Instagram just copied the last iconic Snapchat feature, introducing "face filters" that allow users to spice up their selfies with augmented reality elements.
Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat have been playing a copycat game for a while now as Facebook gradually "borrowed" more Snapchat features and added them to its own services.
The new Instagram selfie filters are like the cherry on top, crowning all other copied elements to make a true Snapchat clone.
Instagram Selfie Filters
"Today, we're introducing face filters in the camera, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining," says Instagram. "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."
Instagram is offering only eight face filters at first, but it will add more options later on. The eight initial selfie filters include a gold crown, Koala nose and ears, bunny ears, nerd glasses with math equations swirling around, a butterfly crown (reminiscent of Snapchat's popular flower crown), an ice crown, a peacock filter with giant purple feathers, and a makeup filter.
Snapchat's selfie filters are slightly more prominent, whereas Instagram's face filters are more subtle, augmenting the user's face rather than cover it.
To start trying out the new Instagram face filters, users just need to open the camera and, in the bottom right corner, tap the new face icon to select any filter they want to try on. Users can use the filters with photos and videos captured on either the front or the rear camera — the filters also work with Boomerang. Once done sprucing up the image, users can send the photo or video through Instagram Direct or post it to their Stories.
Instagram Creative Tools
In addition to the selfie filters, the latest Instagram update also adds a number of creative tools for the camera. Perhaps the most exciting new option is "Rewind," a new camera format that allows users to make videos that play in reverse.
Other tools include a hashtag sticker and an eraser brush. Users can easily access the hashtag sticker at the top right of the screen, customize the hashtag and quickly add it to a story. Friends viewing the story can tap the hashtag sticker or text and visit the hashtag page. The eraser brush, meanwhile, comes in handy for quickly adjusting photos and videos when experimenting with drawing tools. Users can remove colors, erase various elements they've drawn and more.
The new Instagram selfie filters and creative tools are available with the latest app version 10.21, live now on the Apple App Store and Google's Play Store.
Instagram Admits To Copying Snapchat
In a TechCrunch Disrupt Interview, Kevin Weil, Instagram's Vice President of Product, acknowledged that Instagram copied Snapchat, but argued that this is just how things are.
"If we're being honest with ourselves, this is the way the tech industry and frankly all industries work. Good ideas start out in one place and spread all across the industry," Weil explained. "Kudos to Snapchat for being the first to stories, but it's a format and it's going to be adopted across a wide array of platforms."
This means war, but it's hardly a surprise anymore. Facebook and Instagram have been going after Snapchat for a good while and the race is getting increasingly heated.
Have you tried out the new Instagram tricks? If so, which do you prefer? Let us know in the comments section below.