Skip to main content

Snapchat is assisting your search for the perfect filter with ‘computer vision’

Finding the perfect Snapchat filters will soon get a bit easier. Snapchat recently confirmed that the app now uses “computer vision” to recognize what’s in the photo. Once the app recognizes what’s there, Snapchat displays suggested filters based on what that photo contains, turning up pet puns for a photo of Fido or tasty graphics for food photos.

The feature is first launching in a handful of common categories. The app now includes computer vision for recognizing food, pets, sports, and beaches, and Snap Inc. says it is working to expand the object recognition to additional categories. The filter recommendations began rolling out quietly last week, with the company recently mentioning that more categories will be coming in the future.

A photo of a pet, for example, will bring up a sticker of “it’s a pawty” while a beachfront shot will put an “ocean view” sticker into the top of that filter carousel, and food photos put a sticker for “what diet?” at the forefront.

As Snapchat’s filter options grow, the new features prevent users from having to dig through the options by putting the most relevant filters at the top of the filter options alongside the “smart filters” that add in the date, location, temperature, or speed.

The addition isn’t Snap’s first go-round with computer vision either — the technology already powers options like the ability to search through public photos in Stories and find a photo of a dog even if the word “dog” was never actually used. Snap Inc. has also patented a similar object recognition program that could help boost advertising, with companies paying to have their filter pop up when a user snaps a photo of a related object.

The update comes as Snap Inc. is preparing a major redesign for Snapchat after reporting disappointing financial results.  The company announced a redesign earlier this month, with CEO Evan Spiegel saying that the new design will make Snapchat easier to use. An anonymous source later said that the redesign would be coming on December 4 but Snapchat has not confirmed that information. Snapchat’s user base is currently largely made up of people between the ages 13 and 34 and Spiegel said the redesign is aiming to attract more age groups to the platform, as well as users from more countries.

Editors' Recommendations

Hillary K. Grigonis
Hillary never planned on becoming a photographer—and then she was handed a camera at her first writing job and she's been…
How to get Snapchat filters in Zoom
Zoom video

If you're looking to add a little spice to your seemingly endless stream of Zoom meetings, or you just like to stand out from the crowd, you can add Snapchat filters, backgrounds, and lenses to your session. From turning yourself into a pickle, to walking in space, to trying on crazy hats, you'll have a lot of fun with the seemingly endless new options available to you.  The process of setting up Zoom with Snapchat filters is pretty easy. Here's how to do it.

Getting started
Your first step is to install Snap Camera to your computer. Snap Camera was created by Snapchat's parent company, Snap Inc., to let you add cool backgrounds, filters, and lenses to any livestream or video chat, not just Zoom. Once you have it downloaded, all you need to do is to sign in to Zoom.
Starting a funny meeting

Read more
How to use Snapchat filters
how to use snapchat filters ar

Since 2014, the social media app, Snapchat, has been updating the app with new, fun features. In addition to the drawing tool, users can apply a number of themed stickers to their snaps. Snapchat's most popular feature by far, though, is its filters. With Snapchat's face-detecting lens technology, you can make yourself old, add beauty filters, or give yourself cat ears and whiskers. The list of available filters goes on and on, with more added every day, especially now that users can create and upload their own. Filters are awesome, but they can seem confusing if you don't know how to use them. Luckily, we're here to show you!
Give permission
First things first: In order to access all of Snapchat's filters, you first need to enable them. Head to the app's settings (from the main viewfinder, tap your profile pic in the upper-left corner, followed by the gear icon in the upper-right corner), and then select Permissions (under Privacy). From there, enable the camera permissions. Some filters require geolocation to be enabled, so go ahead and turn that on in your phone's settings as well.
Using filters
Once everything is enabled, you're all ready to start filtering. Head back to the viewfinder and tap the screen. Your camera will take a second to adjust and map your surroundings, then a series of circles will appear to the right of the photo-taking button. Each of the circles contains a little preview of what the filter might be like; tap on one of these to select it (or swipe to scroll through several at once), and the app will apply the filter. The list of filters is refreshed daily, so if you can't find one you like, check back later (some popular choices, though, are semi-permanent).

Some filters are completely autonomous, while some require you to perform an action, like tapping on the screen or looking around in different directions. Snapchat is great at giving clear instructions on how to activate filters, and many of them are downright hilarious. For instance, one filter placed a chicken on the screen, which we could then drag around in 3D space; other filters filled the screen with digital bubbles, or little floating balloons with cat faces.
Perhaps more popular and ubiquitous than Snapchat's area filters is the "lens" feature, which uses face detection technology to apply filters to users' faces via the phone's front "selfie" camera. The process here works the same way: Aim the camera at your face (it should be easy, since you'll be displayed on-screen), tap the screen, and wait for the list of filters to appear. Here, you'll find filters that warp your visage in creative ways and filters that add goofy aftereffects.

Read more
How to view Instagram Stories on your computer
how to view instagram stories on your computer laptop

For the longest time, if you wanted the best of Instagram, you needed to go to the app. If you use a desktop as much as you use your phone, this could be frustrating. Slowly but surely, though, the social media favorite has brought more and more of the app features to the Instagram website. One feature that you can enjoy both in the app and online is Stories.

Currently, more than 500 million accounts use Stories daily, according to Instagram. That's no surprise. These little glimpses into friends, family members, and complete strangers' lives can be addicting. If you haven't figured out how to feed your addiction using the Instagram website, here's how you can view Instagram Stories on your computer.
Stories with a mouse click

Read more