Face Swap is the Snapchat phenomenon that is both disturbing and fascinating at the same time. Even if you keep your results to yourself, it's one experiment you have really got to try - if only for the giggles. Also see: Snapchat phone rumours and Snapchat Spectacles review.
First things first, if you're completely new to Snapchat our complete guide to using Snapchat might be more useful, as it takes you through every element of the app. Here, we're just talking about face swap. If face swap is all you're after, keep reading!
Get started with Face Swap on Snapchat
• Open Snapchat in Selfie mode
• Tap and hold on your face until a white mesh appears
• Scroll through the options to the side of the capture button to find Face swap
• Line up two faces as shown onscreen
You'll first need to launch Snapchat (if you don't already have it you can download it from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store), and make sure you're on the camera screen. Now, swap the camera so it's facing you. You should be able to see your lovely face on screen.
Activate Snapchat lenses
Now, tap on your face until you see a sort of mesh form over your face. That's Snapchat mapping your face, and it's how the lenses look so realistic (and creepy).
You'll can now swipe through the lens options that appear at the bottom of the screen. The face swap is a yellow icon with two smiley faces inside. You should see two smiley faces appear on the main portion of the screen now.
Align your faces
Grab a friend or family member that you want to swap faces with, and align both of your faces with the icons on screen until they are both yellow.
We've found that it's most successful if you remove your glasses, and if you're facing the camera directly.
Working? Snapchat uses the map of your face to adjust the other persons face to fit yours, and that means that when you talk it'll be their face that moves on your body… get it? It's horrifying and bizarre, but totally fascinating and it'll have you laughing uncontrollably in no time (like Lewis and Christina were below).
Save a Face Swap
But you'll want to capture that image to share with your friends. Tap the circle at the bottom with the face swap icon to capture the image, and if you want to save it to your phone's photo library you'll need to tap the icon in the bottom left corner that looks like a downwards arrow.
You can also send it to your Snapchat friends as you normally would.
With that image saved in your photo library, you can share it anywhere, whether that's via email, on Facebook, on Twitter or elsewhere.
Using Snapchat's Solo Face Swap lens
The popularity of Snapchat's original face swap lens doesn't seem to be slowing, so the developers have added an additional face swap option that means you can even join in the fun when you're on your own.
The solo face swap lens swaps your face with a face from your photo library from your phone instead. Scroll to the purple face swap icon after launching the Snapchat app and tapping and holding on your face to bring up the lens options. If you don't see the purple face swap icon, you might need to update your Snapchat app.
You'll see a pop up appear and slowly but surely, Snapchat will pick out faces it finds in your photo library ready for you to swap. You can scroll through them until you find the one you want to try and tap it to see the magical results.
Annoyingly, you can't manually choose a photo from your photo library - Snapchat cleverly looks for faces itself but that does mean that some don't show up if it makes a mistake.
Alternatives to Snapchat for Face Swap
While using Snapchat to face swap is fun, not everybody uses the popular messaging app and thus doesn’t have access to the feature. Don’t be disheartened though, as the ability to swap faces with friends and family isn’t a feature unique to Snapchat, and is available on many other apps.
The most popular app that currently offers face swapping abilities is MSQRD, which hit the headlines when it was bought out by Facebook less than three months after launching.
The selection includes one particular effect that’ll make you look like Donald Trump (the horror!), and much like Snapchat, these effects will change from time to time to keep things interesting.
It works in a similar way to Snapchat’s face swap feature, recognising your face and automatically applying the various effects when selected.
If MSQRD isn’t an appealing option to you then, for iOS users at least, Face Swap Live (and it’s free variant) is another good option.
Face Swap Live offers similar functionality to both Snapchat and MSQRD while bringing something slightly different to the table.
In addition to being able to take/record face swap selfies and apply a number of (no doubt hilarious) filters to your face, Face Swap Live also offers the ability to superimpose your face onto a photo.
This means that you could even add your face to a photo of Donald Trump (with worrying results) or pretend to be a baby – your imagination is the limit.
Unfortunately, there isn’t an Android variant available at the time of writing, but it is currently in development and those interested can sign up to be notified when it launches on the Face Swap Live website.
You might also like: