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HolidayBuyer's Guide

Snapchat

Activity log

Chat and snap

Video chatting

Set up the snap

Photo and video annotations

Set the timer

Find friends

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Josh Miller/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

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.

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET

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

Caption by / Photo by Screenshot by Sarah Mitroff/CNET
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