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What is Snapchat?

Snapchat is an innovative social media app that changed the way we communicate online by letting users send pictures, videos, and texts that disappear after being seen. It is available on mobile and on Snapchat web.


Created by Snap Inc. and launched in 2011, it is known for its short-lived content. Snapchat encourages real, spontaneous sharing among its users. It has grown to include features like Stories, which last for 24 hours, creative filters and lenses, and the Discover section, where users can find content from media partners and creators. It’s especially popular with younger people, making it a key place for sharing lively, instant content and staying connected.

Techopedia Explains the Snapchat Meaning

Techopedia Explains the Snapchat Meaning

Here, we delve deeper into the Snapchat definition, highlighting how it differs from other social media platforms.

At its core, Snapchat shifts our digital communication perspective, enhancing Snapchat’s meaning by moving away from the permanence and polished selves seen on other social networks. Snapchat values quick, true-to-life shares, embracing the brief nature of real moments. Beyond just chatting with friends, it provides innovative opportunities for businesses and creators to connect with people through engaging, timely content.

Snapchat stands out by mixing fun and functionality, changing how we interact socially online.

History of Snapchat

Snapchat’s story began in 2011, created by Stanford University students Evan Spiegel, Bobby Murphy, and Reggie Brown. Originally called “Picaboo,” it was quickly renamed Snapchat, marking the start of a significant shift in digital communication. The app brought a fresh idea to the table: messages, photos, and videos that disappear shortly after being viewed, challenging the usual expectation that online content should last forever.

This concept quickly caught on, particularly among younger people who appreciated the app’s encouragement of spontaneous and free expression. As Snapchat grew, it kept innovating.

In 2013, it introduced Stories, allowing users to share content that lasts 24 hours.

Then, in 2015, it added Lenses, which are fun, real-time effects for photos and videos. These new features didn’t just make the app more enjoyable for users; they also created new opportunities for advertisers and content makers.

Even with new social media platforms appearing and adding similar features, Snapchat has stayed in the game by continually updating and introducing new technologies. For example, it launched Spectacles, smart glasses that record video for Snapchat and moved into augmented reality (AR), showing its dedication to staying at the forefront of innovation.

How Snapchat Works

Snapchat operates on a simple yet innovative premise, allowing users to share their moments using photos, videos, and messages that disappear after they’re seen. Users can add fun filters, lenses, text, and drawings to their Snaps through both the app and Snapchat web, making sharing even more creative. These Snaps can be sent to friends or added to the user’s Story, which stays visible for 24 hours, creating a lively and engaging experience.

The app’s key feature, messages that vanish, highlights how brief moments can be, encouraging users to share more honestly and spontaneously. Snapchat also offers Discover, a specially chosen section where users can find content from well-known media brands, celebrities, and influencers, providing a variety of entertainment and information that caters to different tastes.

Snapchat isn’t just for chatting with friends; it also provides unique advertising options for businesses to connect with their audience in a creative way. This includes sponsored lenses, geofilters, and fullscreen video ads that make use of the app’s engaging and creative setting. The app is built to be easy to navigate, with simple gestures and swipes leading the way.

Adding to the experience, Snapchat’s use of AR with features like AR lenses and Bitmoji avatars makes interactions even more immersive and personal.

What Age is Snapchat Appropriate For?

Snapchat is officially suitable for users who are 13 years old and up, in line with the rules of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

Nonetheless, it’s important for parents and guardians to carefully think about the type of content and features the app offers. This includes messages and stories that disappear after a short time, which may not be appropriate for all teens without proper guidance.

Snapchat does have various privacy settings and policies aimed at keeping users safe, but it’s still vital for parents to actively monitor their children’s use of the app and talk to them about staying safe online. As parents navigate the app’s settings and features, understanding Snapchat pricing for premium features could also be relevant for family budgeting.

Snapchat Features

Snapchat, a versatile social media app, provides a range of features aimed at enhancing how users interact and share moments from their lives. Understanding the app’s features underlines Snapchat definition as an impromptu sharing platform.

Here’s a breakdown of its main features:

Snapchat Features 

At the heart of Snapchat, Snaps are either photos or videos that can be sent to friends or added to Stories. Users can personalize these with various filters, lenses, and texts.
These are collections of Snaps visible to friends for 24 hours, allowing users to share a day’s events in an engaging sequence.
This feature tracks the ongoing exchange of Snaps between two friends across consecutive days, promoting frequent interaction and strengthening friendships.
Snapchat curates a mix of stories from media brands, celebrities, and influencers in this section, offering a blend of news, entertainment, and lifestyle content.
Snap Map
This lets users share their location on a map, see where their friends are, and find live stories from around the world.
Special filters based on location, allowing users to add a creative, place-specific layer to their Snaps.
Lenses and Bitmoji
With augmented reality, Lenses bring real-time effects to photos and videos, while Bitmoji avatars offer a personal touch across Snapchat’s features.
Users can save their Snaps and Stories to view or share later, organizing them into albums.
A messaging function that supports text, voice, and video for private or group conversations.

