snapchat sounds hero image

With Snapchat’s Sounds feature, you can choose popular music or even make your own sounds to insert into snaps. This guide will get you started on adding and giving your stories and messages a musical flair.

Start by launching Snapchat on your iPhone or Android smartphone. Then, take a photo or video by tapping or holding the circular shutter icon on the bottom of the main screen.

snapchat capture

From here, tap the music note button on the right side of your screen.

snapchat notes

A menu with a few columns will populate. The first “Featured” list contains a curated selection of popular songs to choose from.

snapchat featured sounds

The second “Mood” column contains a similar selection, chosen to reflect various dispositions. We’ll cover the third column in a moment.

snapchat sound moods

Tap the play buttons to preview a sound, then tap a song to add it to your snap. At the bottom of the screen, select the part of the song you’d like to feature, dragging the sound wave left or right to grab your desired snippet. For photos, the length is a maximum of 10 seconds, depending on how long you set your snap to last. As for videos, the length is equal to the video’s duration.

snapchat trim sound

Unfortunately, Snapchat’s music library is limited to a handful of licensing partners and, as of this writing, does not offer a search function.

At this point, you can add additional elements to finish your snap, then press the “Send To” button in the bottom-right corner to send it to friends or set it as your story.

send snap

The last column, titled “My Sounds,” allows you to create and save your own audio clips. To create your own sound, tap the “+” icon.

snapchat my sounds

Once you’re ready, select the microphone symbol once to begin your recording and a second time to stop it. Alternatively, you can hold down to start recording and release to stop. Your sound can be a maximum of 60 seconds long.

snapchat mic symbol

Be aware that it is not possible to record songs. If Snapchat detects music in a recording, a pop-up overtakes the screen, blocking the recording on the grounds of potential copyright liability.

snapchat sound blocked

When you’re finished, you’ll be taken to a preview page to add the finishing touches. Come up with a title for your new sound and choose whether or not to make it public. As previously mentioned, there is no present way to search sounds, so this option is largely ineffective at the time of writing. However, checking this box will likely make your sound visible to others in a future update.

Finally, use the preview window to trim your clip as needed, dragging the left and right anchors appropriately.

snapchat create sounds window

Save your sound to add it to the “My Sounds” column.

snapchat save sound

Tap your newly added sound to insert into as many snaps as your heart desires using the same steps mentioned above.

snapchat choose custom sound

Note: Custom sounds will only play for video snaps at the time of publishing, and unlike songs, they offer no visual component.

If you receive a snap featuring a song, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to bring up a details window containing information about the artist, song title, and key art.

snapchat song details

The “Play This Song” button will bring up a list of links on popular streaming platforms where you can listen to it in full.

snapchat stream songs

Snapchat’s Sounds feature offers yet another tool with which to add a personal touch to photos and videos shared amongst friends.

Profile Photo for Chris DeGraw Chris DeGraw
Chris DeGraw is a freelance writer and designer with 5 years experience in digital media publishing. In addition to art and bylines at How To Geek and Digital Trends, he helps head the Instagram content for @cagdeals. His combination of visual and written expression provides a unique vehicle through which to engage audiences about tech and Internet culture at large.
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