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A Quick Guide to Snapchat's Newest Features

"Snapchat's interface is so intuitive now!" says nobody.


Snapchat, just like the app-happy teenagers who use it, is going through a new phase: On Tuesday, the company rolled out Discover, a long-in-the-works feature that shows users snippets of content from popular media properties.

Which means it’s time for another “Is It Just Me, Am I Too Old or Is This App Confusing?” column.

About six months ago I wrote a Snapchat explainer for non-Millennials. It addressed some of the basic features (and issues) of Snapchat. It even included a “Dick pic”! You should read it.

This time, we’ll take you through some of the new stuff in Snapchat.

What’s this new “Discover” feature all about?

Re/code reporters Peter Kafka and Kurt Wagner give a pretty good rundown here. The TL;DR is that Snapchat has created a page within the app where users can view multimedia clips from a variety of different media properties, including ESPN, CNN, Yahoo News, National Geographic and Cosmopolitan.

What does that have to do with disappearing messages?

It’s not about disappearing messages. It’s about selling ads! And, as Peter and Kurt point out, people are coming to Snapchat for more than just messaging.

Ah. Right. So how do I access the “Discover” part of the app?

After opening Snapchat, swipe twice to the left. In the old version of the app, this was where you saw a list of friends you’ve added or who’ve added you.

Now it says “Discover,” with twelve different logos for media properties. Tap on one to see the videos or articles.

Okay. Now what?

Swiping to the left will take you through a series of pages that are, essentially, teasing the content. Swiping up on one of those pages will show you the full article or video. Swiping down will bring you back to the teaser or intro page. Finally, swiping down once more will bring you back to the logo-filled Discover page. (This last swipe is key. It took three of us in the Re/code office to figure out how to get back to the main Discover page. All of us are Millennials, too!)

A sampling of content I viewed: A National Geographic video of a jaguar attacking a crocodile, a CNN video about vaccinations and a Cosmo article titled “13 Pieces of Clothing That Look Good on Everyone.”

What else is new in Snapchat?

Good question. Now, the Add Friends/Added Me section of Snapchat is within the camera function.

So, if you go to the part of the app where you snap a pic, you’ll see a tiny Snapchat ghost in the upper portion of the screen. Tapping on this brings you to Added Me, Add Friends and My Contacts. Settings are here as well, in the upper right-hand corner.

But what’s more interesting is that the giant Snapchat logo that appears on this page is actually a scannable, personally identifiable code for your account, kind of like a QR code. The idea is, if you’re chatting with someone (in person, or IRL as the kids say) and you want to exchange Snapchat info, you can simply point your Snapchat cameras at each other’s Snapchat logos and instantly add each other as friends.

You can add this image to other online accounts as well — for example, you can post it to your Instagram account — and anyone who scans it can follow you. Though if your Snapchat account is private, other users won’t be able to “follow” you or view your snaps without your permission.

So there you have it. A guide to the new Snapchat features, just in time for the weekend. You’re welcome?

This article originally appeared on

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