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Instagram introduces 'face filters,' another Snapchat-like feature

16 May 2017

Facebook Inc's Instagram has souped up its camera tool with quirky face-tracking filters, adding another feature similar to that offered by social media rival Snap Inc's Snapchat.

Instagram on Tuesday announced a feature called "face filters", the latest effort to steal the thunder from upstart Snap.

The new filters are "an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining", Instagram wrote in a blog post detailing the changes. Eight different filters will be available starting today, including a few different crowns, ones that make a person look like a koala or a rabbit, and another that sends math equations spinning around your head.

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Like Snapchat's lenses, some of the filters also work with multiple people in the frame. Last month, Instagram said Stories had more than 200 million daily active users - or more than the number of daily users for Snapchat in total.

There's never a great time to have a competitor rip off one of your most popular products, but the timing here for Snap is particularly tough.

Snapchat added only five million daily active users in the final three months of a year ago, down from at least 10 million added in each of the previous four quarters. The company just blew its first earnings, and is facing declining user growth.

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You can also add hashtags to your stories now, via text or with a hashtag sticker.

If you're obsessed with creating Boomerangs, you'll love this new camera format that allows you to record video in reverse on Instagram.

Previously, the company has also made the case that its users are unique in that they spend far more time in Snapchat than they do in other apps. By tapping the hashtag, users can explore related content.

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Instagram introduces 'face filters,' another Snapchat-like feature