Top tips for how to use Snapchat on Mac

5 min read

What is Snapchat after all? Snapchat is a fun instant messaging app with a twist — it's built around the idea of connecting with your friends without leaving a lot of digital baggage on the web by only making its messages available for so long after they are sent. This makes it the most popular app among teenagers who don't want to leave an embarrassing record of their youth (don't you wish something similar was available in the time of MySpace or LiveJournal?).

Snapchat's co-founder Evan Spiegel said that his app is a solution to the stress of social media, where people have to worry about the longevity of their digital presence — something he noticed by observing "emergency detagging of Facebook photos before job interviews and photoshopping blemishes out of candid shots before they hit the internet."

An innovator in many areas, Snapchat pioneered the use of "stories" — short messages or videos that delete themselves shortly after being posted. Instagram, WhatsApp, Facebook, and many others have since successfully copied the feature, which has now almost become innate to social media.

Although other social apps are nibbling at Snapchat's audience, the app still boasts a huge user base and engagement scores:

  • Snapchat has nearly 200 million daily users. In 2019 the number went down slightly to about 181 million from 190 million in 2018, which is nonetheless impressive

  • As of March 2019, Snapchat has reached 90% of 13–24 year olds in the US

  • On average, users spend around 30 minutes in the app every day

  • Snapchat's revenues have increased in 2019, painting a positive future for the app

  • The Snapchat mascot — a cute ghost — is nicknamed Ghostface Chilla after the famous rapper Ghostface Killa

In a nutshell, Snapchat is here to stay. So whether you’re a long-time Snapchatter or are befuddled by the phenomenon and want to get on board, you may be looking for some information on how to get Snapchat on Mac. But can you use snapchat on a Mac at all?

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How To Get Snapchat On Mac Quickly

Right now, you might be asking "how to download Snapchat for Mac?" It's a reasonable question, but unfortunately there's no official Snapchat for Mac just yet. Snapchat has very deliberately kept its app on mobile to ensure it stays fun and disposable — you're not supposed to Photoshop your snaps, for example. The whole idea is to take a quick photo or video, send it to your friends, and forget about it.

Nevertheless, there are still lots of reasons you might want to have Snapchat on Mac. Maybe you find your phone too distracting but still want to connect with friends. Maybe you run a business and want to promote it on Snapchat but find using the phone too limiting. Or maybe you don't have a smartphone at all (no judgement) or it's currently broken.

Whatever the reason for installing Snapchat on computer might be, don't despair — there are certain tricks for how to use Snapchat on Mac worth noting.

Get BlueStacks for Mac: The Snapchat emulator

BlueStacks is a Mac app that lets you turn your laptop into an Android device — at least for one window. That means any app available on Android also becomes available on your Mac, with just a few simple steps in between. That also means you can get Snapchat for Mac without much effort at all. Let's discuss in detail.

bluestacks android emulator mac

Download BlueStacks for Mac

Naturally, to use BlueStacks you need to download it first:

  1. Head over to and hit Download BlueStacks
  2. Run the .dmg installer from your Downloads folder
  3. Follow the prompts to enable the necessary access level for the app

Done. That's why BlueStacks for Mac is the most simple and intuitive Snapchat emulator around.

bluestacks download mac

How to link your Google Account

As BlueStacks is an Android emulator, you need to have a Google Account to download apps from the Google Play Store, including Snapchat. Don't worry, it's absolutely free.

When you launch BlueStacks for the first time, it'll walk you through the sign-in process:

  1. Click on the Google Play Store icon
  2. Sign-in with your Google Account or create a new one

Once you have an account linked to BlueStacks, you'll be able to use a fully functioning Android device right in your MacBook. And as your computer is more powerful than an average Android phone, the apps are likely to run even faster and in higher definition in BlueStacks for Mac — great choice for gaming and power-intensive apps. But let’s get back to Snapchat on Mac once again.

How to download Snapchat on Mac

If you've ever used Android before then downloading Snapchat on Mac using BlueStacks will not be a problem. But even in case you're unfamiliar with Android — it's not rocket science. All you need to do is click on the Google Play Store icon.

The Google Play Store is like the App Store for Android devices, with lots of great stuff to explore. To start, let's download Snapchat on MacBook:

  1. Click on the search bar of the Play Store
  2. Type "Snapchat" and hit enter
  3. Choose Snapchat from the list of results and click "Download and Install"

Once Snapchat is fully installed, you can access it from the Android home screen in BlueStacks. The app is fully functional and will even detect your webcam so that you can start snapping right away.

That’s pretty much everything you need to know about how to use Snapchat on Mac with BlueStacks.

download snapchat bluestacks mac

How to get Snapchat on Mac without BlueStacks

Some of you might be wondering if it's possible to use Snapchat on a Mac without BlueStacks, for example, to view Snapchat online? Unfortunately, there aren't any other ways to use Snapchat on Mac officially yet. Apple does seem to have plans to bring Snapchat to the App Store, but given that there isn't a set release date as of now you shouldn't expect it anytime soon.

In the meantime, if you don't want to bother with a Snapchat emulator, there are other instant messaging apps for your Mac that might fill the void.

IM+ is a great app for your Mac, which combines all of your messaging services in a single interface. You can manage your Facebook Messenger, Slack, Instagram, WhatsApp, Tinder, and LinkedIn from IM+ with ease instead of juggling countless tabs in your browser to communicate with friends and coworkers. 

Most importantly, IM+ supports a relatively new Snapchat service called Snap Map, which allows you to see where your friends are at any given moment. Currently, that's the closest to Snapchat you can get. And even if Snapchat releases its app for Mac in the future, you can be sure that IM+ will support it right away.

snap map im+ mac

Best of all, IM+ is available for a no-strings-attached unlimited 7-day trial through Setapp, a Mac platform with over 220 social, productive, and utilitarian apps for your everyday life. Crucially, IM+ will ensure you won't ever get cut off from your friends, even for a minute.

240+ apps for $9.99
per month

Sign up to Setapp and try them for free.