These features are available on both the app and on Snapchat web. Snapchat continuously evolves, offering new and updated features that keep its form of communication fresh, creative, and aligned with its users’ preferences.


There is also Snapchat Plus, which is a premium subscription that gives users access to special, experimental, and soon-to-be-released features. These exclusive features aim to make the Snapchat experience more personalized, with extra customization options, advanced features, and unique benefits. Some of these features can even be accessed through the Snapchat web.

Here’s a closer look at some of the key features of Snapchat Plus:

Custom App Icons
Snapchat Plus members can customize their app icon, choosing from a variety of designs to make their home screen look more personal.
Snapchat Plus Badge
A unique badge appears next to your name on your profile, showing off your Snapchat Plus membership.
#1 Best Friend
This option lets you mark someone as your #1 BFF on Snapchat, making it simpler to keep them at the forefront of your Snapchat circle.
Personalize Your App
With Snapchat Plus, you can tailor your app’s look and feel with various options like Chat wallpapers, Bitmoji backgrounds, and even custom notification sounds.
Early Access to Features
Members get to try the latest Snapchat features first before they’re available to everyone else.
Better Story Insights
Snapchat Plus users can see who’s rewatched their Stories, giving insights into who’s most engaged. There’s also a feature to increase your Stories’ visibility, helping you get more views.

Snapchat Plus is designed for those looking to enrich their Snapchat experience with more control over how they use the app and interact with others. The subscription is regularly updated with new and exciting features, targeting users eager to get the most out of their Snapchat experience.

Snapchat AI

Snapchat’s “My AI” is an advanced chatbot feature embedded within the Snapchat app, also referred to simply as the Snapchat AI bot. It utilizes the power of OpenAI‘s ChatGPT technology, enhanced with special safety features, to provide users with a tailored and interactive experience. Whether users are looking for quick trivia facts, planning a weekend adventure, or needing suggestions for dinner, My AI Snapchat is designed to help.

However, it’s important to note that since this Snapchat AI feature is still developing, responses from Snapchat’s AI might sometimes be biased or inaccurate. Users should double-check the advice given by My AI Snapchat and avoid sharing sensitive details.

Snapchat takes user privacy seriously, ensuring all conversations with the Snapchat AI chatbot are securely stored. It also gives users easy options to erase their chat history if they choose to.

In addition, Snapchat stresses the importance of transparency when sharing content created by AI, encouraging users to inform others when AI has played a part in their creations.

How to Get Rid of My AI on Snapchat

To manage My AI Snapchat, it’s important to note that you need to have a Snapchat+ subscription. With this subscription, you can unpin or remove this feature from your Chat Feed.

Unpinning Snapchat AI

  • Access Snapchat+ Settings: Start by tapping on the Snapchat+ banner located on your Profile screen.
  • Toggle My AI: Change the status of ‘My AI’ from ‘Pinned’ to ‘Unpinned’ to unpin it from your Chat Feed.

Removing Snapchat AI Chatbot

To completely remove My AI Snapchat from your Chat Feed, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to Chat

    Swipe right from the Camera screen to access your Chat.
  2. Long Press on My AI

    Press and hold on the My AI chat.
  3. Access Chat Settings

    Tap on ‘Chat Settings’ after the long press.
  4. Clear from Chat Feed

    Select ‘Clear from Chat Feed’ to remove My AI entirely.

    10 Benefits of Snapchat as a Business

    Snapchat presents numerous advantages for businesses targeting a younger audience and seeking creative advertising methods. Here are the main benefits:

    Direct Engagement with Young AudiencesBoosted Brand Visibility and InteractionEffective Targeting to Maximize Ad BudgetMarketing Edge with Snapchat PlusPersonalized Customer ServiceBroader Content Visibility with Spotlight & DiscoverInformed Marketing Strategies from AnalyticsOpportunities in Global MarketsUser Engagement through Augmented RealityAdaptable Advertising Budgets

    Snapchat is popular among millennials and Gen Z, offering businesses a chance to connect with a vibrant, young audience ready to engage with brands. Snapchat is used by 90% of people between 13 and 24 years old and 75% of those between 13 and 34 years old in over 25 countries.

