If you’ve signed into Snapchat sometime in the past year, you’ve likely noticed just how popular filters have become in the popular social media app. In spite of that booming popularity, I can almost guarantee there are filters you haven’t used yet; in this guide we’ll show you how to access hidden filters online in Snapchat for Android (and iOS, too!)
While Snapchat has become a fantastic messaging and calling application, its foundation is still in its media capabilities, and the self-destructing “snaps” that are its namesake. Its features have blossomed and expanded in the years that it’s been around, and one such feature that has seen significant growth is the use of filters. Perhaps made most popular by Instagram, these overlay graphics give you the ability to make sizeable tweaks and edits to just about everything in your photos and videos. You can apply picture, frames, or filters that entirely change the exposure, color palette, and aesthetic of your snaps.
The limitless potential offered through filters has given them quite a few directions to expand in. Snapchat users have access to several different types now, each working with your smartphone’s features in unique and interesting ways. In addition to benefitting users, Snapchat has also monetized their “sponsored filters” and “on-demand filters” to create revenue for themselves, and help individuals, businesses, and interest groups to raise awareness.
The first thing we’ll do is take a look at the different types of filters available to you in Snapchat. We’ll be brief about it, but there’s a good chance that you might not know every nuance that separates these different types of aesthetic application! After, we’ll take a closer look at some neat tricks that can help you do surprising and interesting things with existing filters, to help your snaps stand out as unique.
Note: In a previous version of Snapchat, there are honest-to-goodness “hidden” filters that required a special code to unlock. Recent iterations of the popular app have since removed these secrets, but don’t worry! We’ve included several lesser-known tips and tricks below that apply to the current version of Snapchat.
Types of Filters
Though you’ll access all of your filters in the same way–just swipe from the right when you’re marking up a snap–you’ll run into several different types, depending on the enabled access on your phone as well as your location. In order to get the best use of Snapchat’s filters, make sure that filters are turned on in the Snapchat settings, and then also give the app access to your phone’s location settings.
These are the palette swaps, color temperature changes, exposure modifications, and contrast fixes. They’re the standard fare filters that allow you to add specific artistic ambience to your snaps with only a single swipe. These filters are all free, not connected to location, and are far and away the most often-used by most Snapchatters.
Additionally, you’ll see a few simple filters that will always show up as long as you have the settings applied properly. Filters that correlate with your device’s battery, the local temperature, or a simple reading of your current location might make themselves available in your options.
Here’s where things get very interesting, in a way that’s unique to the Snapchat application. In addition to the simple filters listed above, the developers (and users!) have begun adding filters that are only available in specific locations. Determined by your being in a particular “Geofence,” these filters are often unique, fun, and telling of the specific place that you’ve found yourself. Most Geofilters will be found in urban areas, but they exist all over the world.
If you’re Snapchatting while you’re on vacation, it’s worth a couple of extra swipes to see if you can find any applicable Geofilters.
One of the coolest additions to the Geofilters feature is the chance that users are able to have their own, unique Geofilter creations chosen for specific areas. Community Geofilters are only limited by region and the fact that they have to be entirely unique in order to be considered for selection by the Snapchat team. If you have a creation of your own in mind, it’s easy to upload it yourself through the online submission form.
Like the simple filters above, this is a free feature. However, there’s no guarantee that your submission is going to be selected!
Monetization comes into play with Snapchat’s sponsored filters. However, this doesn’t mean that users have to pay for them; instead, businesses can pay a premium price to have their custom filters available to users who are frequenting their locations. Look to McDonald’s was one of the first businesses to take advantage of this, giving customers the option to use the company’s own, custom Snapchat filters when eating at McDonald’s restaurants.
They’re easy to find, as long as you’re in the proper location. The next time you visit a popular restaurant chain or store, check in with Snapchat to see if you have access to any sponsored filters.
Here’s the user side of the monetized filter feature, and it’s a pretty fantastic addition to the Snapchat toolkit. Much like community filters, on-demand filters allow users to design their own, custom graphics which can then be shared and used within a specific Geofence. The caveat? It’s going to cost you!
It works like this: you create a filter graphic and upload it to the Snapchat team along with a selected Geofence and 30-minute time frame that you’d like to share it. In less than 24 hours (usually!) the Snapchat team will review your submission for approval, and then allow your on-demand filter to be used and shared during the selected time at the selected place.
Admittedly, it would grow a bit too expensive to use on-demand filters too often. They’re a novelty that allows users to share their creations in a limited capacity, and also allows small businesses and interest groups to market themselves in precise ways at specific locations. It’s a win/win as far as Snapchat and its users are concerned!
Hidden Filter Tips and Tricks
As can be seen above, filters seem like a simple thing until you start learning their nuance. As usual, what matters most is location, location, location!
Beyond that, however, there are some neat things that can be accomplished no matter which filters you have access to, as long as you’re willing to play around in the Snapchat app a little bit. Some of these “hidden” filter techniques can help you to create snaps that your friends will be envious of, in addition to having no idea how to replicate your work.
Maybe the coolest trick in your Snapchat arsenal is to combine a simple photo filter with a Geofilter. How’s it done? With the magic precision of touchscreen gestures, of course.
First, pick out the simple filter that you want. This will be the type that impacts the colour and overall aesthetic of your snap, so choose wisely! Afterwards, keep one finger held down near the center of your screen, and then swipe from the right again in order to start applying possible Geofilters! So few people know about this trick that you can occasionally convince friends that the photo filter isn’t even artificial.
Sneaky “Emoji Filters”
Maybe you’d prefer to simply wash your entire photo with some colour, instead of applying one of the artistic filters.
First, pick out a solid-color emoji sticker that has the same color you’d like to apply to your photo. Then, use your device’s zoom gesture to make the emoji huge enough to cover far more than the entire screen. You’ll probably have a great big blob of color, but the emoji is so large that you’ve pixelated it! Simply drag the humongous emoji to the point that the pixelated areas are over your photo, thereby applying a medium-opacity color screen over the entire snap!
Slow-Motion and Rewind Video Filters
Sometimes, it can seem difficult to make your videos stand apart, The slow-motion and rewind filters, however, can put a unique twist on an otherwise straightforward video clip.
Keep swiping through the available filters, and you’ll eventually find three icons: a snail, a rabbit, and a rewind symbol. Though these are fairly self-explanatory, they work like this: the snail adds a slow-motion effect to your video, the rabbit speeds it up, and the rewind symbol reverses the video entirely. Simple in concept but many users never bother to play with these “hidden” features.
Draw in Black and White
A sharp contrast is naturally attractive to the wandering eye, and you can achieve this by drawing on your snap using black or white. Some users don’t know how to access these!
When you access the color selector (it’s hidden for iOS users, but not lucky Android users!), you can swipe left-and-down for black, or left-and-up for white! Drawing and typing in these colors can really make your added graphics pop off of the original photo, but use them sparingly!
Users are figuring out new ways to take advantage of Snapchat’s fruitful filter offerings every day! Whether you’re online through Android OS or iOS, share some of your own “hidden” Snapchat filters in the comments below!