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Instagram Launches Snapchat-Style Face Filters and More

Instagram has announced several new features rolling out today, chief of which is another major borrow from Snapchat:

Today, we’re introducing face filters in the camera, an easy way to turn an ordinary selfie into something fun and entertaining. Whether you’re sitting on the couch at home or you’re out and about, you can use face filters to express yourself and have playful conversations with friends.

From math equations swirling around your head to furry koala ears that move and twitch, you can transform into a variety of characters that make you smile or laugh. To see our initial set of eight face filters, simply open the camera and tap the new face icon in the bottom right corner.

The initial batch of eight filters is smaller than what’s available on Snapchat, and it remains to be seen how often new filters will be added, but I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a lot more growth in this area. Snapchat’s advantage is not only in the number of filters, but also in its recent expansion of filtering technology in the form of World Lenses – and Instagram has made clear its commitment to beating Snapchat at its own game.

Also launching today is a new “Rewind” camera format to play videos in reverse, a hashtag sticker that can be used when crafting Instagram Stories, and a new eraser brush to complement the set of existing drawing tools.

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