Social media has definitely made communication a lot easier. By just typing in a username, you can quickly get in touch with someone over the screen. No longer do we have to write letters or pick up the phone; logging in to a site (or app) is all that you need to do. As far as platforms go, there are numerous. For instance, there’s Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Reddit, to name a few. Sure, they all function differently, but they share one similar element—they allow you to interact with others with the press of a button.
Messaging apps are by far, one of the most popular platforms. If anything, they have started to replace SMS messages over the past few years. Take Snapchat for example—they had over 187 million daily active users in 2018.
More About Snapchat
Released in 2011, Snapchat is known for allowing users to send disappearing pictures and messages. Since then, the app has added several new features including “Stories”, which allow you to post chronological content to your profile. Not only that, but they have added a variety of stickers—some of which make use of facial detection technology. As a matter of fact, many of them feature augmented reality objects.
This “Lens” feature was introduced in 2015. Two years later, Snapchat extended it to include “World Lens”—a different type of lens that integrates 3D rendered elements into scenes. As you’re probably aware, these functions have become the app’s main highlight in recent years.
More about Snapchat Lenses
Snapchat lenses are essentially animated effects that enhance your snap. For instance, you can use them to give yourself various “accessories” such as flower crowns, bunny ears, and funky glasses. All you have to do is select a lens from the screen; the app will do everything else for you. Of course, you’ll be able to see exactly what it looks like before you take the photo and send it to your friends.
How to Use Snapchat Lenses
- Open up the Snapchat app on your mobile device
- Give the app access to your phone’s camera
- Press on the smiley face next to the center circle
- You should see a row of small circles—these are the different lenses that you can use
- Select a lens and you can begin to take your photo or video
Note: Some lens use the front-facing camera while others use the rear-facing camera
How to Get More Snapchat Lenses
Snapchat offers a considerable amount of lenses by default. If you want to add more though, you totally can. In fact, there are various ways that you can add to your collection. Let’s take a look.
Using the Lens Explorer for New Lenses
Last summer, Snapchat introduced Lens Explorer—a new way to discover and unlock thousands of lenses (more than 100,000 to be exact). The great thing about it is that you can use it directly in the app!
Note: Many Snapchat lenses are only available for a limited period of time. Be sure to play with the ones that you like before they disappear forever!
Using it is simple. First off, open up the app (if you haven’t used it in a while, you might have to give it an update). From there, press on the smiley face next to the center to view the Lens Carousel. Once you have done that, tap on the icon at the upper right of the screen—this will open the Lens Explorer.
Accessing a new lens is easy inside the Lens Explorer. Ultimately, you just have to press on a lens that you want to use; doing so will bring you right back to the camera screen with the new lens activated. Alternatively, you can select a lens from the Community Lens Stories section. Just swipe up on the snap that is using the lens and it will be added to the end of your Lens Carousel.
Using Snapcodes for New Lenses
Using Snapcodes on Your Phone
If you don’t want to use the Lens Explorer, you can always add new lenses by using Snapcodes. To do this, you will want to first save the photo of the Snapcode to your camera roll. From there, open the app and click on your profile picture; tap on “Add Friends.” At the top, switch it to “Snapcode.” On the next screen, you’ll be able to select the Snapcode and apply it to a photo or video.
Note: New lenses will only be available for 24 hours. After that, it will disappear from your carousel. Don’t worry though—you can easily scan it again for another 24 hours (assuming that the lens itself is still available on the platform).
Using Snapcodes on a Computer
Alternatively, you can always open up the picture of the Snapcode on your computer. From there, you can just scan the code by pointing your phone’s camera at the screen and holding down. While it usually takes a few seconds, it can take longer in some cases. Once the app recognizes the code, you should get a “New Lens Found” notification on the screen. Press on “Unlock for 24 hours” (some will be available for a shorter period of time) to unlock the lens.
Afterward, you can play with the new lens by going back to your camera. Depending on what the lens is, you might have to enable the selfie camera.
Note: If you get the “Nothing to See Here” notification, the lens that you’re trying to use might no longer be available.
Where to Find Snapcodes
Snapchat has many unique lenses that are locked away behind Snapcodes. To use them, you simply have to scan them. While similar to QR codes, they are different in that they all feature the Snapchat logo with a dotted pattern around the center.
Many companies have their own Snapcodes either on their website or on certain limited edition products. Of course, you can also find them through basic links. In the case of a hyperlink, you just have to tap on it to launch and unlock the lens.
Note: It’s not uncommon for popular TV shows and what not to offer special Snapchat lens from time to time. For instance, Game of Thrones had a special one that fans could use on the app, one that featured a cold, wintery landscape.