With the Snapchat-esque feature updates rolling in seemingly every couple of weeks from Instagram, it was only a matter of time before they went for the big one – and they finally have. In their latest update, Snapchat rolled out Face Filters – i.e. Snapchat lenses.
It’s hard to ignore the similarities. With gold laurel wreaths, bunny ears – even a butterfly crown that seems to literally be a cross between the infamous flower and butterfly crown – it doesn’t feel like Instagram put any imagination into it.
That is, with the addition of a hashtag sticker. This second part of the update allows users to add a hashtag in much the same way you would overlay text on a Snap, except people watching your story can tap the hashtag to go to the hashtag page and explore related posts. So, there is at least some functionality.
“From the very first photo filter to Boomerang and more, Instagram has always been the place you can go to turn regular moments into something you can’t wait to share […] Now, you have more fun and easy ways to express yourself and connect with the people you care about most.” ~ Instagram
The face filters are also easier to find than Snapchat’s – a good advantage for the networks slightly older demographic. Whereas in Snapchat you have to know to hold down on your face to trigger the filters, Instagram has a smiley filter icon in the bottom right of the camera. Which reveals the tray of filters. Cleverly on Instagram’s part though, there’s also the functionality to trigger them as you would on Snapchat, so it’s an intuitive experience for crossover users.
As it stands, the filters can’t be sponsored yet – however, I doubt that this will be too long in the works. After all, Instagram was making money long before Snapchat got into the game. Most importantly though, maybe now they’ve copied everything about Snapchat, they can finally focus on making something…new?