When most Baby Boomers or Gen Xers think about Snapchat, they probably imagine Millennials (and the younger set) taking thousands of selfies anytime, anywhere. It may seem like there’s not much more you can get out of the app – but that’s not true.

Even if you’re not one to snap selfies to your friends all day, Snapchat is a fun app that everyone should give a try. Here’s five ways you can use the app that millennials can’t live without.

1. Use geofilters. Snapchat allows you to add fun overlays to your photos with a few swipes. As the word “geo” implies, these overlays change depending on where you are.

Almost everywhere has a geofilter on Snapchat now – states, cities, monuments, even high schools. Snap a picture of some great scenery, swipe for a geofilter, and save the snap to look back and remember exactly where the photo was taken. There are also geofilters for national holidays so you’ll never forget National Donut Day again. People make custom filters for events (you can too!) – it’s become almost commonplace for wedding parties to make geofilters commemorating the big day. Enable location services on the app to use geofilters.

2. Stay connected with loved ones. Snapchat allows users to keep up with what their friends or loved ones are up to. You can receive snaps of your niece or nephew who may live across the country, for example. Its story feature allows you to share quick photos with all of your friends without having to share them individually. It’s faster than many other social media outlets – you just snap a picture and post. There’s no need to worry about comments or likes. When I was abroad, I was able to post images of my daily travels and adventure on my Snapchat story, allowing my family to see an almost live feed of some of the places I was visiting.

3. Keep up with news. Just about every major news outlet has a page on Snapchat’s Discover page. Here you can tap through stories from the Wall Street Journal, CNN, Cosmopolitan, Food Network, and so much more. Catch articles from some of your favorite publications, all for free. See an article worth sharing? Hold your thumb down and send a snap directly to a friend. You can add celebrities – or even the White House – for play-by-plays of big events. Unlike other social media apps, you can get constant updates throughout the day of photos and videos with unique content. Because content only lasts for 24 hours, every day is guaranteed to have fresh stories.

4. Create custom stories. One of Snapchat’s newest features is custom stories. You can create group stories with your friends or family to celebrate big events like vacations, weddings, parties, and more. Instead of having to watch dozens of individual stories at the same event, you can place them in the same story and see what your friends were doing throughout the night.

5. Why not – send a selfie. Yes, it can be impressive how Millennials don’t feel dorky or uncomfortable constantly sending selfies to others. But sometimes a selfie with some awesome scenery or an old friend makes a great memory. Use Snapchat Lenses, which can transform you into a dog or have you puke rainbows, for a good laugh.


Guest Blogger: Mary Mulcahy

Mary is PR Intern at TDS Telecom and a Journalism student at UW-Madison. She recently returned from studying abroad in Galway, Ireland. In her free time she enjoys traveling, running, cooking, and reading.

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