The Secret Feature You Never Knew Was In Your Snapchat Camera

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As you’ve likely seen, Snapchat has rolled out a number of awesome features in the past few months to delight its users and add some magic to the experience. We now have decent voice and video calling, clickable web links in chat, an in-snapchat web browser, and maybe most importantly, a slew of emoji to express ourselves when words won’t do the trick.

We were all excited when they came out with scannable Snapcodes (BooR codes, pronounced boo-are) and it’s great how much people are using them. We see them in snappers’ stories, as Twitter profile photos, and even on stickers! You load up Snapchat, aim your camera, tap and hold, and BOO(M), you have a new snap friend!

But did you know your Snap Camera can recognize more than those cute little ghosts? Because it can, and has been able to for quite a while.


Why are they called BooR codes? They got this name from their close, yet not so attractive relative, the QR Code. QR Codes have been around for years and you’ve probably seen them on advertisements, websites, even in grocery stores. When you scan a QR code, you can be brought to a website, download an app, to a video on YouTube — anything with a link. But, in order to scan them, you need to have the right scanning app.

A little company called Scan.Me specialized in QR codes and gained some notoriety. Snapchat liked what they did, offered them lots and lots of money, and purchased their company. After some integration of Scan.Me’s app into Snapchat, some tinkering, customization, and great branding, voila! The BooR code is born.

However, it looks like they did not remove the functionality to scan regular old QR codes. If you have your phone handy (you know you do), open Snapchat, point your camera at the blue QR code below, then tap and hold.


Scan a QR Code in Snapchat?

Pretty cool, huh? I created a custom QR code in about 2 minutes that brings you to my personal site. You’ll see when you aim your Snapchat camera at the QR code (give it a second), it will activate a popup giving you the option to head over to the website or dismiss. The popup shows you the name of the site and includes the logo as well. If you hadn’t previously heard of QR codes, this may be exciting to you because you could essentially create custom QRs for your Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. Here’s the site I used to generate the code: It’s free and they have a bunch of cool color options.


That’s a great question and is yet to be seen. Sure, we can scan QR codes with our Snapchat Cameras to open up websites or Youtube links, but it’s not like we can slap QR codes in our stories and get any use out of that… unless someone has two phones… and three hands. As it stands, Snapchat’s ‘Add Friends’ feature can recognize BooR codes in your photo library, but this unfortunately does not work with QR codes. But at the end of the day, I find it hard to believe that Snapchat would leave this feature in accidentally. After all, they did design that popup window for something. All recent expansions suggest they have bigger plans cooking, and I bet we’ll find out soon.

Tell me what you all think in the comments!

Feel free to add me on Snapchat! @decalex


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Decalex (Alex Richter) is a Tech Project Manager by day and a master handwriting enthusiast by night. He is especially known for his witty take on handwritten, traditional calligraphy which he posts to Snapchat, daily. His always fascinating and often comedic stories frequently capture media attention where he has been featured by New York Magazine, Business Insider, Buzz Feed, and Elle.