How to Make a Snapchat Geotag

Two Women Taking a Selfie on the Beach
Photo © Cultura RM Exclusive / Christin Rose / Getty Images

Whenever you snap a photo or film a short video through Snapchat, you can swipe right on the preview to apply certain filter effects to it -- one of which is the geotag filter, which changes depending on your location. Believe it or not, users can actually learn how to make a Snapchat geotag of their own to submit for approval.

Snapchat geotags are simply fun images and text overlays that appear on top of a section of your photos or videos, sort of like a sticker. Not all locations have them, so if you come across a location that could use a geotag, then you can certainly make one for it.

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Get Started with Making Your Own Snapchat Geotag

Submitting a Snapchat geotag filter is pretty easy. It's creating the image that's probably the hardest part, mainly because you need to have some basic graphic design skills and a design program to help you do it.

If you don't see any geotag filters show up on your photos or videos when you swipe right through the filters, it's possible that you haven't turned on the geolocation feature that Snapchat needs to access your location.

From the camera viewer in the Snapchat app, tap the ghost icon at the top and then tap the gear icon on the top right to access your settings. Then tap the 'Manage' option and make sure your Filters button is turned on.​

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Create Your Your Snapchat Geotag

It's highly recommended that you use a professional design program like Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop to create your Snapchat geotag. In fact, you'll notice that once we get to the map page for the Snapchat geotag submission, Snapchat will give you the option to download templates for both Illustrator and Photoshop.

For this particular example, however, we're just going to make a very simple text image using Canva -- a free and easy to use graphic design tool available online.

Now, the problem with using free tools like Canva is that it doesn't offer as many features as some of the others, which we'll need to use for our geotag images to be submitted. According to Snapchat, all submissions must:

  • be 100 percent original;
  • have a width of 1080px and a height of 1920px;
  • be saved as a web-optimized PNG image; and
  • be less than 300KB in size.

This is easy enough to do if you have Illustrator or Photoshop and know how to use it. Free tools like Canva, however, will give you images that will need to be edited further using something like the default photo editor that's installed on your computer, which should allow you to resize and further edit your images.

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Make Sure Your New Snapchat Geotag Follows All the Guidelines

Canva downloads the image in a larger size, and without any transparency. This means that the image will need to be resized and that the white background will take up the whole screen if it's submitted to Snapchat, which Snapchat won't allow.

To fix some of these issues, you can use the Preview photo editor app on a Mac (which is what we used in our example). You may have a similar program that you can use if you have a PC.

First, we decided to crop the image to be exactly 1080px by 1920px. Next, we used the crop tool to make a rectangular selection around the yellow text and then went to Edit in top men to click Invert Selection. Then we went back to Edit and clicked Cut.

This removed the excess white background, but still kept the image the right size. There's still a smaller white background surrounding the actual text image, but you would need something like Illustrator, Photoshop or another more advanced tool to get just the text or image completely transparent on its own.

The image is also well under 300KB, so the file size doesn't need to be scaled down any further. If your image is larger than 300KB, you may need to use a tool like Illustrator or Photoshop to reduce the quality in order to also reduce the file size.

It's recommended to check out Snapchat's detailed list of guidelines to make sure your geotag image is in line with all of them. For example, you can't submit logos, trademarks, hashtags or photographs according to the guidelines.

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Use the Map Tool to Submit Your Geotag

Now that you've created your geotag image and made sure it satisfies all the guidelines, you're ready to submit it. Head to Snapchat.com/geofilters to do that. 

Click Let's Do It! and then click NEXT on the following page. You'll be shown a map. You can either let Snapchat know your location or use the search bar to type in a location.

Now you can click on any area of the map you where you want your geotag to show up. Move your mouse over and click again to secure another corner. Do this as many times as you need to trace the area you're targeting.

Once you've selected an area, you can click the big plus sign in box to the right so you can upload your geotag image. Scroll down to add your name, email address, its meaning and any additional notes. Confirm that it's your original work, agree to the privacy policy, prove you're not a robot and then hit submit.

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Wait for Snapchat to Approve Your Geotag Submission

After you've successfully submitted your geotag image, you'll be sent a confirmation email telling you that it will be reviewed in the order it was received. If it gets approved, Snapchat will notify you about it.