With over 165 million users sending 3 billion snaps per day, Snapchat is a highly active, rapid-fire social network. Standing out as an individual or business in the sea of snaps is a challenge without a way to mark images and videos as unique.
Snapchat filters allow you to add overlays to snaps, giving each one of your posts a special touch. Just a few simple swipes can turn a plain photo into an eye-catching announcement of a pivotal moment in your life or a distinctive advertisement for a business event.
Use this step-by-step guide to maximize the effectiveness of filters on all of your snaps.
How To Get Snapchat Filters on Your Phone?
The number of available filters changes on Snapchat from day to day based on popularity and usage. Custom filters can also be created. To get started using filters on your phone follow these steps:
- Enable “Location Services” on iPhone or “Location” under “Settings” on Android
- Open Snapchat
- Swipe down to access your profile
- Tap the gear icon in the upper right corner to open your settings
- Under “Additional Services,” select “Manage”
- Toggle the Filters switch to the On position
- Take a snap
- Swipe left or right on the preview screen
- Cycle through filters until you find the one you want
- Tap the filter to see if any additional options are available
- Tap “Allow” to permit location access if necessary
- Send your snap with its new overlay
Make sure your Snapchat app is up to date before enabling filters. This ensures you have access to all available features. Enabling the location option for your device allows you to access special filters called “Geofilters” available only in specific areas. These options enhance your Snapchat experience with the full functionality of filters.
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To turn on the location option on iPhone, open Settings, tap “Privacy” and select “Location Services.” Slide the button into the On position. For Android devices, open the settings and select “Location” under “Personal.” Enable the service with the button in the upper right corner. You can then return to Snapchat and set the app up to use filters.
Once you’ve turned the filters option on in Snapchat, the toggle switch should turn green. From there, you’re free to play with the filters as much as you want after taking a snap. Filters appear over the image or video as you swipe, providing a preview of how the final snap will look. Some filters can be adjusted, such as the format for temperature, before sending your snap.
Snapchat includes a selection of filters inherent to the app. Users also create and submit their own overlays, called Community Filters, to celebrate areas or landmarks they love. This collection of filters is suitable for everyday Snapchat use, whether you’re capturing selfies on vacation or shooting quick videos of interesting happenings around your neighborhood.
Community filters only appear when you’re within a designated area associated with the filter. This means your filter selection can vary widely even when traveling over short distances. More filters become available as Snapchat approves new user-created designs.
Filters may be applied to photos or videos prior to sharing. A quick swipe right or left reveals many different types of overlays. Color filters can turn your snaps into classic black-and-white photos or add a vintage touch. Sepia tone has a warm, old-fashioned bronze glow. If you take a snap while you’re a passenger in a car or on a plane, you can add a filter showing your traveling speed. There are also standard filters for showing the time and date, current temperature or battery life of your device at the time a snap is taken.
It’s possible to add more than one filter to a photo or video. After selecting your first overlay, use one finger to press and hold the image while swiping with another finger. You can add up to three filters to pictures and five to videos.
Stacking filters this way provides many possible combinations for making your snaps stand out. For example, you may post a sepia-toned snap with the current time if you’re waiting for something and feel bored, or you might add a location-based filter with your speed as you zoom down the highway toward a vacation destination.
Community filters are user-created overlays relating to specific cities, neighborhoods, schools or landmarks. These non-commercial filters let you show off your school spirit or how proud you feel to live in your city or town. They’re also fun to use when you visit new places and want to share memorable moments with friends and family.
If no community filter exists for your area or the place you’re visiting, you can create one and submit it to Snapchat for approval. To take the concept of filters a step further for personal or business use, it’s possible to design your own personalized overlays with Snapchat’s browser tool or in the app itself.
What makes filters so attractive to Snapchat users? Consider the highly personal nature of the app and the incredible number of snaps being shared every day. Individualism is highly valued among the teens and millennials most active on the app, and businesses are beginning to see the value in leveraging branded filters to reach this influential audience. The communal nature of filters encourages interaction between individual users and between consumers and brands, opening the door to new possibilities for both communication and promotion through the Snapchat platform.
At their most basic, filters add personality to your snaps. A selfie taken on the beach can become an eye-catching vintage photo complete with a colorful graphic announcing where you’re vacationing and the exact date of the snap. You can also easily promote your company by taking photos of popular products in action or videos of services being performed and adorning them with relevant imagery and text.
