A few months ago, I wrote an article about why I ditched Snapchat for Instagram Stories (no regrets so far, by the way).
Back then, I felt like Instagram Stories wasn’t up to par with Snapchat as of yet, because it was lacking the face-mapping and motion filters features.
I mean, the face filters are the bulk of what makes Snapchat fun, yes?
I also predicted in the article that it’s just a matter of time before Instagram rolls out these features because *cough* copycat *cough*.
Come on, even Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom admitted in an interview with Techcrunch that Snapchat deserved “all the credit” for the idea behind the Stories update.
Anyway – fast forward three months later, my predictions came true. (Can I say that I’m a tech analyst now?)
Instagram Stories Launches Selfie Filters
On Monday (May 15), Instagram introduced face filters – this is basically their way of saying “I am coming for you, Snapchat!”
Unlike Snapchat’s press and hold to activate the face filters, Instagram’s was more straightforward – you simply have to tap the new face icon in the bottom right corner of the camera.
You can use the front or back-facing camera, and even try them with Boomerang! When you’re done recording, you can send it to your best friends through Instagram Direct, or add it to your story.
I roped in my colleagues to try the eight new filters out with me:
The fun filters include a few different crowns, ones that make you look like a koala or a rabbit, and another that sends math equations spinning around your head like the ‘Math Lady’ meme.
The last one – if you are wondering why there is nothing hovering above her head – well, it’s a brightening/smoothening filter so you can look flawless even when you’ve no make-up on.
Instagram’s only saving grace is that the filters aren’t exactly the same as Snapchat’s. But the idea is there.
The Update Doesn’t End There
In addition to face filters, Instagram has added a few new features with this update.
For instance, instead of plain text hashtags, you can now add a hashtag sticker to your story so viewers can click the hashtag to see related posts.
You can also record videos in reverse with Rewind. From the Stories camera, swipe over to Rewind, shoot a short video and it will play back in reverse (sounds familiar?).
Lastly, there is a new eraser brush at your disposal. Fill the entire screen with colour and use the eraser tool to only reveal parts of your video or image – finally something new.
In any case, it’s clear that Instagram is stepping up its game with this new update, and I dare say that it is no longer on par with Snapchat – in fact, it is better than the former.
I can only imagine Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel’s reaction now. He must be kicking himself in the head for rejecting Mark Zuckerberg’s US$3 billion offer to buy over the app.
Well, look whose having the last laugh now.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post