- Ben Gilbert/Business Insider
- Snapchat recently released new augmented-reality lenses that let users add traditionally female or male features to their visual appearances.
- People have started using the eerily convincing lens to trick friends and strangers into thinking they’re someone else.
- Some men have created Tinder profiles for women using their female-appearing filtered faces and have started to realize the type of messages women often receive on dating apps.
- Since debuting the new lens, Snapchat has seen its app downloaded by an estimated 7 million new users.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
Snapchat may have found a way to fight its decreasing popularity among teens with a new lens filter that’s getting a lot of attention from users.
The latest augmented-reality lenses from Snapchat allow users to change their appearances to include facial features that are traditionally male or female. The male-appearing lens translates to adding a five-o’clock shadow, thicker eyebrows, a widened jawline, and attempt to blur out long hair. For the female-appearing filter, Snapchat adds smoother skin, thicker eyelashes, long hair, and a leaner face and jawline.
Looking on social media, the gender-changing filter seems to be particularly popular among men. While the male-appearing filter on women does work, the female-appearing lens on men is much more realistic. Men have posted their transformed looks after applying the Snapchat filter, and it’s often hard to tell that it’s a digitally created female-appearing person.
Girls with the new snapchat filter vs guys pic.twitter.com/hV1A2gubSn
— Bryan (@diplobruh) May 12, 2019
Some people have already started to use the feature for slightly more nefarious purposes than just playing around with their appearances in Snapchat: Several men have posted online that they’ve created fake Tinder profiles using their computer-generated female-appearing faces and have found success with their catfishing attempts.
So rather than going out, me & SJ decided to see how far Jess could go on tinder.. within an hour I was the most popular girl in Derby. pic.twitter.com/Mwgw8KjDdw
— Jake (@J_Askew) May 11, 2019
My brother’s using the snapchat filter to catfish guys on tinder and it’s absolutely seen me off. HOW do these men think that is a real woman’s face?? pic.twitter.com/h8JVE8u7bS
— han ????️???????? (@Cans4Hans) May 12, 2019
I made a tinder for Ewald with the girl Snapchat filter and I guess a lot of guys thinks he’s pretty attractive ???????? pic.twitter.com/4EmfDgy7dx
— jason burnham (@jburny99) May 12, 2019
These fake Tinder profiles have also brought to light the type of abuse many women are subjected to on dating apps. Some men have begun posting on Twitter about how their female-appearing profiles were inundated with matches and often vulgar messages from male suitors.
“I made a Tinder using that female Snapchat filter and holy f— did I make a mistake,” one Twitter user wrote.
I made a Tinder using the new Snapchat filter to see what would happen, and these are the fucking messages I got
I feel for you women everywhere if this is what your inboxes actually look like pic.twitter.com/MBOwpZuDTg
— ???? Snapchat: MoshWithTyler ???? (@MoshWithTyler) May 12, 2019
Used the Snapchat filter on tinder for 30 minutes, and in conclusion I hate men. pic.twitter.com/WfzhKqVpmE
— Mohi (@MohimenMahbuba) May 12, 2019
I made a Tinder using that female Snapchat filter and holy fuck did I make a mistake. pic.twitter.com/nitAzDwxTV
— Garrett Mumford (@fuckgarrett) May 13, 2019
Even the “Catfish” host Nev Schulman got in on the fun and said the filter was “really, really not good.”
— Nev Schulman (@NevSchulman) May 12, 2019
Still, since its debut, the feature has been wildly popular.
Many on social media have said they’ve redownloaded Snapchat or created a new account just to be able to use the new filter. In the five days since Snapchat rolled out the new lens filter, 7 million people across iPhone and Android have installed the Snapchat app for the first time, according to data from Sensor Tower.
That’s a huge increase from how many new users Snapchat usually draws in: During the same five-day time span a week before, Sensor Tower reported the app was downloaded only 3 million times, which means there’s been a 133% increase in the amount of new Snapchat downloads, a significant jump for an app that has been seeing its daily user base shrink.