The relationship between Facebook and Snapchat has historically been pretty one-sided. Snapchat comes up with new features, those features become super popular, and then Facebook steals them while pretending that it had the idea all along. That all changes this week, with Snapchat launching a pair of new features — and one of them is most certainly an attempt at replicating the experience you typically get with Instagram videos.
One of the two new features is called the Magic Eraser, and it’s pretty cool. It’s essentially a content-aware fill tool that lets you “erase” certain things in an image and replacing it with whatever the algorithm thinks would be behind it. In my brief time playing around with it, it actually works very well, and it’s a great addition.
The other feature, which Snapchat is positioning as a much-requested option to how snaps are created and viewed, is the ability to both view snaps for an infinite amount of time and loop video snaps repeatedly. These changes represent a huge shift for the app, and essentially allows users to use the app in much the same way they would use Instagram — spending as long as they want digesting a photo or video before moving on to the next snap.
Of course, it wouldn’t be Snapchat unless the media eventually disappeared forever, so each photo and video will still be deleted once you actually back out of the viewing screen. The new options are now added to the snap customization screen that pops up after you capture your selfie or video clip, and you can try them out at your leisure or ignore their existence entirely if you prefer the “old” Snapchat.