What is the Blue Dot in Snapchat…and Other Snapchat Tips & Tricks

If you are involved in the social media world, then you probably use Snapchat, the incredibly popular chatting and messaging app that deletes your messages and pictures after some time has passed. One common question users have about Snapchat is what the blue dot is for. This is a little dot that sometimes appears in your chat messages.

The blue dot appeared a few years ago during a chat interface overhaul. A small blue dot arrived just above the line where your typed text appears. Sometimes it changes to a smiley emoji. Sometimes it disappears entirely. Why? What’s it for?

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The blue dot in Snapchat

There are two blue dots within the Snapchat app. The first is on the home screen of your phone on the Snapchat icon. This is to tell you that the app has just been updated. That’s not the blue dot we’re talking about. The blue dot this article is about is within the chat app itself.

According to Snapchat themselves, the blue dot shows you’re in a chat with someone. It’s like a sign that they are there with you and paying attention to the chat.

When the blue dot changes to a smiley, it means they are typing a reply or actively looking at your Snap. When the dot and the smiley are both gone, it means that the person is no longer in the chat with you. They’ve moved on. (Maybe you should too!)

That’s all there is to the blue dot mystery. But what other Snapchat tricks don’t get the publicity they deserve?

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Other things you may not know about Snapchat

If you’re new to Snapchat or haven’t really explored the app, there are a few things you can do with the social network that you may not know. Here are just a few of them. Note that Snapchat changes their user interface about as often as the rest of us change socks, so the exact position of some of these icons may change.

Tap the clock icon to change the lifetime of your snap

Snaps last 10 seconds by default, but after you take a picture or video, if you tap the little clock icon on the right side of the screen, you can change that. You can set it anywhere between 1 and 10 seconds, or to infinite if you don’t want your snaps to disappear.

Save your Snap before posting

If you came up with a particularly good Snap that you don’t want disappearing into the ether, save it to your phone first. Tap the little down arrow in the bottom left of the Snap window. Then you can download and keep it before publishing.

Supersize text or emoji

I didn’t know how to do this until someone showed me. When adding text or emoji to your Snap, hit T to supersize it. Use your fingers to pinch or spread to make them larger or smaller. You can rotate too.

Change font color

Once supersized, you can change the font color in Snapchat. Once you have supersized your text, tap the text again and the color bar will appear in the top right of the screen.

Secret Snapchat colors on iPhone

If you’re an iPhone user you may notice that there is no black and white color for text. To get white, tap the palette and drag your finger to the top left corner. To get black, drag your finger to the bottom. Other colors will appear as you drag your finger up or down the screen.

Use lenses to stand out

Take a selfie and press and hold a fingertip on your screen until Snapchat Lenses appears. Have a play around and find a lens that delivers the effect you’re looking for. Some of them are quite cool.

Use video instead of stills

Create a 10 second video GIF by holding down the camera button while in Snapchat. It will record a short video which you can use as a Snap. If you don’t like what you see, drag it to the ‘X’ to delete and start again.

Variable speed videos

You can vary the speed of your video Snaps by looking at speed options in filters. You can slow down and speed up as well as return to normal speed.

FaceTime with Snapchat

Snapchat has a FaceTime-like feature for video calling. Tap the video button while in the chat window to make a video call to that person. They will be able to see you even without accepting the call but once they do, it’s live.

See how many people viewed your Story

If you use Snapchat My Story mode, you can see how many people have viewed it in the past 24 hours by looking at the little icons in the Stories window. The purple eye shows how many people viewed it and the green arrow is how many people took screenshots of it.

Do you have other tips and tricks for getting the most out of Snapchat? Share them with us below!

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