How To Convert Snapchat Videos To MP4

MP4 format is currently the most efficient video format for use on the web. It’s an international standard, meaning most apps, browser and programs will be compatible with it or have a codec that will make it work. Snapchat works natively with MP4 so whether you’re uploading to it or downloading from it, they just work. This tutorial will show you how to convert Snapchat videos to MP4 ready for upload and convert downloaded videos too.


Social Media

Many devices will default to MP4 when you shoot video anyway. Some professional cameras, video cameras and Apple devices won’t. They will use another format which you will need to convert to upload it to Snapchat. Apple devices tend to record in MOV which is the default for Apple. Snapchat will work with .mov files as well as .mp4.

MPEG 4

MP4, or MPEG 4, files use an international file format that was originally based on MOV but was adapted to make it more efficient. By implementing a new compression system, videos are smaller while retaining resolution which is the holy grail for the web. As larger files take longer to load or download, the smaller the video file, the faster the website or app can play it. When every second counts, this is a real bonus. Which is why MP4 is the go-to file format.

Most media players, phones, desktops, browser, apps and social networks are compatible with MP4. As it has been around for over 15 years now, it is predictable and a well-known quantity that has also thankfully taken over from Flash video.

Convert Snapchat videos to MP4

You can upload and download videos on Snapchat. Depending on what format they were uploaded in, they will be either MP4 files or MOV. Most Windows and Android devices will use MP4 as the default. iPhones, Macs and iPads will use MOV as iOS and MacOS use it as their default. Apple devices can also use MP4 but as Apple originally developed the MOV format, they are intent on keeping it alive.

Convert videos for upload to Snapchat

If the video format you’re working with isn’t MP4, you can convert is using a number of methods. The simplest is to use VLC or a free app. You can also use a web service for smaller videos too although this means uploading your video to a website first. Both work fine but if you have VLC or other media player installed on your device, it is easier to use that.

I use VLC on my desktop so will demonstrate using that.

  1. Open your video in VLC.
  2. Select the Media menu and Convert/Save.
  3. Select MP4 as the Profile and set a unique destination for the converted file.
  4. Select Start to convert.

You can overwrite the original but when working with video it is always better to create a copy first. If something happens during conversion, you will always have the original to fall back to. You can always make more copies if you retain the original. You can always delete it once you’re sure.

Online services such as OnlineConvert or OnlineVideoConverter can take most video formats and convert them to MP4. Just upload your video somewhere and paste the URL into the box on the main page of each site. Make sure .mp4 is selected as the format and start the process.

Convert videos downloaded from Snapchat

If the video you download from Snapchat isn’t in MP4, you can convert it in much the same way. The only two options that work in Snapchat are MP4 and MOV. If the video is in MOV format, the uploader used an Apple device and Snapchat was able to accept the format.

You don’t get to choose the format when downloading from Snapchat so you will need to convert it on your device. You can use the same methods above to convert it.

Using VLC:

  1. Open the video you downloaded from Snapchat in VLC.
  2. Select Media from the top menu and select Convert/Save.
  3. Select MP4 as the Profile and a unique destination for the converted file.
  4. Select Start to convert into MP4.

The process is exactly the same. VLC will convert the native video format into MP4 and create a new file with .mp4. This file should be playable on just about every device available.

You can also use the same websites to convert your video if you don’t have VLC or other media player. The process is the same there too, upload the video, add the URL to the website, set MP4 as the format and download when done. If only everything on social media was as straightforward!