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May 17, 2017

Instagram copied Snapchat again: Here’s how those face filters work

by John_A

Facebook-owned Instagram has no qualms about ripping off Snapchat.

You’ve all seen these types of headlines: Facebook adds Snapchat-like blah blah blah; Facebook continues assault on Snapchat; Facebook is turning into a Snapchat clone; and so on. Those stories aren’t lying. Facebook, which once tried to buy Snapchat, has been heavily copying the app to appease a younger, more mobile audience. And the most recent update to the Instagram app is yet another example.

  • Instagram Stories adds Snapchat-like geostickers
  • Instagram just basically ripped off Snapchat Stories – and here’s how
  • Instagram tips and tricks: How to master the app and post amazing pics


What are Instagram face filters?

Instagram has launched “face filters” — and, yes, you probably guess correctly, they’re just like Snapchat’s lenses. They are augmented reality filters that can change the way you look in real-time. For instance, Instagram’s face filters can make you look like a koala or a rabbit, while some of Snapchat’s past lenses can put a flower crown on your head or make it look like you’re puking rainbows.

How does Instagram face filters work?

Face filters work whether you use the front or the back camera on your phone. To find them, open up to the the camera interface in the app and tap the new face icon in the bottom right corner. Watch the video here for an example. Face filters work in any shooting modes – photo, video, or even Boomerang. Instagram said you can use them to “turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining”.

  • For more detailed instructions, go to Instagram’s help center.

How many face filters are available?

At launch, Instagram is offering eight face filters. Open the camera and tap the new face icon in the bottom right corner to see them.

When can you use Instagram face filters?

You can access them now by downloading the new Instagram 10.21 update from the App Store or Google Play Store.

What else is new?

Instagram is also rolling out more creative tools in the camera. Again, to learn more, check out the Instagram Help Center.



You can now make videos that play in reverse with Rewind. It’s a new camera format next to Boomerang and Hands-Free. Instagram said you could “drop a microphone and watch it fly up into your hand”.


Hashtag sticker

You can now add more context to your story with a hashtag sticker. Just tap the sticker icon at the top right of your screen, then select and customise the hashtag, and add it to your story. People watching your story can tap the hashtag sticker to explore related posts.


Eraser brush

Instagram added a new eraser brush in the drawing tools. You can use it to erase other things you’ve drawn or play around with removing color. After you’ve taken a photo or video, select a drawing tool, then tap and hold to fill the entire screen with color, and while using the eraser brush, you can “reveal parts of your photo or video underneath”, Instagram said.

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