Here we go again. Instagram has added Face Filters. This is yet another feature borrowed from Snapchat. The execution and idea behind it is more or less the same as that in Snapchat. It works only with the front facing camera but you can apply them to both photos and videos. You can share the photos to your Instagram story or save it to your camera roll. You can’t apply a filter to a photo from your camera roll. The filters are live augmented reality filters. At present there are only eight filters for you to choose from. Here’s how you can apply face filters in Instagram.
Update the Instagram app first. The change log for the latest version of the app doesn’t say it adds more features but update it just the same. Face filters seem to have rolled out worldwide all at once.
Open Instagram and swipe right. Alternatively, tap the camera button at the top. This is the same button you tap when you want to go live on Instagram. On the Go Live screen, there will be a new button next to the switch camera button. The new button is a sparkly smiley. Tap it.
The camera mode sliders at the bottom of the screen will be replaced with the available face filters. Swipe through them and select the filter you like best. The filters include a few crowns, the usual animals which include a puppy and a koala, and a pair of glasses. Tap the filter you want to use and then tap the face filter button again to close the filter drawer.
Tap the capture button to take a photo, or tap and hold it to record a video. The filter is applied to both photos and videos. The face filters work in the normal, boomerang, and rewind modes. They do not work for live videos.
That’s all it takes to apply face filters on Instagram. If you’re wondering whether or not Facebook will eventually copy this, it already has. When Facebook introduced stories, they came with face filters. It’s actually surprising how long it took for Instagram to get them. It goes without saying that Snapchat’s features are still being copied. What’s disappointing is that Instagram and Facebook are both content with creating carbon or near-carbon copies of the feature. There’s nothing new in the face filters that Instagram has added that Snapchat didn’t already offer.