Another Dash of Snapchat Added to Instagram: Face Filters, Eraser Brush and More

Instagram also added a Rewind mode and the ability to add hashtags to Instagram Stories

Tuesday marked Instagram’s turn to jump on the copy Snapchat bandwagon, as the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network introduced face filters, a new Rewind mode, the ability to add hashtags to Instagram Stories and an eraser brush.

Face filters follow the same concept as Snapchat Lenses: Instagram users can tap the bottom-right corner in their camera and view different face filters to add to their photos, videos, Boomerangs or its new Rewind mode, which plays videos in reverse.

Instagram said in a blog post detailing its new features:

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.

Tap a filter to try it on, and keep an eye out for ones that work with a friend. Take a photo or video using the front- or back-facing camera — they even work with Boomerang, so you can easily add an unexpected twist to what you share. When you’re done recording, you can send it to your best friends through Instagram Direct or add it to your story.


More details on the rewind feature:

You can make videos that play in reverse with Rewind, a new camera format next to Boomerang and Hands-Free. Drop a microphone and watch it fly up into your hand. Capture a fountain in motion and share a rewind of the water floating back up. Experiment with some magic tricks of your own and defy the laws of physics wherever you are.

Instagram users can also now add hashtags to their Stories, via text or a new hashtag sticker, enabling them to explore related content:

You can also add more context to your Story with a new hashtag sticker. Just tap the sticker icon at the top right of your screen, select and customize the hashtag and add it to your story. As with mentions, you can also add hashtags using regular text. People watching your story will be able to tap the hashtag sticker or text to visit the hashtag page and explore related posts.

As the feature’s name suggests, Instagram’s new eraser brush—also virtually identical to a feature introduced by Snapchat earlier this month—enables users to erase elements they have drawn and remove colors:

You’ll see a new eraser brush when using drawing tools. You can erase other things you’ve drawn and play around with removing color. After you’ve taken a photo or video, select a drawing tool and tap and hold to fill the entire screen with color. Then, using the eraser brush, you can creatively reveal parts of your photo or video underneath.

All of these updates are available via version 10.21 of the application for iOS and Android.