Face Filters Are Everywhere

Face Filters Are Everywhere

These days more and more platforms are giving its users fun effects for their photos. At this point, three particularly popular social media apps allow us to overlay our faces with silly filters, maybe letting us turn ourselves into cats or football players or doe-eyed woodland creatures. Snapchat is the obvious app of the three, but Instagram and Facebook are in the face filter arena, as well. Each app has its own special face filters, so let’s look at what these three apps have to offer.


Snapchat, the popular photo-based app, is likely the first app you think of when you see a picture of someone with dog ears or a brightly glowing flower crown. Snapchat centers on being able to send your pictures to your friends, add them to a group message, save them to your photo story, and more, all without any real permanence. Photos on Snapchat, unless you remember to save them to your private memories, only last for a brief amount of time before they are gone forever. Here’s what you need to know about their face filters:

  • Snapchat adds and removes face filters regularly
  • Filters are often chosen based on current events and seasons
  • Some face filters can be placed on multiple people within a photo
  • Some filters have sound or music
  • Filters often include full-body animations that place your face in the appropriate location, usually incorporating music
  • Snapchat filters can be recorded as video, and they often have voice changers attached
  • Like other photos you take on Snapchat, you can save them to your Memories and you device


Instagram is best known for letting users apply toned and/or textured filters to photos that have already been captured. But earlier this year, Instagram added special features to its in-app camera, allowing us to take pics with silly or cute face filters. Here’s what you can expect from Instagram’ face filters:

  • Instagram adds new face filters often, though not as often as Snapchat
  • Many of Instagram’s face filters are styled like doodles
  • Some filters can be placed on multiple people within a photo
  • Instagram’s face filters can be used while also using their other features, like Boomerang (a looping video) and Rewind (a video played in reverse)
  • After adding a face filtered photo (or any other photo) to your story, you can add linkable hashtags on top


Facebook joined in on the face filter fun, as well. After I found out Facebook added face filters, I realized Facebook might just take over my life, considering they seem to be integrating a little bit of everything into their app. Facebook’s in-app camera has several special features, but personally, I find their face filters to be the best reason to open their camera and snap a photo. Here’s what to look for when you’re checking out Facebook’s face filters:

  • Facebook already has a large number of face filters available
  • Many (though not all) of Facebook’s face filters are bulkier than Instagram or Snapchat filters, covering much of the face instead of adding small details
  • Facebook features several pop culture filters (like the current Game of Thrones and Justice League filters)
  • Some of Facebook’s face filters include sound
  • Some filters include a voice changer
  • Video can be recorded while using Facebook’s face filters

The Verdict

All three apps are pretty similar. They all allow video recording while using face filters, they all have quite a few face filter options, they all offer some sounds, and even some of their filters look alike. But each app has its own feel and special features. Snapchat offers new filters so regularly that it would be difficult to become bored with their offerings. Instagram has options like Boomerang available. And Facebook has cool branded filters (one of which can make you look like a white walker). Try them all out and see what you think—then you might decide which you like best, or you might do what I’ve done and just use all three.

Instagram better than Snapchat? Yes, according to one old fogey

Instagram better than Snapchat? Yes, according to one old fogey

Kids these days and their InstaSnaps and their ChatGrams. Get off my lawn!

I’m just kidding. You can stay on my lawn.

But technology moves fast, and keeping up can eventually get overwhelming. Every person comes to a point in their life (some sooner than others) when they no longer get on board with every new app. Maybe you feel like apps come along every day, and you can afford to miss a few. Maybe you want to wait and see which ones are still around in a year, and then you’ll get on board. And then BAM! Overnight, you become the “old man yells at cloud” headline from the Simpsons.

https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/old-man-yells-at-cloud “The Old Man and the Key,”[1] Episode 13, Season 13 of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons originally aired on March 10th, 2002

“The Old Man and the Key,”[1] Episode 13, Season 13 of the American animated sitcom The Simpsons originally aired on March 10th, 2002

For me, that app was Snapchat. I had too many social media accounts and was not about to sign up for another. Getting left behind by Snapchat made me feel out of the loop though, so Instagram Stories introduced a nice compromise: a new use for a familiar platform.

I’m not the only one who feels that way: Instagram seems to have taken a sizable chunk of Snapchat’s demographic: According to Business Insider, Instagram Stories reported 250 million daily uses in June, versus 166 million daily uses for Snapchat last quarter.

Some features I enjoy:

Boomerang lets you make a gif (short video on a continuous loop).

Rewind plays your gif in reverse.

Selfie Stickers lets you make stickers with your own face. Meaning you aren’t limited to a preset selection of stickers or emojis. The sky (or your face) is the limit!

My friends are all on Instagram. Only a few are on SnapChat. Social media is only as good as your network.

Story settings allow you to choose who gets to see your stories, even among your friends.

Visit this how-to from the Verge to get the most out of Instagram Stories.

Wait a minute: why would I want to post something that disappears?

Snaps and Instagram Stories disappear within 24 hours (although you can pin them to your profile if you want to keep them up). This might seem shady, like it’s only meant for illicit material—but a pic doesn’t have to be dirty need an expiration date.

Oversharing on the internet is a major issue, and setting some of your content to eventually expire could be safer than having everything you ever posted up forever. Of course, someone could still screenshot whatever you post, but the window for that is much shorter.

So if you’ve become an old person overnight, don’t fret. Instagram has become a two-for-one social media platform with the kind of easy-to-use interface and fun features that make it perfect for everyone.

Do you like Instagram stories, or do you prefer Snapchat? What are your favorite features of each, and why? Tweet at me!