On Tuesday, Instagram added new augmented reality face filters, a signature feature of its rival Snapchat. The Facebook-owned platform also launched a new Rewind video format, hashtag stickers, and a magic eraser brush tool.
Developers are also reportedly testing a geotagging feature on Instagram to let users add their locations to their photos, videos, stories, and more. VP of Product Kevin Weil confirmed the function was hidden within the code of the app, but not available just yet.
The new set of eight face filters available on Instagram were widely reported as the latest copycat blow at Snapchat. The competing app has had the feature for almost two years now, and even then it has less close to 40 million users less than Instagram Stories alone.
How to use face filters on Instagram
Instagram has near completed its Snapchat transformation, and it now offers eight different augmented reality filters for selfies and group photos and videos. Using them is as simple as launching the app and opening up the camera.
There, you will see a new face icon in the bottom right corner. If you select that, it will display the new eight filters that let you turn yourself and others into koala bears or bunnies, put on different tiaras, crowns, and nerd glasses.
Applying one of the filters will automatically superimpose these digital elements in your face, distorting it less than Snapchat does, according to reports. You can apply filters to pictures, videos, Stories, and more. It even works with Boomerang videos.
Users will need to update to the latest version of Instagram, which is 10.21 in both Android and iOS, to get these new AR filters. There are also some extra features rolling out this Tuesday.
Instagram’s new creative tools give a new spin to your pics and videos
Instagram is adding the ability to identify your hashtags directly on your photos and videos. Users can now include a hashtag sticker on their posts aside from the ones contained in the accompanying text, and followers can click on them to see related content that has been tagged with the same words.
Translation: "Today we're completing our total, unabashed appropriation of Snapchat features. Facebook: imitate-or-die. " https://t.co/JqCORpYGQM
— Evan Blass (@evleaks) May 16, 2017
There is also a new video option, also inspired by Snapchat. The Rewind camera format lets you take videos and play them in reverse, similar to what Boomerang does without playing it on an endless back-and-forth loop.
Lastly, there is a new drawing tool to customize your photos: the eraser brush. Instagram users can now fill their entire pictures with a solid color and then use the eraser brush to clear out the paint and let users see through, just like drawing in a dirty car windshield, but with style.