The Battle of The Face Filters: Instagram Stories vs Snapchat

May 31, 2017

Augmented Reality is big business these days: IBM even called it ‘the next frontier for social-media marketing’. Put simply, AR is about integrating your surroundings with your virtual experience – that’s the idea behind the editing tools you can use on Instagram Stories and Snapchat Lenses. And while the former followed the latter, this month Instagram announced ‘Face Filters’ to add live special effects to your selfies, including animal ears and crowns, which sounds all-too familiar…

Both platforms, according to eMarketer, are driving AR growth: ‘In 2017, 40 million people in the US will engage in some form of AR at least monthly, up 30.2% over last year.’ The news of Instagram’s ‘copycat’ creative effects has the media speculating that this could be the final ‘nail in the coffin for Snapchat’. But how do the company’s AR offerings really compare? Here, we breakdown the stats


Number of filters: Eight

Usability: Simple! Make sure your app is the latest version. Open the camera and select the face icon in the bottom right-hand corner. Select a filter from the options that appear at the bottom of your screen – some will encourage your interaction.

Favorite filter: So far… Instagram glasses – open your mouth to see math equations circle around you. Now that’s geek chic!

What’s unique: Filters are compatible with Boomerang.

[Tweet “The Battle of The Face Filters: Instagram Stories vs Snapchat #ipsyOS”]



Number of filters: Typically more than 15 at one time

Usability: Simple! In the app, go to the camera screen. Tap to see the range of Lenses you can choose from – they’ll pop up at the top of your screen. You can modify your face and voice, and even have fun filtering your face alongside your friend’s. Plus, Snapchat’s Lenses are in constant circulation, with new and geo-targeted options frequently available to users.

Favorite filter: As it’s been around for longer, there are top 10 articles dedicated to Snapchat Lenses. But Face Swap is probably one of the most talked about.

What’s unique: Voice modification (it’s not available – yet – on Instagram). Snapchat also supports Bitmoji, plus you can use its new World Lenses function when using the rear-facing camera.

What are the main differences people are picking up on? Some say Snapchat’s flower crown rules over Instagram’s, while the debate around which is cuter, Koala Face Filter (Instagram) or Puppy Licker Lense (Snapchat), continues. Other than that, the concepts are pretty similar.

Who do you think wins the filter fight – leave comments below!


Hey creators, are you a part of the ipsyOS community yet? If not, what are you waiting for!? Click here to apply -> JOIN HERE