In early 2016, Snapchat introduced On-Demand Geofilters, a feature allowing users to create custom filters for specific uses. With this new option, community and business events take on a whole new dimension. Companies and organizations can design filters for promotions, providing branded overlays for attendees to use when posting snaps during an event.
This creates new possibilities for businesses looking to attract attention at trade shows, local shops holding celebrations and non-profit groups trying to drum up interest for fundraisers. Individuals can also get in on the action with filters made just for friends and family to use during personal festivities.
How To Get Personalized Snapchat Filters?
On-Demand Geofilters are currently available in a handful of countries and may be designed for personal or business use. Making your own Geofilter requires several steps:
- Decide what event you wish to promote
- Choose a Snapchat template to customize, or download a blank template to start from scratch
- Create your filter in the app or with your image program of choice
- Upload the finished design
- Set the date range and timeframe in which the filter is to be active
- Draw a “geofence” for the area you want the filer to cover
- Pay a fee
- Submit the design to Snapchat for approval
- Share your filter with friends, family or customers
You can choose to make your Geofilter on the Snapchat site or within the app. To create a filter on the site, select the “Geofilters” tab, click the “Create Your Geofilter” button and select either Personal or Business. On the “Upload or Design” screen, you have the option to choose a Snapchat template to edit or upload an image created using a third-party image editor.
Templates are available in a wide range of categories pertaining to common events and business applications. When using one of these templates, you can change colors, add text and include additional decorative elements.
A Snapchat template is a quick way to design and submit your Geofilter, but there are limitations to what the editor can do. If you prefer a truly customized overlay, you can use Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, Canva or another imaging tool to create a design from scratch. The image must be 1080 pixels by 1920 pixels and saved in PNG format with a transparent background.
Snapchat only accepts files up to 300 KB, so keep the design simple to meet the size requirements. To ensure snaps aren’t overwhelmed by the filter’s elements, don’t use more than 25 percent of the space in the image.
Making filters within the Snapchat app doesn’t provide as much flexibility for customization, but it’s the most convenient option if you spend a lot of time on the go. To get started, open the app’s settings and tap “On-Demand Geofilters.” Tap the button in the upper right corner of the screen to create a new filter. Choose a template for your event, and use the mobile “creative studio” to customize the elements and text.
Each template has its own font to correspond to the imagery. Use text to make the template specific to your event or business promotion, and add emojis and stickers as eye-catching finishing touches. With these options, you can turn a basic template into a filter reflecting the atmosphere of your event, the culture of your business or any other message you wish to convey.
Keep Snapchat’s guidelines in mind as you create your filter. Designs including URLs, phone numbers, and email addresses will be rejected. Drug-related content is banned, and you’re not allowed to use pictures of people. If you’re making a branded filter for business, use only logos and trademarks to which you have the rights.
Once you’re done with the design in the browser or app, the next step is to use the calendar screen to choose which dates your Geofilter will be available. Small personal events may require only a short window of time on a single day, but if you’re running a business event, your filter could be in place for much longer. The maximum amount of time allowed for a standard Geofilter is 30 days.
Your filter must also cover a specific geographic area ranging from 20,000 to 5 million square feet. After choosing your date range, the next screen prompts you to draw a “geofence” around the desired area. Click “Draw Geofence” to get started, and outline a shape around the space in which you want people to be able to use your filter. If the box turns red, the area is too big. A green geofence means you’re good to go.
The final screen shows the total price of your Geofilter. Enter your payment information, and click the “Submit” button to send your design to Snapchat for approval. This usually takes around one business day, so plan accordingly if you’re creating a time-sensitive filter. Allow a few extra days for the design to be reviewed to ensure the overlay is available at the desired time.
Your Geofilter may be rejected if too many other individuals or businesses are trying to cover a similar area at the same time. Snapchat currently limits the number of simultaneous custom filters within a geofence to seven.
Creating Community Geofilters for Snapchat users to apply to snaps taken in particular cities or towns is a similar process. Your images must be the same size and dimensions and not include any commercial elements. To submit your design, choose “Community” on the Snapchat website’s Geofilter screen. Review the image guidelines, and click “next” to upload your design.
After uploading, draw a geofence around your chosen community area. Provide your name, email address and a short description of why the area is special to you. Click “submit” to finalize the process.
Approved Geofilters become available for all Snapchat users within the chosen region. On-Demand filters are only accessible within the date range set at the time of submission. Snapchat users within your geofence will see your filter as one of the options to overlay their snaps.
If you’re promoting a business event, talk up your Geofilter on social media. Remind customers to post snaps using your custom image during the corresponding event. For personal filters, tell your friends and family they can dress up photos and videos taken during celebrations with the commemorative overlay you designed.
