Use Snapseed to Edit Social Media Photos and More

by | Jun 3, 2019

By Shelley Sturgeon

A couple of weeks ago, I wrote 72 Free Image Sources for Authors. So, now that you know where to get free images, I thought you might like to know how you can quickly edit those photos–and your selfies or personal digital photographs–to make them just right for your blog posts, social media, newsletters and maybe even your book covers.

(Just remember to check those terms and conditions of any photos you use from stock image sites, free or otherwise, to confirm where you can legally use the images and whether you are allowed to edit them.)


Snapseed is an extremely popular photo editing app for iOS and Android phones.

How popular? Snapseed has nearly a million reviews averaging 4.5 stars and over a hundred million downloads for the Android phone version. (Can you imagine getting that many reviews for your book?)

Snapseed was originally developed by an independent company as a photo editing program for the iPad, but was eventually purchased by Google, who further developed it to work on Mac and PC desktops, as a Chrome browser extension and as apps for both iOS and Android phones. Eventually, Google decided to stop updating and supporting the desktop versions of Snapseed but both flavors of the phone app continue to be developed and supported.

Popular features of Snapseed

Snapseed is so popular because it is easy to use and it offers much of the same functionality as other well known photo editing software for desktops—but it fits on your phone and can be used with a few quick swipes of your finger.

There’s nothing particularly gimmicky about Snapseed. It offers functionality very similar to the very well known photo editing program Lightroom. No funny filters or quirky captions… No “face exchange” capabilities… Just tools to help your photos pop and look more eye catching and professional.

(If you’re interested in comparisons between Snapseed and Lightroom, you might want to read this article, Lightroom vs Snapseed: Which is a Better Photo Editor? from TechWiser.)

Snapseed Tools and Filters

The following functionality is accessible from Snapseed’s TOOLS menu:

  • Tune Image
  • Details
  • Curves
  • White Balance
  • Crop
  • Rotate
  • Perspective
  • Expand
  • Selective
  • Brush
  • Healing
  • HDR Scape
  • Glamour Glow
  • Tonal Contrast
  • Drama
  • Vintage
  • Grainy Film
  • Retrolux
  • Grunge
  • Black & White
  • Noir
  • Portrait
  • Head Pose
  • Lens Blur
  • Vignette
  • Double Exposure
  • Text
  • Frames

If you’re not familiar with photo editing, you can learn more by accessing Snapseed Help.

So, What Can You Do with Snapseed?

This picture was taken by my husband, Craig, the family photography enthusiast, last autumn when we took a short holiday to Prince Edward County, Ontario, to visit with some extended family and do a bit more genealogy research into our United Empire Loyalist roots.

Here’s the unedited photo:

If you select LOOKS from the Snapseed menu, it will show you different, and often subtle, ways you might want to change the look of your photo. Selecting one of their suggested looks will change your photo accordingly.

With the Healing tool, you can select an object and remove it from the photo. In this case, look at the stone sitting to the left of the well in the first photo. In the second photo, it has been removed.

In this photo, we’ve used the Blur tool. Details of the photo are blurred outside of the encircled area.

And, in this example, we’ve added text. Snapseed offers font options to select from.

And this is our final photo of the Rose House Museum…

In this photo, taken by our Go Pro camera set up on our front porch, a squirrel is just about to abscond with a peanut, we’re using the Brightness tool to alter the brightness in the background.

It’s very simple to use and the possibilities for using Snapseed for social media, post images, etc., are endless.


FREE!! Yes, you read that right!

So, give it a try. You’ve got nothing to lose except maybe a bit of time familiarizing yourself with the app.


I always like to read the feedback from others before I invest my time or money into something new. You can access Snapseed’s 953,000+ reviews here.

A Tutorial for Beginners

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video must be worth a million. Although I’ve been telling your throughout this article how easy Snapseed is to use, if you’re like me and you like to be shown how to use things versus having to read step-by-step directions, this YouTube video will give you a quick idea of how to do some simple photo editing using Snapseed.

If you are interested in learning more about how to edit photos with Snapseed, there are many videos available on YouTube which will show you how to use other features of this app.

Your Feedback?

Have another photo editing app or software program that you think our readers would benefit from knowing about?

Want to tell us about your Snapseed experience(s)? What do you love (or hate) about it? How can you/are you using it as part of your author platform and book marketing efforts?

Tell us in the comments. We always love to hear from you.
Photo: BigStockPhoto

tbd advanced publishing starter kit


  1. ST

    Thanks for your article and video!

    I wondered if you had to get permission from Snapseed before posting your video.

  2. Larry

    I moved all my photos from camera roll to Mypics. How can I transfer them to Snapseed so I can edit them?

  3. Frances Caballo

    What a great app! I’m always looking for photo editing apps, especially for my phone since that’s where I always post to Instagram, of course, and more and more to Facebook. I have a question: will this app resize? Also, how does the editing featuring of the photo (when you can select portrait, smooth, accentuate, etc.) compare to Instagram’s native filters?

    • Craig Sturgeon

      There are a couple of options to resize an image. “Crop” may be the obvious one, but the other is “Expand”. The user has three options when expanding the photo’s canvas–with a black background, a white background or a smart background. The smart option makes an noble attempt at reviewing the image to set the background of the expand area.

      In regards to those “Looks” options in Snapseed I suspect they are similar to those found in Instagram’s, however, each user will have a different opinion of them. Personally, in both applications, I have only used them a few times.



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