Facebook just can’t seem to help itself. Today, the company’s photo-sharing app Instagram announced that it’s adding “face filters.” Trouble is, the concept is just a bad rip-off of the one offered by rival app Snapchat.
Instagram announced the “idea” in a blog post:
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.
Now, when you open the Instagram app’s camera, you’ll see an option at the bottom of the screen that lets you select from different filters. Right now, the offerings include koala ears, nerd glasses, and couple of different crowns. The filters are pretty much identical to the animal and crown filters popularized by Snapchat.
The problem, however—besides, you know, ripping off another app’s features, again—is that Instagram seems to have forgotten the most important part of selfie filters: They’re supposed to make you look cool—or even cute!— without having to put in much effort. In my short test of the new filters, they felt like a shitty knockoff, and didn’t make me look anymore fabulous.
It felt like watching an old guy try kick flips at a skatepark. Sure, some of the basics were there, but it still looked lame as hell, like the app version of Steve Buscemi’s 30 Rock “fellow kids” bit.
I mean, just look at these crown filters. Snapchat’s typically make your face dewy and even a little thinner—all to make you look like a more appealing human being. Not on Instagram. The feature instead tacks on an ugly flower crown without getting any of the finer details right. For shame!
None of this should be surprising, however. In April, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hinted at this update at the company’s annual developer conference, when he announced it was launching an ambitious new augmented reality (AR) platform.
But really, if you want an idea of how these new filters actually function, look no further than Zuck himself.
Mark, if this is an attempt to reach the Youths as part of your barely-concealed political campaign: Please, stop.