Taking a cue from the company that it tried to acquire for $3-billion dollars in 2013, Facebook is testing a new photo uploading tool in its mobile app that shows a clear debt to Snapchat.
Presently, the new tool is only available to select iOS users as the company likely conducts A/B testing to gauge user reaction to the feature.
After uploading a photo with the new tool, a vertical line appears in the middle of the image. This line allows the user to quickly scroll through a variety of filters by dragging the line to either the left or the right side of the photo. All told, there are several filters to choose from, including a sepia toned one called “Vintage,” one that’s muted called “Winter” and a bright orange one called “Summer”. Alternatively, it’s possible to pick a filter by tapping on floating button on the bottom left of screen that opens up a more comprehensive menu.
This menu bar is where the similarities to Snapchat really show. Two of the latter menu options open up the possibility of adding stickers and text to a photo. The interface for adding, editing and deleting each of these elements is fairly straightforward and intuitive. For instance, stickers can be resized by pinching them out, and deleting them is accomplished by simply dragging them toward the bottom of the screen. Text is added and edited in much the same way, though one issue is that your picture is blurred while you’re in the process of writing something—this, it should be noted, does not happen in Snapchat.
It’s not clear how many iOS users currently have access to this feature set. When TechCrunch approached the company to ask about numbers, Facebook responded with a unhelpful statement, saying, “People want to be creative when they share experiences with their friends and family on Facebook. We are rolling out a new place to house all of Facebook’s photo-editing tools, making it even easier to add filters, stickers, or text to your photos.”