Today Instagram finally introduced augmented reality face filters for Instagram Stories which will imitate the features that once set Snapchat apart from the competition. Users will now be able to choose from eight features, including everything from math equations swirling around their heads or have furry koala ears that move and twitch.
The tech used to develop the AR features was developed by MSQRD, a startup that Facebook acquired last year for an undisclosed price. The filters also use Facebook’s applied machine learning technology, which Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg provided some teasers about the features at its F8 developer conference in California.
Facebook has been shamelessly pinching features from Snapchat ever since Snapchat CEO reportedly turned down a $3 billion offer from Mark Zuckerberg (even with some recent declines, at the time of writing, Snap’s market cap is $12.83 billion). Spiegel also claimed that Zuckerberg inferred that Facebook would eventually crush Snapchat.
According to Business Insider, Spiegel replied to Zuckerberg insisting that he should go to him if they wanted to meet, and he went on to provide a screen shot of the conversation to Business Insider at the time:
Since then Facebook has been chipping away at Snapchat’s core product by imitating features across Facebook, Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram. Thus far Facebook has added in-app camera features, stories, vertical video ads and now lenses. Analysts say these moves appear to be having an impact, as Snap reported lower than expected user growth in the last quarter, which led to shares falling by 24 percent after the announcement.