When it comes to AR lenses and effects, Snapchat is way ahead of Instagram. The company’s lenses tend to be way more popular and fun than Instagram, and even though Instagram Stories might have exceeded Snapchat in terms of active users, it still hasn’t nailed one of best parts of Snapchat: lenses.
Well, Instagram isn’t giving up yet. As noticed by Jane Manchun Wong on Twitter, Instagram is working on a new feature called AR Effects Explore that will allow users to find lenses and AR effects created by other Instagram users.
Sounds familiar? Well, if you have used Snapchat, you are probably aware of Community Lenses — it’s a feature that lets users find lenses created by other Snapchat users, and use them like any other Snapchat filter. Instagram has literally taken Snapchat’s idea and copied it 1:1.
Instagram’s AR Effects Explore feature lets you find AR effects from different categories like Selfies, Love, Color & Light, Camera Styles, Moods, Funny Surroundings, Animals, Sci-fi & Fantasy, Weird & Scary, Events, Fandom and Causes. Instagram’s version of Community Lenses is slightly better, though — because of the company’s new Stories UI, it’s much more natural to scroll through the different effects and try them out instantly. On Snapchat, you have to try them out one-by-one by adding them to your lenses library, which is a bit of a hassle. On Instagram, it’s much quicker to try them out.
The feature is only under development for the time being, so it could be a while before it makes it out to the public, by the way.