There’s a new place for you to receive pre-designed, animal-inspired selfies from your friends, thanks to Instagram and its continued efforts to bring the most popular of Snapchat’s features to its platform. Instagram announced this morning it now offers face filters, ones that users can “turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining,” according to a Tuesday announcement.
There are eight initial filters now available, including a koala bear, rabbit, and one of those trendy flower headbands. Users can upload images to their Stories or send them directly to their friends. (And yes, this sounds familiar.)
Instagram lost any sense of shame in ripping off Snap long ago in a dog-eat-dog industry where there can only be one go-to spot for your favorite filtered selfies. And no, Snap has yet to lift a major design attribute from Instagram.
In an interview this morning at Disrupt New York with TechCrunch’s Josh Constine, Instagram’s Head of Product Kevin Weil didn’t shy away from the obvious similarities between Instagram and Snapchat’s features. “Good ideas start in one place and they spread throughout the entire industry,” said Weil. “It’s a format and it’s going to be adopted widely across multiple platforms.”
Beyond filters, Instagram announced users can now add a hashtag to their Stories to help with the discovery process, and also included an eraser brush in its drawing tools. You might remember Snapchat releasing its own eraser tool last week, but admittedly the Instagram version is slightly different: Rather than simply remove someone from your picture, Instagram’s eraser lets you flood your picture with a color and erase parts of the overlay to reveal the aspects you want to show.
The latest tools only add more ammo to Instagram’s arsenal to compete with Snapchat. With Instagram Stories now boasting 200 million daily active users, in comparison to Snap’s nearly 170 million DAUs, it’ll be interesting to see what Snapchat does next to give its platform some separation.