Instagram copies Snapchat again, internet doesn’t let it go quietly

instagram face filters snapchat

Snapcha… sorry, I mean Instagram today announced a brand new feature coming to its Stories feature — face filters.

“Today, we’re introducing face filters in the camera, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining,” the company announced on its blog.

Users posting pics or videos of themselves to Instagram Stories can now adorn themselves with furry koala ears, nerd glasses, ice-queen crowns and other things deemed to be “dope af”.

Today, we’re introducing face filters, 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. Simply open the camera and tap the new face icon in the bottom right corner. Tap a filter to try it on and send it to your friends or add it to your story. They even work with Boomerang! Also today, we’re rolling out three new creative tools. Make videos that play in reverse with “Rewind,” add context to your story with a hashtag sticker and get creative with the eraser brush. Instagram has always been the place you can go to turn regular moments into something you can’t wait to share. Now, you have more fun and easy ways to express yourself and connect with the people you care about most. To learn more about today’s updates, check out These updates are available as part of Instagram version 10.21 for iOS in the Apple App Store and for Android in Google Play.

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“Tap a filter to try it on, and keep an eye out for ones that work with a friend,” the company adds.

“Take a photo or video using the front- or back-facing camera — they even work with Boomerang, so you can easily add an unexpected twist to what you share!”

For those who use Instagram Stories often, this is obviously a much-desired feature. It also allows selfies and personal snaps to be a little more, well, personable. But there’s an elephant-shaped filter in the room, that has been picked up by a few on the internet.

Instagram Stories’ new feature is remarkably similar to Snapchat’s Geofilters it launched back in mid-2014.

Twitter lambastes ‘original and new and exciting’ Instagram feature

YouTuber Marques Brownlee led the criticism.

Others also just couldn’t resist comparing Instagram’s face filters to another feature we’ve seen on a different social network before.

And in the tweet of the day:

Users on Twitter also called for Instagram to bring back the chronological ordered timeline, a move that many have bemoaned since the company moved to Facebook-like algorithmic listings in mid-2016.

Instagram clearly doesn’t have much shame borrowing key features from its major rival, but why should it? The company has close to six-times the user base of Snapchat, with about double using Instagram Stories.

Hashtag stickers, erasers and ‘Rewind’

Notably, face filters wasn’t the only update to the Instagram experienced announced Tuesday.

“In addition to face filters, we’re rolling out “Rewind,” a hashtag sticker and an eraser brush in the camera!” the company tweeted.

“Drop a microphone and watch it fly up into your hand. Capture a fountain in motion and share a rewind of the water floating back up. Experiment with some magic tricks of your own and defy the laws of physics wherever you are,” Instagram notes on the same blog, explaining its Rewind feature.

The hashtag sticker is, well, pretty self explanatory, but the eraser is perhaps the most exciting, novel new feature.

“You can erase other things you’ve drawn and play around with removing colour. After you’ve taken a photo or video, select a drawing tool and tap and hold to fill the entire screen with colour. Then, using the eraser brush, you can creatively reveal parts of your photo or video underneath,” Instagram clarifies.

The updates should be available on Instagram version 10.21 on iOS and Android.

Andy Walker, former editor


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