Instagram continues copying Snapchat with new ‘face filters’ on iPhone

Facebook’s Instagram on Tuesday launched “face filters” for the iPhone, once again copying a signature feature of its main competition, Snapchat.

Like its counterpart, the Instagram feature projects animated visual effects around people on an image, in this case things such as crowns, koala ears, or floating math equations and “nerd” glasses. There are eight initial filters which work with both photos and video, and front and rear cameras.

The option can be found by opening up the app’s camera and tapping a face icon in the bottom right.

Facebook has been building a number of Snapchat features into its apps, most notably Stories, even using the same name. While Snap hasn’t threatened any legal action, the issue has raised enough attention to draw criticism from people like model Miranda Kerr, the fiancee of Snap CEO Evan Spiegel.

Snap has been upgrading in a bid to stay ahead, for instance adding “World Lenses” that position 3D objects in an environment.

Other Instagram features added today include a “Rewind” effect for video, hashtag stickers that can be tapped for related content, and a new eraser brush when drawing over photos or video. The company noted that by tapping and holding on a color people can fill the frame, then use the eraser to selectively reveal parts of an image.