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Instagram Launches Face Filters in Latest Blow to Snapchat

* Instagram continues to develop its features and offerings
* Instagram will now offer “face filters” for selfies
* Instagram claims their filters are “unique,” despite similarities to Snapchat

Today, news broke detailing Instagram’s latest episode of adding Snapchat-inspired features to their app. Now, the photo sharing app will offer eight different “face filters” for selfies as a part their plan to bring augmented reality technology to the app’s growing range of capabilities. If this sounds familiar, it should. This move brings Instagram stories fully in line with Snapchat, with both apps now offering video storytelling, direct messaging and fun, face-morphing effects.

The new Snapchat-inspired filters not only include flattering overlays to make a more flawless look to your images, but the filters also seem to reference versions of Snapchat’s most beloved filters — think the ubiquitous flower-crown head band, goofy animal faces and nerd glasses.

Instagram is defending their latest update, maintaining that their face filters are different from Snapchat’s. Instagram product head Kevin Weil said, “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 adds that not only are the Instagram face filters different, but they’re also more realistic and life-like.

Instagram’s new face filters will also include other self-decorating filters including a gold, roman-era crown and a makeup filter, which is said to smooth out wrinkles and add a more healthy glow to your selfie. While the copycat filters definitely borrow from Snapchat, the main difference according to reviews, is that Instagram’s don’t distort the face as much as Snapchat’s do.

It is suspected that Instagram’s more subtle face filters — as opposed to SnapChat’s — is part of Instagram’s efforts to appeal to a broader market and age demographic, catering to an audience that spans outside of teenagers and Gen Z users — who comprise the majority of Snapchat’s user base.

Face filters aren’t the only addition in the new update. It also will unveil other new features including the option to play videos in reverse with the “rewind button,” a new hashtag sticker tool for stories and videos, and lastly, an eraser brush tool, which will allow users to brush over text for an artistic effect.