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Snapchat’s AR Time Machine lets you snap selfies of the future — or the past

In another example of social media platforms snatching up ideas popularized by other apps, Snapchat is offering users a glimpse into the future (or past) with an augmented reality (AR) Time Machine. The new Snapchat face filter, which begins rolling out Nov. 21, allows users to apply an aging effect, or to even make themselves look like a kid again.

The Time Machine filter alter the age of a subject in a selfie, forward or backwards, using a slider. Designed by Snapchat itself, it will be part of the feature carousel as it rolls out to users.

The Time Machine filter has all the makings of some of Snapchat’s most viral filters, like the app’s similar baby filter or gender swap. Despite being made for Snapchat, the filters also had success when users downloaded the photo and shared them on other social media platforms, according to USA Today.

Introducing Time Machine

The most obvious inspiration for the filter, however, doesn’t start with Snapchat, but FaceApp, the app that enjoyed a brief popularity surge over the summer before someone read the fine print and pointed out the clause that allows the Russian company to license the photo however it sees fit. FaceApp went viral for its aging filter as users shared the aged photos of themselves (or a celebrity) and friends that saw the photo then downloaded the app to do the same.

Snapchat could be hoping for similar viral status for the Time Machine filter — and with the gender swap filter seeing similar success, that’s not a far-fetched possibility.

While Snapchat’s newest filter is clearly at least inspired by FaceApp, Snapchat is normally the one on the other end of the stolen feature cycle. Snapchat’s original Stories format is now found everywhere from Instagram and Facebook to YouTube. Other networks seemed to envy Snapchat’s affinity for bringing in a younger audience, though the network itself went through a controversial redesign that aimed to help make the platform easier to grasp for new users and older generations.

The Snapchat Time Machine filter is rolling out beginning today in the filter carousel for the selfie camera.

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