Instagram is introducing a set of filters that may look familiar to users. The social media site’s new app update allows users to augment their faces with filters that are strikingly similar to Snapchat’s.
This isn’t the first Instagram feature that the company seems to have taken directly from their competitor– it’s also adopted Snapchat’s sharing format, creative tools, and disappearing messages and videos. TechCrunch writes that by introducing face filters, “Instagram could thereby widen the gap by adding to its 200 million daily Stories users that already outnumber Snapchat’s 166 million total users, and further slow down Snap’s growth rate that led it to lose 25% of its share price value after it announced weak earnings last week.”
Read on to learn more about the new feature.
1. 8 Different Filters Have Been Introduced Starting May 16
Beginning May 16, Instagram users will have access to eight new filters. The “initial” face filters (which suggests that more are likely on their way) can be found by tapping the new face icon in the bottom right corner.
You must be actively using your camera (either adding a story or taking a live photo to upload) to access face filters.
The initial set includes:
– Gold crown
– Nerd glasses
– Butterfly crown
– Ice crown
2. The Filters Work With Photo, Video, and Boomerang
These new filters work with photo, video, and Boomerang, and according to product head Kevin Weil, Instagram believes they’re distinguishable from other apps because of their level of detail. Engadget reports Weil as saying, “You’ll see as you use them, there’s a level of craft and detail with each one of the eight face filters that I think is unique.” He reportedly offered the koala ears as an example, saying the ears twitch like a bear’s do.
In a blog introducing the features, Instagram writes, “Today, we’re introducing face filters in the camera, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining. Whether you’re sitting on the couch at home or you’re out and about, you can use face filters to express yourself and have playful conversations with friends.”
3. Three Other Features Were Also Added to Instagram Today
Instagram is also adding a few more creative tools.
Videos can now be played in reverse using the “rewind” feature. The rewind feature does exactly what it sounds like– say you drop a ball, the feature shows that ball rising back into your hands from the ground.
They company has also introduced hashtag stickers. The sticker icon at the top right of the screen is customizable, and can be added to stories. By clicking on that hashtag, you’ll be brought to the hashtag page.
An eraser tool has also been introduced that allows you to remove writing/drawings you have added to an image.
4. Users Have Already Commented on How the Filters Are Very Similar to Snapchat’s
Users have already begun to comment on how Instagram’s new filters are nearly identical to many of Snapchat’s, like the bunny, koala, and butterfly crown.
TechCrunch reports an Instagram spokesperson as being asked about copying Snapchat’s face filters. He reportedly responded, “There’s a lot of exciting work being done around augmented reality. We’ve heard from our community that they want more creative ways to share everyday moments and engage with friends. With face filters, they have more tools than ever at their fingertips, and all in one place.”
The spokesperson later added on that the Instagram team is fully responsible for designing their own filters. “The designs and specific filters were built by the Instagram team. The underlying technology uses MSQRD’s imaging technology and proprietary technology from Facebook’s applied machine learning teams.”
5. Some Outlets Are Reporting That Instagram’s Filters Don’t ‘Track Movements’ as Well as Snapchat
According to TechCrunch, who received a hands-on demo of the new filters, the new feature may not distort your face as much as Snapchat, but it doesn’t “track your movements and stay properly positioned on you face as well.”
When Instagram first introduced stories, its CEO, Kevin Systrom, credited Snapchat. In an interview the CEO in August 2016, Techcrunch said, “Let’s talk about the big thing. Snapchat pioneered a lot of this format. Whole parts of the concept, the implementation, down to the details…” Systrom immediately said, “Totally. They deserve all the credit.” He later added, “When you are an innovator, that’s awesome. Just like Instagram deserves all the credit for bringing filters to the forefront. This isn’t about who invented something. This is about a format, and how you take it to a network and put your own spin on it.” Instagram has yet to credit Snapchat with popularizing selfie lenses.
*Make sure to update your app to the new 10.21 update on the App Store or Google Play Store.