the top and your friends’ updates at the bottom. Tap the ones you want to view or watch (obviously their names won’t be pixelated).



Add brands you want to follow just like you add regular friends. Most brands update content daily, so you’ll want to log in often if you don’t want to miss the latest video from MLB, or Nat Geo. I’ve already seen Olympics-related content, so I’m guessing there will be more to come.

Try Snapchat

It’s worth trying — I’m having fun with it, and if your business targets young people, you may want to establish a presence. And, if there are teens and preteens you care about, chances are they are there as well.


OVERWHELMED by social media? My free social media checklist will help. 
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