Instagram adds face filters to live video

22 Sep 2017

Live filters in action. Image: Instagram

The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app introduced face filters in a previous update, but now users can have a little fun in their live videos.

There has been a great effort from Facebook and Facebook-owned Instagram to mimic the success of the Snapchat story feature, as well as other key functions of the popular ephemeral messaging platform.

Instagram Stories are a near-identical copy of Snap Inc’s original feature, and the addition has made Instagram a serious competitor for life updates from friends, celebrities and, of course, dog accounts, since its arrival in August 2016.

Instagram watching Snapchat closely

This trend is continuing, with Instagram adding the augmented reality face filters that Snapchat users love so much in May of this year. While its suite of filters had some teething problems – not tracking movement as well or staying positioned on the face as solidly as Snapchat – they seem to have been ironed out.

Now users can play around with the face filter functionality while streaming live video, whether they want to use a cute kitten filter or add some rays of rainbow light to their bus commute.

Live face filters

To use the feature, users tap the face icon in the bottom right corner before or during a broadcast. You can tap to share a replay of your filtered live stream to Stories or choose to discard the video from the app altogether.

There’s also a new sunglasses feature that is limited to live-streaming for the next week, and users can change the scenery with a single tap.

You can also use the face filters in regular posts, Boomerangs, Hands-Free and Rewind Camera formats, and (like Snapchat) some filters work with two faces at once.

Although Instagram and Facebook have emulated some of Snapchat’s most notable features, in the Irish market it still reigns supreme over Instagram and Facebook, at least for the time being.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects