Snapchat Filters: An In-Depth Guide
June 18, 2024

Snapchat Filters: An In-Depth Guide

Snapchat, the popular multimedia messaging app, has completely changed the way we communicate with each other. One of the standout features that make Snapchat so fun and engaging is its filters.

Whether you want to add a quirky touch to your selfies or share something special about your location, Snapchat filters have got you covered.

Let’s dive into the world of Snapchat filters.

What Are Snapchat Filters?

Snapchat filters are creative overlays that you can add to your photos and videos to make them more fun and interesting.

These filters can add special effects, animations, stickers, and even change how you look in real-time.

There are two main types of Snapchat filters:

  1. Face Filters (Lenses): These use augmented reality (AR) to transform your face with fun effects, animations, or characters.
  2. Geofilters: These are location-based overlays that let you share where you are or celebrate special events.

Types of Snapchat Filters

Face Filters (Lenses)

Face filters, also known as lenses, are the most dynamic and interactive type of filters on Snapchat. They use facial recognition technology to add effects that move and change with your expressions and movements.

Some popular examples include:

  • Animal Faces: Transform into a cute dog, cat, or other animals.
  • Face Swap: Swap faces with a friend or a picture from your camera roll.
  • Beauty Filters: Smooth your skin, add makeup, and enhance your features.
  • Fun Effects: Add quirky elements like a rainbow vomiting effect or cartoon faces.


Geofilters are special because they are tied to a specific location or event. They’re perfect for:

  • Cities and Landmarks: Unique filters for different cities and famous landmarks.
  • Events: Weddings, birthdays, concerts, and festivals.
  • Holidays: Special designs for holidays like Halloween, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve.

Community Filters

These filters are created by the Snapchat community and can be used by anyone in the specified location. Snapchat encourages users to create and share their own geofilters for public spaces and events.

Sponsored Filters

Brands and businesses can create sponsored filters to promote their products, events, or campaigns. These filters are usually available for a limited time and offer a fun way to engage with the brand.

How to Use Snapchat Filters?

To use snapchat filters follow these 5 simple steps:

  1. Open Snapchat: Open your Snapchat app in your device.
  2. Access the Camera: Make sure you’re in camera mode.
  3. Select a Filter:
    • For face filters, switch to the front-facing camera. Tap and hold on your face to bring up the filter carousel.
    • For other filters, swipe left or right on the screen after taking a snap to browse through the available filters.
  4. Applying the Filter: Click on the filter you want to use. Now click a photo or record a video using the filter.
  5. Share Your Snap: Once you’re happy with your snap, share it with friends, add it to your story, or save it to your device.

Creating Your Own Snapchat Filters

On-Demand Geofilters

Snapchat lets you create custom geofilters for personal events, businesses, and public locations.

Here’s how you can make one:

  1. Visit the Geofilter Creation Page: Go to the Snapchat website and navigate to the Geofilters section.
  2. Design Your Filter: Use Snapchat’s templates or upload your own design. Make sure it follows Snapchat’s guidelines.
  3. Set the Time and Location: Choose when and where you want your filter to be available.
  4. Submit for Review: Submit your filter for Snapchat’s approval. Once approved, it will be available at the specified time and location.

Lens Studio

For those feeling extra creative, Snapchat’s Lens Studio is a powerful tool that lets you create custom lenses using AR.

Here’s a simple overview:

  1. Download Lens Studio: Available for both Windows and Mac.
  2. Start A Project: Choose the template you want or you can start from scratch.
  3. Create Your Lens: Use the tools and resources in Lens Studio to design your lens, including 3D models, animations, and interactive elements.
  4. Publish Your Lens: Submit your lens for review. Once approved, it will be available on Snapchat.

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FAQs About Snapchat Filters

How do I access Snapchat filters?

To access Snapchat filters, open the app, switch to camera mode, and either tap and hold on your face for face filters or swipe left/right after taking a snap for other filters.

Are Snapchat filters free?

Most Snapchat filters are free. However, creating custom geofilters for events or businesses can cost a small fee, depending on the duration and geographic area covered.

Can I use Snapchat filters on photos from my gallery?

Yes, Just select a photo from your gallery, tap the three dots in the top-right corner, and choose “Edit Snap” to apply filters.

How often do Snapchat filters change?

Snapchat frequently updates its filters, adding new ones and retiring old ones regularly. Special filters for holidays and events are also added periodically.

Why are some filters not available to me?

Filters can be location-based or limited-time offers. If a filter isn’t available, it might be because it’s tied to a specific location, event, or has expired.

How do I remove a Snapchat filter from a photo or video?

Once a snap is taken with a filter, it cannot be removed. You need to retake the snap without the filter if you want a version without it.

Can businesses use Snapchat filters for marketing?

Yes, Absolutely! Businesses can create sponsored filters to promote their products, services, or events. These filters can reach a wide audience and boost brand engagement.

How do I create a custom Snapchat filter for my event?

To create a custom geofilter, go to the Snapchat website, design your filter, set the time and location, and submit it for approval. There will be a nominal fees which you need to pay to create a custom filter.

What is the difference between a filter and a lens on Snapchat?

Filters in snapchat are overlays that were applied to photos and videos and Lenses are dynamic and often use AR to interact with the user’s face or environment.

Are there any guidelines for creating Snapchat filters?

Yes, Snapchat has guidelines to ensure filters are appropriate and do not violate any policies. These include restrictions on content, branding, and design specifications.


Snapchat filters are an exciting way to enhance your photos and videos, making them more fun and engaging.

Understanding how to use and create these filters can make your Snapchat experience even more enjoyable and open up new opportunities for personal and professional engagement.

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