Instagram’s new Face Filter feature is just like Snapchat’s Lenses

Instagram has taken another leaf out of Snapchat’s book with the launch this week of Face Filters.

Aiming to appeal to its younger users — though no doubt plenty of adults will have some fun with them as well — Instagram’s Face Filters let you jazz up your selfies, and other pics and videos, with a range of overlays.

Eight are offered at launch, including furry koala ears, rabbit ears, a range of crowns, and, for something a little different, math equations swirling around your head.

instagram launches face filters

To take them for a spin — whether on yourself or a friend — simply open your Instagram camera, tap on the face icon bottom right, and then choose from the selection of filters that appear along the bottom of the display. Be sure to swipe left and right to see them all.

They work for photos (front and back cameras OK), as well as for video in real time as you record.

As we noted at the start, Instagram’s feature offers the same kind of functionality as Snapchat’s Lenses that launched in 2015. Toward the end of last year, Snapchat followed up with World Lenses, which let you have some graphic-based fun with the world beyond your face. Wonder if Instagram will offer something similar soon …

Update extras

Instagram’s latest update also offers a couple of extras. These include a new Rewind feature that lets you make videos that play in reverse, something that may or may not get your creative juices flowing. You can also add more context to an image by overlaying hashtags using regular text. “People watching your story will be able to tap the hashtag sticker or text to visit the hashtag page and explore related posts,” Instagram explains on its website.

Last but not least, you’ll find a new eraser brush among the drawing tools. Besides using it to erase anything you’ve drawn, you can also fill the entire photo or video with color and use the eraser brush to reveal parts of it underneath.

So there you have it, plenty of new features that Instagram hopes will keep you engaged with the app for even longer.

The update is available now for both iOS and Android users.