Snapchat

Social network Snapchat made a name for itself by letting you share photos and videos that self-destruct in just a few seconds.

In the most recent update, the app added instant messaging and video chatting to give you new ways to connect with friends and family.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:

Activity log

The new activity log shows all the friends who've sent you snaps or that you've sent snaps to. Swipe right on any person's name to open the conversation view.

Updated:
Photo by: Josh Miller/CNET / Caption by:

Chat and snap

For each friend in the app, you get a dedicated conversation and activity log page, where you can send instant text messages to one another, as well as see recent activity. It's here that you can respond to your friend with a snap by pressing the yellow button.

If your friend is viewing your shared conversation page at the same time you are, that yellow button turns blue. Tap and hold it to start a new video chat.

Updated:
Photo by: Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET / Caption by:

Video chatting

When you start a new video chat, you friend will see your video feed full screen. If they tap and hold their screen as well, you'll be able to see each other and chat in real time.

Updated:
Photo by: Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET / Caption by:

Set up the snap

Using the camera, you can capture still images and video to send to friends. Press the large circle shutter button to start shooting.

Updated:
Photo by: Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET / Caption by:

Photo and video annotations

Pick a color and "write" on your still image before sending it off to friends.

Updated:
Photo by: Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET / Caption by:

Set the timer

Every item you send must be given a lifespan from 1 to 10 seconds. Once the timer expires on the recipient's device, it disappears forever.

Updated:
Photo by: Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET / Caption by:

Find friends

Snapchat can help you find friends who are already using the app by searching your device's address book.

Updated:
Photo by: Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET / Caption by:
Hot Galleries

CNET's Holiday Gift Guide

'Tis the season for a gadget upgrade

Check out these 8 tablets you'll want to bring home for the holidays.

Hot Products