Snapchat Effects: How to Use Lenses & Filters For Face Effects

Snapchat Effects How to Use Lenses & Filters For Face Effects

With a growing number of Snapchat’s community generally referred to as Snachatters, Snapchat is one of the fastest growing social networking and messaging application around today. It runs on both iOS and Android with amazing photo and video effects and editing packages that stand it out as, probably, the most creative social networking today.
Some people also consider it as the scariest.

According to Wikipedia, the Snapchat’s app was created by the trio of Evan SpiegelBobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown who were students of Stanford University, and was developed by Snap Inc about 5 years ago.

From Geofilters, a countless number of lenses, emojis and other filters, creativity and exciting effects are constantly unleashed through and on the app like nowhere else. One attractive attribute of these effects is that they get missing within a short time and are never found again. So, you are free to get naughty and scary on it hoping that all the effects will disappear in no time.

That’s a major attraction to a huge number of Snapchatters.

Expectedly, the app enjoys a massive acceptance among the young people especially, the millennials. Recently, statistics compiled for Snapchat at the end of 2016 showed how far the app has gone. By the way, Snapchat is barely up to five years old but the figures are screamingly alarming.

There are 150 million daily active users on the app, 301 million monthly users, 9000 snaps per second, and 10 billion daily video views. For 2017, it is projected that Snapchat will be raking in a whopping 935.46 million dollars in ads. These are the summary of the massive traffic and results being pulled by the amazing creativities on Snapchat.

The Difference Between Snapchat Lenses and Filters

Snapchat lenses and filters are very similar in the way they work. Basically, they are meant to add effects to Snaps and make the experience on the app more fascinating.

But Snapchat filters add basic effects to Snapchat’s video and pictures. You can use it to change the tints of a picture, video or mark celebrations and holidays. It can also be used to effect movement and speed of the Snaps.
On the other hand, lenses are much more dynamic. You can use them to add animations, effects and facial designs on the Snapchat selfies. Lenses can morph up your face, create scary merges or swap your face with other objects and pictures.

Lastly, why the filters are added after you must have taken the Snap pictures, lenses are taken along with and applied to the pictures.

Understanding Snapchat Effects

Snapchat effects were designed to give the users an amazing experience while on the app. At first, not many people cared about the effects on Snapchat, but once people started deploying the many effects to create exciting and fleeting snaps, its popularity soar. And, as they will say, the rest is history.


One very interesting part of Snapchat effects is that it’s constantly getting updated with more exciting and funny features. There are even smartglasses, unique to Snapchat, which are called Snapchat spectacles. Quite a number of these effects are scary while others are very attractive. These have literarily made Snapchat pervasive and a place to be.

Filters available on Snapchat are:

  • Data filters:
  • Geo Filters
  • Specially commissioned filters

How to Use Snapchat Lenses and Filters to create effects

First, you need to update your Snapchat to be sure that you are using the latest version. Without this, you will be roaming around the app without getting through the lenses, emojis and filters.

You also need to know that Snapchat rotates the lenses available for use on a daily basis. If your app is not updated, you won’t be able to find them as Snapchat sweeps these around all on a daily basis. So, you need to update to the latest version and may have to check for a couple of days if you have a preferred lens to use.

To update Snapchat app, the easiest way is to go to App store on iOS or Play Store on an Android device. Alternatively, you navigate to “Update” on your gadgets to find if there are updates available and approve for the app. That shouldn’t take a long time.

For an Android device, you can do this through the “application” menu or use “Update” under your already synchronised Play Store on your phone.

The other main problem is that Android devices must run on 5.0 or a higher version to be effective with Snapchat effects. The iPhone must also be versions later than 4 and 4S. Get these sorted out and you are ready to roll.

Now, you are ready to start using the Lenses and the filters. The lenses are specially designed to create face effects. And, as was explained earlier, the items on your list are going to be depended on the rotations done remotely from Snapchat admin. So, you may not find a lens you saw before or that a friend used on her own platform.

For 2016, the following are the top ten popular face-filters according to Snapchat. Hopefully, more will displace them in 2017.

  • Flower Crown
  • Butterfly
  • Pink Flower Crown
  • Face Swap
  • Dog
  • Bee
  • Frown
  • Camera Roll Face Swap
  • Rosy-Cheek

Many of the lenses are used for face swapping, animating various animals’ faces, facial contortions and character alterations. Sometimes, you may have to adjust your face like opening mouths, teeth or raising an eyebrow to fit into the effect you chose. Every day has 10 free lenses and certain face motions be used to blend in the effects. For instance, you can open your mouth for a rainbow to flow out.

