Instagram Just Copied Snapchat's Best-Known Feature

The competition heats up.

Instagram has been mimicking Snapchat’s every move since it first released the Instagram “Stories” feature — which is essentially Snapchat’s method: disappearing images linked together in one place called “My Story.”

But the newest update is just baffling, it is truly identical to Snapchat’s face filters. On the left is Snapchat’s Flower Crown Filter atop the head of Kim Kardashian, and on the right, is Instagram’s take on the flower crown from a blog post published today.

The new Insta face feature also offers crowns, animals, nerdy glasses, and more. You can also take them with a friend or of a friend if you’re using the back camera. In addition to this, you can rewind videos.

There’s only one thing that Instagram came up with on its own and that’s the hands-free feature, which allows you to record a moment without touching your phone. The app also maintains their Boomerang feature so you can send little snippets of video that play over and over, something Snapchat hasn’t replicated … yet. And now you can have a face filter in the Boomerang feature, as well.

Instagram Stories didn’t have the same initial success that Snapchat did when it first unveiled the copy-cat idea in August 2016. But, it quickly gained steam and as of April 2017, Instagram Stories is more popular than Snapchat. Facebook, which bought Instagram in 2012, announced that Stories had 200 million people using the feature every day. Whereas Snapchat has about 160 million.

This is all part of Facebook’s intense competition with Snapchat. Facebook tried to buy out Snapchat in 2013 for $3 billion, but Snapchat refused the offer. This clearly spurred the knock-off Stories features that seem to be unraveling at an accelerated rate.

“New face filters on Instagram today. This is my favorite one so far. Nice job team!” enthused Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday morning from his personal Facebook account.

This screen shot from Zuckerberg's Facebook shows the face filter in action. Here Zuck wears taped-together digital glasses.

For a while, Snapchat was still the leader in video messaging. But earlier this year, the company hit a snag in funding. Snap Inc. went public in February after recording revenue losses, citing that the main expense was the cloud-computing power it must buy to handle the millions of messages being sent every day.

Snapchat might not be done for yet, however. The company has been developing Snapchat TV, and has signed deals with media companies, including NBC, BBC, Vice Media, Discovery, and NFL. The goal is to bring two or three original shows per day, each between three to five minutes long, to the “Stories” and “Discover” sections by the end of the year.

The company is also working on distributing Spectacles, new wearable camera-glasses that produce circular videos, that are then transferred to a smartphone via Bluetooth.

So, it seems Snapchat still has some tricks up its sleeve, even if Instagram is offering intense competition every day.