    By using Snapchat’s creative features like Stories, Lenses, and Geofilters, companies can create engaging ads that attract users, significantly enhancing brand recognition and user engagement.

    One of the key benefits of Snapchat for businesses is its cost-effective Snapchat pricing for ads. Snapchat Ads allow for targeted advertising based on demographics, interests, and behaviors, helping businesses allocate their ad budget more efficiently and reach the most relevant audience.

    Snapchat Plus provides exclusive features that offer businesses a competitive advantage in marketing, including custom branding options and early access to new tools that improve brand engagement and presence.

    The Chat feature on Snapchat enables direct communication with customers, allowing businesses to offer personalized support, which strengthens customer loyalty and relationships.

    Using Spotlight and Discover, brands can expand their content’s reach beyond their direct followers, accessing wider audiences and increasing engagement through varied content.

    Snapchat’s analytics provide insights into ad performance and user engagement, enabling businesses to make data-driven decisions to refine marketing strategies and enhance return on investment (ROI).

    With a vast user base worldwide, Snapchat gives businesses the opportunity to expand their reach internationally, connecting with potential customers in different regions and cultures.

    R lenses offer unique interactive experiences that can boost product interest and trials, leading to higher conversion rates by engaging users in innovative ways.

    Snapchat’s flexible ad system, with daily budget recommendations, allows businesses of all sizes to manage their advertising expenses effectively, adjusting efforts based on performance and goals.

    Integrating Snapchat into a business’s digital marketing strategy can greatly improve reach, engagement, and conversion rates, particularly with younger demographics. With its array of features and cost-efficient advertising options, Snapchat offers a dynamic and influential platform for businesses looking to refresh their marketing tactics.

    Pros and Cons of Snapchat


    • Engaging user interface
    • Temporary content
    • High engagement rates
    • Innovative AR features
    • Targeted advertising
    • Snapchat Plus benefits


    • Privacy concerns
    • Learning curve
    • Content visibility
    • Demographic limitation
    • Measurement challenges
    • Competition

    Limitations of Snapchat

    Snapchat’s forward-thinking approach to social media comes with its own set of unique limitations, beyond the drawbacks previously discussed.

    • Limited Search Functionality: The search features on Snapchat are not as advanced as those on other social platforms. This makes it harder for users to find new content or accounts to follow, potentially restricting the platform’s capacity to widen user engagement outside their current circles.
    • Challenges in Discovering Content: Although Snapchat’s Discover area provides a variety of content from media partners and creators, it can still be tough for users to find content that resonates with them. This issue is partly due to the app’s design, which focuses more on showing content from friends and familiar connections.

    Snapchat is especially valued for its emphasis on privacy and the temporary nature of its content, which are mainly suited for private sharing rather than for widespread content distribution. These aspects, while fostering authentic interactions, also mean that the platform is not as effective for making content go viral as it might on Twitter or Instagram. As a result, creators or businesses aiming for rapid audience growth might find Snapchat’s framework to be somewhat restrictive.

    The Bottom Line

    Snapchat stands out as a forward-thinking social media app, known for its unique way of allowing users to send disappearing photos, videos, and messages. It’s particularly popular among the younger crowd, promoting authentic and in-the-moment sharing.

    Snapchat enriches user interaction with features like Stories, Lenses, and the Discover section, making it an engaging platform for personal use and a strategic tool for businesses aiming to connect with a younger demographic. The introduction of Snapchat Plus offers even more personalized experiences with exclusive features for subscribers.

    However, the app does face some challenges, including limited search capabilities and issues with discovering new content, which can affect user engagement beyond their immediate network. Privacy concerns and the potential for sharing sensitive content also pose risks. Additionally, the platform’s focus on temporary content can limit its effectiveness for viral marketing strategies.

    Despite these challenges, Snapchat’s appeal lies in its innovative approach to social media, providing a unique space for spontaneous communication and creative expression. It offers significant value for businesses looking to engage with millennials and Gen Z, offering a mix of creative advertising opportunities and direct interaction with a vibrant, engaged audience.


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    Maria Webb
    Technology Journalist
    Maria Webb
    Technology Journalist

    Maria is a technology journalist with over five years of experience with a deep interest in AI and machine learning. She excels in data-driven journalism, making complex topics both accessible and engaging for her audience. Her work is prominently featured on Techopedia, Business2Community, and Eurostat, where she provides creative technical writing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts Honours in English and a Master of Science in Strategic Management and Digital Marketing from the University of Malta. Maria's background includes journalism for, covering a range of topics from local events to international tech trends.