How Much Do Snapchat Filters Cost?
The amount of money you spend on a Snapchat filter can range from just a few dollars to several thousand. Find out how much your chosen filter costs by:
- Designing your filter
- Selecting a date and length of time for the filter to be available
- Choosing a location
- Drawing a geofence
- Proceeding to the payment screen
The design of your filter doesn’t affect the final price, but there are several other factors with the potential to drive up the cost. Snapchat’s website states the length of time a filter runs, the size of the area targeted and the demand for or popularity of a location at the time of use can all increase a filter’s price.
After uploading your filter design, click the “next” button to move on to the calendar page.
Select the date range for your filter, and set start and end times in your time zone. Hit “next” to continue.
The following has the most effect on the final price. This is where you draw the geofence denoting the area in which your filter will be active. Start by entering the address you want to target, and draw a shape around the area for the filter. Leave a little wiggle room to ensure total coverage. You can reset and draw your geofence as many times as you want until you get the right size and shape. Keep an eye on the price so that you don’t go over your intended budget.
Snapchat charges roughly $5 per 20,000 square feet of filter coverage so you can test a Geofilter without putting a big dent in your budget. If you decide you don’t like or no longer need your filter, you can cancel it before it goes live and receive a full refund of the price. However, this refund is only available for filters created using Snapchat’s browser tools. Filters designed in the app on your mobile device can’t be refunded at this time.
Personal filters for small events, such as graduations or birthday parties, cost an average of $15 to $20. Covering weddings and other events spread over larger areas can cost thousands of dollars. If you want to use an On-Demand Geofilter for a business event, make sure you know the exact size of the area when figuring the price into your marketing budget.
It can be difficult to visualize the exact size of a geofence using just the map on the Snapchat site or in the app. While your inclination may be to keep the area as small as possible to avoid spending too much money, skimping on space could undermine the effectiveness of a business filter or leave entire areas of your celebration without coverage.
The minimum area of 20,000 square feet allows you to enclose about half an acre with a geofence. This is enough to cover a party held at your home or an in-store event if you own a small local business. Bigger events, including weddings and parties held at large venues, require more space and a larger budget.
If you’re trying to cover a trade show or other business gathering where many vendors are spread out over an expansive area, you could spend quite a bit of your marketing budget. The maximum area of 5 million square feet is roughly equivalent to 115 acres, but a Geofilter hitting this limit could require nearly $100,000 to run for a month. Even a single day of coverage for a large Geofilter in a populated area can set you back several thousand dollars.
Snapchat also offers an annual purchase option for its On-Demand Geofilters, allowing individuals and businesses to run their custom overlays for longer than the 30-day maximum time. These filters can be updated or changed at any point. Such flexibility is useful if you run a business and want to use Geofilters to promote multiple events throughout the year without having to go through the payment process for each separate filter.
Third-party filter creation services are available for people who aren’t proficient in design or businesses lacking robust in-house marketing teams. Some services may handle the submission process for you in addition to making a custom design. The more detail you want in your filter, the more it will cost. However, if you don’t have the talent or the time to create your own Geofilter, working with a design service is a more cost-effective option.
Snapchat only charges for On-Demand Geofilters. Community filters are free and only need to go through the acceptance process before they can begin being used. If all you want to do is show how much you love a particular city or celebrate the destination you visit most often when traveling, a Community filter fits the bill. For more specific applications, however, investing in an On-Demand Geofilter may be worth the cost.
How do you determine if a Geofilter is a smart investment for a business event? Use Snapchat to calculate the approximate cost for the targeted area and duration. Compare this to the benefits your company can reap from the event as a whole. If you’re expecting a big turnout, including a crowd from the young demographic with which Snapchat is popular, running a Geofilter has the potential to increase awareness, establish loyalty and bring new customers through your doors.
Before purchasing a Geofilter for a personal event, consider whether it’s appropriate for the occasion and venue. You may decide you don’t want your wedding guests spending half their time taking and posting selfies instead of interacting at the reception. However, if you feel there’s no better way to remember high school graduation than with a collection of snaps decorated using your own special filter, there’s no reason not to grab $5 or $10 out of your bank account and start designing.
Using filters separates you from the general Snapchat crowd and makes all your posts stand out. Whether trying to draw customers in with a special business promotion or sharing your location as you embark on a globetrotting adventure, Snapchat filters have the power to reach a wider audience and bring more attention to every snap.