How to Create Your Own Snapchat Filters

Snapchat has exploded in popularity over the last few years. One of the reasons for this is the popularization of filters. They can transform a normal image into something completely different.

How to Create Your Own Snapchat Filters

“Normal” filters are preset by Snapchat and change regularly. Geofilters are tied to a specific location. Both types of filters allow some degree of user customization. If you want to know how to make your own Snapchat filter, this article will go into detail.

Snapchat Filter Types

Snapchat filters can be broken down into two types: “normal” filters and Geofilters.

  1. “Normal” filters are the ones preset by Snapchat and rotate regularly. They are typically light-hearted in nature, ranging from face-changing effects to colorful backgrounds, to voice altering effects. Snapchat further breaks down these “normal” filters into two categories: filters and lenses. Snapchat considers features like frames and sticker-type artwork to be filters, and “reality augmenting” features like face-changing to be lenses. These are mostly used for fun and can be customized by the user in the app for free.
  2. Geofilters are the more utilitarian of the two. They are tied to a specific geographic location and are much more useful; they can be used to promote both business and personal events. Again, Snapchat breaks down geofilters into two types: community filters and personal filters.
    • Community filters are tied to a specific city, university, or local landmark, and are free for any user to create and use.
    • Personal filters are those related to events, such as birthdays, weddings, or business openings.

You do pay for them but as prices start at a mere $5.99, they won’t break the bank. Personal geofilters are also limited by both time frame and the physical area they cover. They can be active from 24 hours up to 30 days and cover a geographical area of between 20,000 and 5,000,000 square feet. The price expands according to these settings.

Snapchat filters for individuals cannot include branding of any kind, no business logos, names or anything that a business would use. The intent is for individuals to use them to promote personal events or celebrations.

Businesses have to include their business name and can then use their own branding material as they see fit. The usual copyright restrictions apply. Geofilter T&Cs are here if you want to take a look.

Snapchat is an absolutely massive platform, and as such receives thousands of requests for custom filters every day. Each Geofilter is manually checked and approved. This can take from 24 hours to a couple of days.

How to Make Your Own Snapchat “Regular” Filter

Before an update in June 2017, you could only create a Snapchat filter if you had the appropriate tools and the right skills for the job. Snapchat has added the tools to make your own from within the app, so you no longer have to use the desktop site to customize “regular” filters. To customize your own filter/lens in the app, follow these steps:

  1. Open Snapchat and enter the general photo screen. Select the filter icon (a small smiley face) to the right of the take photo button.
  2. On the filter page, select the option that says Create in the bottom left
  3. Scroll through the options from right to left. Some options have much more customization ability than others; for example, the face option shown below allows you to tweak facial features, makeup, filter color, etc.
  4. Take your photo or video and enjoy your filter!

Unfortunately, free options for truly custom filters on the mobile app are fairly limited, and you are not able to readily save customized filters for later use. However, if you’d like more customization options and the ability to save a filter or lens for later use, read on to the next section of this article about creating filters in Snapchat on a browser.

How to Make Your Own Snapchat Geofilter

The introduction of On-demand Geofilters by Snapchat gives you the freedom to create your own filter and set it to a time, date and location that suits you. You can create a filter as an individual to celebrate a wedding, christening, birthday or whatever. You can also create a filter as a business to promote an opening, special event or anything you like.

There is an option for On-Demand Geofilters within the Snapchat settings menu, but once selected the app prompts you to open in your browser, rendering the in-app option basically useless… Nevertheless, the steps to creating your own Snapchat Geofilter are as follows:

  1. Open Snapchat on your browser and select Filters & Lenses.
  2. Scroll down on the page to Filters and select Create Now.
  3. On the next screen, there is an option in the top right to Log In to your Snapchat account. If you’d like to save your work, it is highly recommended to do so.
  4. Next, select a category for your filter from the drop-down list on the left. There are a range of them from Weddings to Baby Shower.
  5. Edit the filter by using the tools on the right of the screen to add text, change colors and move things around.
  6. Select Next.
  7. Select a time and date for the Snapchat filter to go live. Then select a timescale for it to remain live. Hit Next in the bottom right when you’re done.
  8. Next, create a geographical area within which the filter will appear. The minimum is 20,000 square feet and the maximum is 5 million. Draw an area on the map with your mouse until it covers the area you need it to, and when you are satisfied select Checkout in the bottom right.
  9. Complete the submission form which includes your contact details and a payment agreement.
  10. Submit your filter to Snapchat and await approval from the Snapchat team!

In Step 8, when you expand the area, the price will increase accordingly. It should show on the top of the screen in the white box. The actual cost depends on how long you want your filter to be live for and how large an area you want it to cover. You can tweak this quite a lot to get it just right.

One thing to remember when setting a geographical area is that GPS isn’t exact. You should ideally expand the coverage area slightly larger than you need to make sure it will be picked up by a phone’s GPS. You’ll have to balance that with the extra cost of expanding that area.

Once submitted, Snapchat will manually check and verify your filter before it is approved. You will know how much it costs before you submit it, but you don’t have to pay until it has been approved. Once approved, you need to pay before the filter will go live. Once paid, it should go live at the time you set in Step 7.

Filtering Through it All

While overwhelming at first, Snapchat’s options for filter customization and creation can be both fun and useful. From simple tweaks to existing filters, to 100% custom designs for promotion, the possibilities are nearly endless.

Have any tips, tricks or questions related to customizing and creating Snapchat filters? Let us know in the comment section below!

2 thoughts on “How to Create Your Own Snapchat Filters”

Timothy mcpherson says:
I think u guys should allow people to o have a fave 5 filters or lenses. You know there go to’s. Just an idea.
Steve Larner says:
This is a tech help website, not a Snapchat site. Just letting you know.

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