On Tuesday, Instagram introduced the ultimate Snapchat-esque feature to its app: the ability to add face filters to photos. Starting today, Instagram users will be able to apply eight different face filters to their photos, allowing people to turn into everything from a koala to a flower-crowned goddess before sharing their photo or video with friends. Wondering how to get started? Here's how to use face filters on Instagram.
First, you'll want to make sure you're using the latest version of Instagram. To check, swipe right in the app, where you'll then see the camera that you can use to either add to your story or send photos and videos directly to friends. If there isn't a new face icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen, you don't have the update yet. But that's okay. If your app hasn't auto-updated yet, head over to the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store and update your Instagram app yourself in order to get version 10.21.
Once your app is all freshened up and ready to go, head back to that camera screen and click the face icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen. Ta-da! You'll be able to scroll through eight different face filters to use, including koala ears, a flower crown, a gold leaf tiara, bunny ears, glasses and math symbols, an ice queen crown, and more.
Once you've recorded your face-filtered video or snapped an enhanced picture, you can then add it to your 24-hour story or send it directly to friends through Instagram Direct. So far, it doesn't seem like face filters are available through Instagram's main camera for uploads directly onto your timeline, but that's probably a good thing for any Instagram users who aren't fans of the app's recent changes, which include disappearing stories and face filters.
For users who use both Snapchat and Instagram, however, and who would love to scale down to a single app, the changes are very welcome. Still, Instagram sees differences between its face filters and Snapchat's. Speaking to TechCruch at a conference recently, Kevin Weil, Instagram's product head, said:
The important thing to us was, when we launched face filters, we wanted to do it in a way that felt like it was natural to Instagram. You'll see as you use them, there's a level of craft and detail with every single one of the eight face filters that I think is unique.
As an example, Weil pointed out the way the koala filter's ears twitch naturally when he uses the filter on his 7-month-old twins (which sounds absolutely adorable). So once you've updated your app and learned how to switch on face filters, keep an eye out for Instagram's little touches — and then start snapping some filtered shots.