Snapchat and Instagram have separately revealed updates to their respective apps’ picture effects as a response to Apple’s announcement of their updated emoji service.
Apple has unveiled its Animoji (animal emoji) feature as part of the announcement of its high-end iPhone X Smartphone on September 12, 2017. This service will enable users to scan their facial expressions using the phone’s front-facing camera and mimic what they do in the form of an animated emoji.
The service is available as an iMessage app will be pre-installed on iPhone X, Users will have a choice of more than 50 interactive emojis including a chicken, unicorn, and fox, which can relay voice messages to recipients.
Instagram has responded by announcing the rollout of a new face filter offering a vast range of options for animating selfies, which users can share via Instagram Stories or Instagram Direct. This service is compatible with versions 10.21 or higher version of the app.
Snapchat has integrated its existing Lenses camera effects with Bitmoji, the Avatar service of the customisable emoji company Bitstrips, which Snapchat has acquired for around $100M in early 2016. This service is a little closer to the Apple feature, though focused on virtual avatars rather than the device maker’s broader animations.
“Snapchat pushed the facility live on Wednesday, September 13 – the day after Apple’s launch event – allowing users to place a personalized 3D avatar into real-world settings”, Business Insider reported.
For now, Apple’s Animoji is little more than a clever gimmick. Will Apple eventually make its messaging more emotionally intelligent? Will Instagram and Snapchat, though they are apps, be up on their toes and challenge a face-off on Apple’s advanced technology?
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