It is even possible for you to combine and use lenses and filters together at the same time. You should also stick out your tongue to get a good combo for puppy face lens as displayed below.

enses work with either front or rear cameras by recognising a face to be used and morphing it up with the effects chosen. But it’s easier and a lot more common to use the front camera.

  • Turn your Snapchat to Selfie mode

You can do this by turning on the Snapchat app on your phone and click on a circle at the top-right part of the phone. The icon is covered by two arrows and is very conspicuous right on the app immediately it is turned on.

You can also double-click the screen of the app to help you switch between the front and rear cameras.

  • Adjust the phone properly so you can see your face clearly and ensure the camera has a good view with proper lightening of the background.
  • Press the face where you want to apply the effects and hold on until the lens forms a shape across the entire face. In a couple of seconds, the lenses will be displayed across the bottom of the app on your device.

Poor lightening may hamper proper face recognition. So, you may need to adjust until the app is able to properly capture your face. You should also use it in a background with good lightening.

  • Move around the lenses by swiping them to the left and back until you find the one you like.

As explained earlier, you may not find the lens you want immediately. This is because Snapchat rotates them daily so that you can’t see more than ten free lenses per day. So, you may have to choose from the options available for you at the time of checking. The other alternative is to check consecutively in the next couple of days for your favourite lens.

  • Then, tap on the caption button to take a Snap or hold on to take a record. You have a maximum of 10 seconds for the video.

You can also add text to the photo or video by tapping on it. The space for the text appears after tapping on it. Then, you can tap ‘done’ or ‘enter’. You can use the “T” button at the top right corner of the screen to enable text effects. The more you click on the “T” button, the more alignments you have around the text until it reverts back to the original form about the third click. It is also possible to drag and rotate the texts or click on the text to have colour options.

Special lenses like Birthday Party lenses are only available on your birthday or those of your friends but it must have been supplied in the Snapchat details. The icon comes on your birthday and you can click on it towards the top of the right side of the app.

Adding Filters to Your Snaps

As was explained earlier, Snapchat filters are added to your Snaps after you’ve taken them. You may have applied or not applied lenses when you use filters. The major use is to add glamour and glitz to the Snaps. It helps the picture to come out the best way you prefer and ensure the effects are optimally displayed.

  • First, be sure that your app is up to date or just update it as directed above for lenses through Google Play Store or the iPhone App Store.
  • Next, you go to the filters and enable the feature.

To do this, tap on the Snapchat’s ghostlike button on the screen and click the Gear button. This will take you to setting menu. Click on “Manage” and turn the filters on.

  • Activate location.

For your Snapchats filter to work, you must state your location for Snapchat. Several of the filters are designed to fit into recreating location specific designs. To enable locations on Androids, go to settings and turn on “location.” But on iOS, you will need to tap on “Privacy” under setting, then find “location Services.” Turn on if it’s not already on and you can use the filters.

  • Take or record a Snap as explained earlier for lenses. To decide how long you want the picture to be preview when being seen, select the number of seconds (to the maximum of 10) from a ‘5’ icon on the bottom left of the app.
  • Swipe through the photo to either side to add the filters you want and adjust to suit your taste.
  • Under this, you can add Geofilters which are specific to the exact location you are currently working from.
  • Video filters help you to work around the state and speed of the videos you are going to post and also make sound effects on them.

You can use these to make your videos play backwards, speed up the video and sounds used and/or slow down the videos through Slow Motion filter. The fast moving filter is represented by a rabbit button while the slow motion filter is marked by a snail symbol.

The two buttons are kind of symbolic to the speed desired for the Snaps by the users.

Sending Your Snaps

After you are convinced that you’ve got the right snap you want with the necessary details and designs, you can send it to contacts you want or you just post it publicly. It is also possible to save it for future use. However, any post made can only last for 24 hours.

  • To save your Snaps, click on the icon from the left below the app after the Snap is ready.
  • The 3rd icon on the same line with a box and a plus sign will make available to the public for the next 24 hours.
  • Lastly, you can choose the people you want to see the post and/or can select “My Story” for the public from the icon at the bottom towards the right.
  • After choosing any of these for the post, an icon will prompt you to send.

There you are, you just got your Snaps posted on Snapchat!

Conclusively, the best way to get better with Snapchat filters and lenses is to start and continue to use it. So, get the app from Play Store or Apple Store and start playing around the effects. They are fun and you can only get better by the day.


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