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It's a Sunday at 3:15 and I'm sitting on the couch scrolling through my phone. “What are you doing?” My husband asks. “I'm checking the news, the weather, and seeing what people are up to.” And I'm doing it all on Snapchat. A year or so ago, maybe even months ago, I thought Snapchat was a way for teens and drug dealers to send pictures that would be untraceable. But now it's become so much more than that. It's THE thing for social media and now I understand why bloggers need Snapchat.

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This is (hopefully) going to be a comprehensive guide to show you that if you're a blogger or sell a product, you need to jump on the bandwagon. So here's all you need to know about Snapchat.

What is Snapchat

First, let's break it down, in case you weren't sure about the app. Snapchat is an app you download on your smart phone. You can take pictures or 10 second (or less) videos and send them directly to people or add them to “your story” so all your friends or people that follow you will see it. Essentially, it's a photo messaging app. Once the viewer sees the snap it's gone.

How to use Snapchat

You take a video or picture then choose to add it to your story (everyone can see that your friends with, or that follows you). OR you send it directly to friends. With the second option, you choose which friends will see it. When you start to send and receive a lot of snaps, you get emojis near friend's names.
Here's one thing I learned the hard way. When you get Snapchat your settings are already set that you are private. Meaning, only your friends can see your Snap stories- even if new people are following you. You have to go into your settings to change this and I JUST now realized this. If you intend to use Snapchat to gain followers and use it as a tool to gain readers (which you totally should) then change your settings. Go to Snapchat –> click the yellow Ghost at the top –> click the top right for the settings–> scroll to WHO CAN… Send me Snaps and View My Story. You'll at least want to choose that “View my Story” is set to “Everyone” not just “Friends.” You can opt for custom and choose to block some people.
To add users, you can add from your contacts or by username. For example, if you were to add me, you'd go to the app, click the ghost icon at the top, then click the “+Add Friends”. Then, you'll click “Add by Username” and type in my username, which is “helenesula” then click the “+” next to my name to add me.
To view a Snapstory, just click the username of someone and their story will begin!Â

Why Bloggers Need Snapchat

There are currently 100 million active users on Snapchat and it's growing every day. When Instagram started, everyone was skeptical: This can't possibly take the place of Facebook! And really, it has ten-fold. Snapchat is trending in that direction.
Okay, stats are great, but WHY? Well, it's 100% engaging. In order for people to view a Snapchat or Snap Story users have to be holding down their finger on their phone. Unlike just scrolling through a feed, they are actively looking at what's going on. This will, I think, pay off later for bloggers to work with brands and advertisers, and ultimately increase traffic to their site.
As for advertisements, Snapchat is starting to offer “filters” (you can swipe for different filters as well as put your location, IE “Greetings from Dallas”) that contain an ad.

Why I Love It

Not only does Snapchat allow me to send fun things to friends, I can also peer into the lives of cool people and events. The “Live Event” Snapchats include events from around the world with different people contributing to the story.
Everything disappears after 24 hours so if you miss it, it's gone. But that makes it more fun and totally different from anything else out there. I've been playing around with giving a quick update about what's to come on my blog or if I have something exciting for a new post.

Some of my favorite celebrities and accounts to follow are:
@NowThisNews : For a brief look at the day's news.
@Mashable : For updates (for example, yesterday they told me all about the new Apple Music service).
@Rihanna : For all her crazy antics.
@MileyCyrus : She's just being Miley.
@LivelyBK : Blake Lively.
@DoubleGiForce : Supermodel Gigi Hadid because I like to cry and look at how perfect she is.
@Diplo3000 : World renown DJ Diplo lives an insane life. Private jets, beaches, clubs, and craziness.
@moonlightbae : Ariana Grande, because I'm a pre-teen.
@krispyshorts : He has an instagram account where he makes video shorts and he's equally as funny on snapchat.
@helenesula : hey that's me! yeah, I'm fun I promise.

How Bloggers can use Snapchat

First, it gives a different, unfiltered view of your life. You are able to update in real-time with what's going on. It seems, at least for now, to be easy, and less pressure than instagram. For me, this is definitely true. I agonize over what one picture to post on instagram while with snapchat I shoot and send.
You can show off what you're up to, hint at what's to come for blog posts, show that you have something new, and so much more. Eventually, there might be opportunities with advertisers. I suggest sending SnapStories (so adding your snaps to your story that everyone can view.) Over 1 billion snap stories are seen every day so now is the time to jump on the bandwagon.

Lastly, you should totally follow me on Snapchat, look up the username: helenesula. 

Do you have Snapchat? Do you think it's important for Bloggers?

Feel free to leave your username in the comments so we can all connect.