How to Blow Kids Minds With Snapchat’s 3-D Feature

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Yesterday, Mark Zuckerberg kicked off Facebook’s F8 conference by making a ton of new announcements about the social network’s upcoming augmented and virtual reality features. Always the petulant little brother, Snapchat responded by debuting a new 3-D filter that lets users “interact” with what they are seeing on their screen. Think of it as Pokémon Go, but with motion control and a 3-D rainbow instead of a Pikachu. Practical or not, the new feature is cartoon-y in an engaging way and really fun to mess with. Kids will inevitably embrace it, tossing around mushrooms, floating text, and various 3-D animations. Before they get there—and it won’t take long—parents have a rare opportunity: They can blow some minds.

The new features seem complex, but they are fairly simple to use. Do as follows:

  1. Open up Snapchat (it’s the one with the expressionless ghost in front of the yellow background).
  2. Turn the camera away from selfie mode and hold the screen for the filters to appear.
  3. Confused? A virtual guiding hand will show first-time users how to successfully implement the new features into their surroundings.
  4. Begin swiping through the possible features and seeing how they look IRL.
  5. Select the rainbow. The rainbow is badass.
  6. Swipe through the options. Again, the rainbow is definitely the standout of the bunch — as there is no context in which a giant-ass, 3-D rainbow doesn’t make everything better — but putting a floating “YOLO” behind yourself is always a solid play. Tell kids it stands for whatever you want it to stand for. The 3-D filters are the trickiest, but will probably get the biggest laughs because dog filters.
  7. Include additional filters, emojis, or text that are necessary for your 3-D experiment to truly feel complete.
  8. Dazzle your friends, family, coworkers, and former lovers by sending them this awe-inspiring display of artistic and technological mastery. Or, you know, just show it to a child on your phone.

Even with this handy, dandy step-by-step guide, there will inevitably be some parents who still can’t make sense of this new feature. These parents should not be too hard on themselves. Instead, they can just enjoy the simple life of first-generation filters until a tech-savvy youth takes pity on them and welcomes them into this brave new three-dimensional world.

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