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Who needs Snapchat, anyways?
At last, the evolution is complete. Instagram Stories now includes pretty much every feature that Snapchat does. In an update available today on iOS and Android, you can now liven up your selfies with face filters—among several new features added to the app.
Now, you can choose from one of eight different face filters in Instagram Stories. These include funny favorites such as a bunny ear and nose, koala ears, a beauty-enhancing flower crown, and an eye-catching crystal tiara. The face filters also work with Instagram’s companion app Boomerang. And like Snapchat, some also work when you snap a selfie with a friend.
Judging by the photos Instagram used in its blog post, this new feature clearly targets teens. Instagram already has a strong hold of this market (have you heard of #Finstagram?), and is more popular than Snapchat, according to recent numbers. With face filters though, the app now offers everything that its biggest competitor does.
However, today’s update packs in more than just selfie filters. The app’s camera now includes a “Rewind” feature that shares videos in reverse. This option is located as a separate button below the app’s camera shutter button, next to Boomerang and Hands-Free mode.
In Stories, you can also add a custom hashtag to your images or videos, either in regular text, or as a sticker. In sticker form, you can tap the hashtag to see other public posts that have used that tag. There’s also a new drawing tool called the eraser brush. This lets you fill the entire image with color, then selectively erase sections to reveal the photo beneath.
These new features should offer creative, inspiring new ways for Instagram storytellers to share their adventures.
Update 1:17pm CT, May 16: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg showed off his favorite face filters on Instagram and Facebook.
New face filters on Instagram today! This one's my favorite so far. These kinds of effects are how we'll experience augmented reality for the first time. This is just the beginning.Posted by Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, May 16, 2017
Christina Bonnington is a tech reporter who specializes in consumer gadgets, apps, and the trends shaping the technology industry. Her work has also appeared in Gizmodo, Wired, Refinery29, Slate, Bicycling, and Outside Magazine. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area and has a background in electrical engineering.