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Snapchat was originally designed for sharing pictures and video that get deleted after they’re opened and viewed. But the service has grown plenty since then. The company has added many new features, such as Stories and the Spectacles hardware.
Instagram debuted in 2010 as an internet-based photo sharing application. At first, users could only post one image at a time, and video length could only be 15 seconds. But after numerous updates over the years, users are now able to upload multiple photos and videos in a single post and videos can be up to 60 seconds in length.
On top of many updates and improvements, Instagram began to copy popular features from Snapchat, making these fun tools available for non-Snapchat people. Prime examples of the copying include the Stories feature, and now the new Face Filters.
How Do You Access the Face Filters?
If you use Instagram mostly for posting regular photos and videos, then you may not be aware of how to access the Instagram Stories or face filter features. It’s pretty easy and straightforward.
First, launch your Instagram app. Once your main feed loads, swipe the screen from left-to-right, or tap on that camera icon in the top left corner.
By default, this section of Instagram uses your phone’s front-facing camera as it’s mostly designed for selfies. But you can change to the rear-facing camera at any time with the switch button.
To view the face filters, just tap on the smiley face button next to the camera switch.
Tapping on the button reveals (or hides) the face filters. The filters appear as a scrollable ribbon along the bottom of the viewfinder. There are 15 options to choose from, with new ones added on a constant basis. You should check these frequently if you like fresh filters.
Each filter acts differently, and some require some user interaction to get the full effect. These may include nodding your head, opening your mouth, raising your eyebrows, and more. It’s fun to experiment and play around with these filters, even if you aren’t usually into these things.
Maximize How You Use Instagram’s Face Filters
Pick Your Mode
So now you know how to get to Instagram’s face filters, but what can you do with them? You can use the filters in a few different ways, and all of them are accessible from the same screen where you pull up the face filters themselves.
When you launch the Instagram app, swipe left-to-right or tap on that camera button in the top left. You’re taken back to the Stories (we have some cool tricks for this) screen, and while you can switch to the regular camera, face filters are best enjoyed with the front-facing camera.
Underneath the capture button, there are a few different modes that you can use for your Story, regular capture, or direct message. Your options include:
- Create a Live video — You can stream live video to your followers, and they’ll get notified when you go live.
- Normal — Just a normal photo with your front or rear-facing camera.
- Boomerang — These are Instagram’s short looping videos.
- Rewind — Play videos in reverse.
- Hands-Free — Tap the button and video will start recording. This is an easier than Snapchat’s press-and-hold to record.
Once you decide on what mode you want to use, go ahead and tap on the face filter button and pick out the one you want to use. When you’re ready, give the capture button a tap and… voilà! You now have captured the perfect selfie, complete with fun face filters.
Make Some Edits
When you’ve got your capture, there are a few things you can do in the photo editing process.
There are three buttons in the top right corner: Stickers, Draw, and Text.
Stickers allow users to slap on some fun clipart on their capture, which can include location, current temperature, time, another selfie, obligatory special occasion stickers, other current slang terms, and more.
Draw lets you choose from a regular pen, a brush, a glowing marker, and an eraser. Along the bottom are buttons for picking your ink color, as well as the size of the tool you’re using. An undo button exists for easy fixes.
Text brings up a text box on the capture, and then you can type in the message you want to share. Again, you can choose the color and text size along the bottom, above the keyboard.
Users can make multiple edits to their image or video. So feel free to add as many stickers as you want, show off your epic drawing skills, or tell a story.
Choose How to Share
Once you’ve taken your capture in the method of your choice and made your edits, it’s time to share your memories!
If you like Snapchat’s Stories feature, where you can tell the story of your day through images and video, then Instagram offers the same thing. Just tap on the Add to Your Stories button in the bottom left corner. Like Snapchat, Instagram’s Stories are available for others to view for 24 hours, and then they disappear forever.
Another option that’s available is to send the capture as a direct message. Just tap on the Next button in the bottom right, and then you can select Your Story, specific friends, or even create a new group message. These images will disappear after the recipients view it.
Of course, if you’re a bit old-fashioned like me, then you may not want to share your capture as a Story or a direct message. Or maybe you want to make further edits to your fun face filter capture in another app.
There’s always the regular Save option in the bottom left corner (adjacent to the Your Stories button), which saves a copy directly to your device’s photo library.
Cool Ways to Use Instagram’s Face Filters
Now that you know how to access and use the face filters feature on Instagram, you may wonder why would you need them in the first place.
The biggest reason is to just be silly. These are face filters for your selfies (we know some styles to help you go viral) — they may not be as outlandish as Snapchat’s more distorting options, but they’re fun and bring smiles to those who see them.
Another nice thing about Instagram’s filters is the fact that they work with two people in the image or video. These can be great ways to save and share memories of that awesome Friday night with your BFF.
These face filters can be great ways to spruce up images and videos for special events and get togethers, and share them immediately or even later on.
If you’re on vacation, this is a great way to humblebrag about your new tan or cool sights with the location and temperature stickers.
For the holidays, there’s plenty of appropriately themed stickers that you can use, so make sure to slap them on your picture-perfect Christmas photo.
For the younger generation, there’s plenty of stickers with hip slang words, such as “savage,” “basic,” “yasss,” “it me,” “bruh,” and more. There’s plenty of pride related ones too, and other trendy icons like unicorns. Oh, and there’s emojis that you can resize, in case you want a huge smiley face to your selfie.
Instagram’s face filters are more subtle than Snapchat’s. With this in mind, you should know that they’re meant to slightly augment your face, rather than completely cover or distort them as Snapchat’s popular filters do. In a way, some of Instagram’s filters are more mature, so adults may even use them.
Regardless of how you want to use them, Instagram designed these face filters for everyone, not just kids and teens.
Step Up Your Selfie Game
Instagram’s face filters are a relatively new feature that they’ve added in June 2017, and they’re a fun treat for all. Whether you just want to be cute with your significant other, spice up holiday memories, or just be silly, Instagram has you covered.
Have you used Instagram’s new face filters? Which one is your favorite? What are your reasons for utilizing them? Let us know in the comments!