Snapchat newbie? the app will now show you how to use its augmented reality functions and more


Open Facebook’s app, and you’ll find greetings such as “Good afternoon” and “What’s on your mind?”

Snapchat offers no such welcome.

Part of the allure — and criticism — of Snapchat always has been its confusing design. Users who joined a couple of years ago often had to lean on a more-informed friend to understand what different buttons did and how to take advantage of new features.

That’s not as much the case anymore. Though Snapchat still launches to a camera instead of a homepage and shies away from immediate prompts about what to post, the app quietly has made increasing use of labels and visual cues to guide new and existing users.

The latest case involved the introduction last week of virtual objects, including bubble text and 3-D rainbows, that users can interact with, resize and reposition. Users get to one of these 3-D items by tapping the camera screen. But because Snapchat hasn’t made those decorative elements movable in the past, it’s not immediately obvious that users should tap the rainbows and text and drag them to a preferred spot in the image.