For a while, Snapchat–the self-destructing image-based instant messaging platform, if you have been on a technology cleanse over the past four years and haven’t yet heard–served as the designated no-man’s-land in the social media realm. While Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, all held a set of unwritten, but clearly prescribed rules (Facebook is for parents, Twitter is for complaining, and Instagram is for presenting your carefully-curated online persona through a series of staged photos and meticulously-selected filters) you could do pretty much whatever you wanted on Snapchat. Make 20000-second long stories? Sure. Spam all of your friends with blurry pictures of a family vacation? Certainly. “Accidentally” send a picture to your crush, where you just so happen to look particularly fine? Yep! Anything goes.
Now, that’s not so true. Since Snapchat has gotten so huge, its ubiquity has served to make it so that that there is a definite code of conduct to be executed on the app. Obviously, these rules are all highly arbitrary and subjective, and aren’t meant to be taken as, like, an actual bible or something. Evan Spiegel did not see or approve this message! But it could be kinda helpful, if you are interested in becoming a cult Snapchat celebrity in the vein of DJ Khaled or Kylie Kristen. So, check out these easy ways to be better at Snapchat:
Don't Call Anyone A 'Hoe' Based On The Filter They UseYou've probably seen the various interpretations of the meme that's been circulating around that says, if you use a certain Snapchat filter--usually the dog face, but sometimes the Coachella flower crown one--you're a slut. Now, chances are good that, if you're reading this on Gurl, you're not in the "if your girl uses the dog filter, she's cheating on you" camp. But, just in case, just know that the dog filter deserves so much more that that. It is popular for a reason, and that reason is that literally everyone looks adorable in it. That's it. Image source:Kendall Jenner
Don't Send Individual Snaps That Also Go On Your StoryThis is a bad move. To understand why, exactly, this is so terrible, you much consider it from the other person's perspective. Imagine that you get a new snap. Its contents and sender don't really matter, but, for this hypothetical scenario, let's say that it is from your crush and it's of, I don't know, their dinner. You get the snap and feel happy that they were thinking of you. Later, you check their story and find that the exact same snap is lurking on their account. So, even though the snap itself wasn't so special, any significance you'd assigned to it by virtue of it seemingly being sent to you and you alone is immediately shattered by its presence on someone else's story. And then you just have to watch the same snaps all over again, with the added blow that the pictures you thought were just for you are, in fact, for everyone. Image source:Tumblr
Don't Make Movie-Length StoriesAre you DJ Khaled or Kylie Kristen Jenner? If so, great--please continue to put up Snapchat stories that feel as though they are 20185703 hours long. You've got a built-in audience already, so you can do literally whatever you want. But, if you are not these two people--which, chances are, you aren't--it would serve you well to be more concise. So, just put in what you think you would want to watch in someone else's story. People lose focus with extra-long stories and, if there isn't a definite promise there, they're just going to stop watching. Image source:PBS
Don't JUST Put Selfies On Your StoryI am 1000000% in favor of selfies. Selfies are good and wonderful and something that everyone should feel free to do without shame. But I do not support Snapchat stories that are literally just selfies. Stories are meant to do what their name implies--translate a narrative--and your face with different filters on it doesn't really do it. So, mix it up--take some landscape pics, film your friends doing funny things, capture the complexity of the world as you see it going on around you. Image source:Chrissy Teigen
Don't Use The Story Feature As A Means Of Complaining About Your Daily LifeLook, we all need to vent. I get that. But please don't use your Snapchat story as your place to do that! Talk to a friend. Or a family member. Or a guidance counselor. Anyone, really, who actually cares about the trials and tribulations you go through on a daily basis (hint: not most people on your Snapchat contacts list). Image source:YouTube
Don't Put Anything That Might Compromise School/Work/Personal Life On A StoryYeah, Snapchat is way more private than, say, Facebook can be, but that doesn't mean that it's a safe place to put up pictures of any illicit/illegal acts (that you shouldn't be doing anyway, obviously, but that's a whole other discussion). Screenshots exist, for one, and if you have a public Snapchat, literally anyone can follow you and watch your stories. Basically, just try to stay away from anything that could get you fired or expelled. Image source:Mind Of Marinara
Don't Exclusively Use The Snapchat Text Function As A Means Of CommunicationSending a Snapchat text can be convenient if you're responding directly to someone's snap, but, generally, it should only be used for that. These messages disappear immediately, making them both super annoying to deal with (who said what before? No one will ever know!) and shady AF (who said what before? No one will ever know!) Don't be hard to deal with or shady AF! Image source:Discount Domains
What do you think of these rules? Got any tips for not sucking at Snapchat? Let us know in the comments!