Facebook may have been one of the leading platforms of social media in the 21st Century, but even they are not above cribbing a few things from the other online services out there and giving these their own spin. Nowhere else is this more evident perhaps, than with photo-sharing application of Instagram, which they acquired in 2012. Social media regulars have been noticing a trend wherein Facebook has been introducing new features in the Instagram app that are near copies of features from another image-sharing platform, Snapchat. Following several amazingly Snapchat-like updates for Instagram over the course of the past several months, Facebook has done it once more.

‘Copycat’ features

No sooner had Snapchat introduced a new option for their photo and video sharing to become “infinite” when Instagram announced Tue, day May 16 that they have a bunch of new features. A quick once-over of these upgrades however shows quite a resemblance to the things Snapchat users have been able to do already. Just over a year and a half ago Snapchat introduced filters for images on their platform that added special effects like adorable animal ears on people’s heads, or rainbow-colored “puke” spilling out of their mouths. Instagram’s got it now too.

Now users of the Facebook subsidiary have a choice of (initially) eight image filters to put stuff like glasses and tiaras on the face or head of not just one but multiple people in an Instagram photo.

This feature is accessible through a new “face” icon on the bottom right corner of the platform interface. Once a filter has been selected, users can merely take a picture, a video, or a clip via Boomerang, the Instagram sub-app that helps create short video loops. Previews of the new filters in action look very promising but it’s nothing Snapchat hasn’t done before.

Snapchat fires back

It needs to be said, however, that Snap Inc., the parent company of Snapchat, is very upset with the stunts Facebook has been pulling for Instagram. The most blatant copying occurred in August of last year when Instagram launched its “Stories” function, near identical to Snapchat’s core image sharing schtick that has the photos or video disappearing after 24 hours.

Shortly after Instagram Stories took off, Snapchat daily active users began to slow down. Snap CEO Evan Spiegel summed up his feelings on this “plagiarism” last week in a statement saying, "If you want to be a creative company, you have got to be comfortable with and basically enjoy the fact that people copy your stuff."

Other new Instagram features are a “Rewind” button that reverses a video footage prior to sharing, and a “magic eraser” tool that for once, doesn’t do the same thing as the same-named Snapchat version. It simply erases any color fill obscuring the image.