Madi Holland | @themadiholland
Instagram launched a new update to its mobile platform this past Monday. Among various stability improvements, Instagram is taking on Snapchat at full force with their recent addition of augmented reality face filters. Instagram will continue to unveil new Face Filters as time goes on, but as of now, we have a collection of eight different special effects to boost your selfie game. You can choose from animal ears, budding flower crowns, the oh-so-fashionable nerd glasses, and so on. They’re a load of fun and laughs all in itself so be sure to give them a test run on your next lunch break.
By including such a familiar feature that Snapchat users have already mastered, these new “lenses” are not a foreign concept to pick up on. However, with this new effort on Instagram’s part united with Facebook’s mutual attack on the $20 billion company of Snap Inc. should come at no surprise. Snapchat has been and continues to be a wide success among various demographics with a booming 158 million daily active users worldwide. While Instagram outshines them with double the amount of daily users (an estimated 400 million), attracting Snapchat’s crowd towards Instagram would prove to be a remarkable increase on their part. But is it ethical or even acceptable to steal your competitor’s features and integrate them into your own social media platform?
On top of the Face Filters, Instagram has also rolled out clickable hashtags for user’s stories. Users are now able to insert a hashtag such as #sunsetview where their network can then tap on it inside their story to access Instagram’s entire collection of other sunset view images and videos. Providing such easy access to relevant topics can eventually increase engagement on everyone’s content that includes the most searched hashtags.