I became green with envy after attending a football game where the other school had their own personalized geofilter. I had to have one for my school! So I started researching how to create a Snapchat geofilter. When I asked some of my more knowledgeable high schoolers, I was given reasons why it would be difficult – has to be a certain dimension, certain pixels, certain types of image, etc. So I put it on the backburner for a while. Then lo and behold, I discovered that there’s actually a really easy way to create Snapchat Geofilters (but don’t tell my students, they think I’m awesome because I know how to do this).
The easiest way is through Canva because it allows you to customize your dimensions and save with a transparent background. Snapchat requires that filters be 1080 x 1920 pixels. Canva has a custom dimensions creator. Just choose “Create Design” and use the “Custom Dimensions” box in the upper right-hand corner. After that, it’s easy. Just choose the graphics and text you would like to use. When choosing your graphics, remember there will be photos underneath it. Bright vibrant colors work best. Banners under text also help it “pop” more than just a simple text box. I try to include a heading and some sort of graphic at the top, like a border. Here are some of my creations:
Then comes the tricky part. Snapchat filters have to have a transparent background. After you have created your filter, go to “Download” and choose file type PNG and transparent background. It should now be in the correct format for Snapchat.
Once you have your geofilter ready, got to Snapchat Geofilters. There are three kinds of geofilters: community personal and business. To be honest, I haven’t had any luck getting a community geofilter approved. They are free and have lots of regulations regarding graphics and logos. Instead, I used the personal geofilters. Yes, they are going to cost you a few dollars but they are more easily approved. Cost is based on the time and area you want to cover. I was able to get a filter for prom for 5 hours for $5 (the minimum amount Snapchat charges).
Within personal geofilters you have two options: upload your own (the one you created on Canva) or use a template to create one. Templates are organized by categories like love and celebrations. You can personalize the colors and names but you can’t really change the graphics. When you choose to upload your own, it will ask you to choose your file. Make sure your file has a transparent background. You will know it’s transparent because it will have a gray and white check background.
Next, pick your dates and times. The longer the times the more expensive the filter. Then it’s time to define your area. You will use the draw fence area to designate in which areas your filter will show up. The more focused and smaller the area, the less the cost. When doing the prom filter, I limited it to only the building prom was being held in, keeping costs low. You can search for your address and then zoom in our out to get the area you are looking for. Click on “draw fence” and then draw a polygon using three points or more. The only condition for the fence is that it must be a closed figure and a minimum of 20,000 square feet. When you adjust your area or time, the cost will change.
The next screen will ask you to login so that your filters and payment information can be saved for later. It will ask you to name your filter and choose a type. Personal filters can’t include brands, logos, social media handles or contact info. Business can include logos so if you wanted to include a school mascot or logo you could. It doesn’t change the cost, but you will be asked to provide business , in this case, school, information. Once completed, your filter will be sent for review and approval. This can take as little as a few hours or as much as a few days so plan ahead. Your account won’t be charged until it has been approved. Upon approval, you will receive two emails: one notifying you or approval and one saying you’ve been charged.
When it’s time for your filter, you will receive another email saying your live. You will receive a similar one when its run is complete. The other cool thing is to look at your filters metrics, seeing how many views (when your friends see it in your story) it got or how many conversions (someone used it and sent it to someone else).
My students love the personalization. They’re great for special events like prom, graduation, senior night, class day, or big sporting matches. The possibilities are endless. I think it makes them feel special to have it designed just for their school or team.
For more information, check out the video below.