The Snapchat Lingo

By: Anissa Gabbara

Editor’s note: This blog is part of a series of guest posts from social media students at Eastern Michigan University. Follow the conversations at #LRNSMPR and @ginaluttrell.



Back in 2011, social media consumers were introduced to Snapchat, a free photo sharing app that allows users to send and receive photos that can only be viewed for a certain length of time. With over one million monthly users (daytodaymag, 2015), Snapchat has been a force to be reckoned with in the social media world. Major businesses including Taco Bell, General Electric, and the NBA have used Snapchat as a way to promote their brand and connect with consumers. I have never used Snapchat before, but after doing a bit of research, I was able to create a list of lingo/definitions that regular “snappers” know all too well. Here is what I found:

A Snap is a photo or video message taken by users and sent to others live. The Snap lasts for up to 10 seconds, and users have the option of saving the photo/video to their phone. If the photo/video is not saved, then it is deleted immediately (Snapchat, 2015).

A screenshot is a captured image of the screen of your computer, iPhone, Android, etc. It is a quick and easy way to save and share content with others (Chastain, n.d.).

Snapcode is a feature that has simplified the process of adding new friends on Snapchat. All you have to do is scan the code that Snapchat assigns you to. “Snapchatters can add you by pointing their Snapchat camera at your Snapcode and tapping their screen” (Snapchat, 2015).


Geofilters allow Snapchat users to share their exact location with others by using filter overlays. These Snaps can only be viewed in specific locations and filters vary depending on the neighborhood. Snapchat will not store your location (Snapchat, 2015).

Emoji are small icons and symbols used to express some type of emotion. There is a wide variety of emoji to choose from, and Snapchat users have fun deciding which ones to include in their Snaps.

Lenses allow you to add special effects to live Snaps. You may also incorporate sound into your Snaps (Snapchat, 2015).

Users can earn trophies if they use Snapchat to its fullest potential. There are “emoji rewards that you can unlock by completing various activities” (Warner, 2015). Users must hit a certain score to earn trophies.

I learned that Snapchat is not your average social network. It is a fun and personalized way of sharing content with friends and family. Snapchat has plenty of cool features that allow users to be creative and entertain others, which sets it apart from other social networks. No wonder it is so popular!

Anissa Gabbara is a junior at Eastern Michigan University studying public relations with a double minor in communications and marketing. She enjoys music, writing, and volunteering at local animal wellness centers. She is also a new member of EMU’s PRSSA chapter. She has an interest in celebrity PR and hopes to one day work with some of the biggest names and corporations in the entertainment world. She plans to hone her craft while becoming a valuable source of information to others. You can follow her on Twitter @AnissaGabbara.


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