Instagram launches face filters, the last big Snapchat feature

Guillermo Lane
May 17, 2017

These work with both the photo and video camera to apply real-time face-tracking filters over subjects. It is now including the same functionality in Stories, which will allow you to include a hashtag sticker that can be customized and interacted with. Yet, considering Snap's success with its sponsored Lenses, it is likely only a matter of time before Instagram begins bringing brands onboard. Face Filters also integrate with Boomerang by default, and the finished snaps 'grams can be sent as an Instagram DM or uploaded to your story. Finally, a new hashtag sticker is available which you can assign to any hashtag you can think of. This was a departure from when Instagram introduced its version of Stories, a feature that Instagram loudly credited to Snapchat.

Once you select a filter, you can tap the face icon once more to collapse the menu and use the filter with other camera modes, like Boomerang or hands-free video. With face filters though, the app now offers everything that its biggest competitor does. Taking a Rewind video is the same as taking a regular video.

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.


Like Snap's service, Facebook's Stories will disappear 24 hours after users post them.

You'll also see a new eraser brush when using drawing tools. All of these exciting features are part of v10.21 for Android and iOS.

Instagram is owned by Facebook, which tried to purchase Snapchat for a reported $3 billion in 2013 but was rebuffed by CEO Evan Spiegel. This lets you fill the entire image with color, then selectively erase sections to reveal the photo beneath. "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".

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