The new filters are incredibly easy to use
Instagram might just have destroyed Snapchat.
The Facebook-owned app has been taking parts of Snapchat's interface for months – most notably stories, which were once the hallmark of Snapchat but are now Instagram's most prominent feature. But the addition of face filters might be the killer blow: it takes Snapchat's most prominent feature away from it, and gives Instagram perhaps the only feature that it was lacking on its close rival.
Instagram didn't mention Snapchat at all in its announcement. But the example filters that were included in it were all almost identical to Snapchat's, and the app has been engaged in copying its closest competitors' biggest features for months.
Those include flower crowns, for instance, which are slightly different from but noticeably similar to Snapchat's. And they also include bunny ears and noses – markedly similar to the dog face filter that is famous on Snapchat.
At the moment, Instagram has added only eight of those filters – far less than Snapchat – but suggested that it would be adding many more.
They're used by opening up the camera and clicking on the face icon in the bottom right hand corner, next to the option to switch between the rear- and front-facing cameras. (That's a far more simple and easy to discover process than on Snapchat, which requires you to hold down on your own face.)
Some of the filters work with two people, like on Snapchat. And they also work on Instagram's Boomerang app, and can be sent either through Direct Messages or added to your story.
The news came just days after Snapchat reported heavy losses and rocked Wall Street. Some speculated that Instagram's use of the stories format and the loss of other features had been part of those disastrous results, which lost Snapchat's founders hundreds of millions of dollars.