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Here’s how to use Instagram’s new face filters

  • Instagram launched a new "face filter" feature on Tuesday.
  • It uses augmented reality to apply silly effects to your face.
  • It copies a feature offered by Snapchat and could mean big money for Facebook.

Instagram was updated with a new (and quite fun) feature called "face filters" on Tuesday that allows you to spice up the videos and photos you share with your friends. More importantly, it provides a perfect new venue for Facebook to make money off of Instagram, though we'll get into that later.

The feature is called "face filters" and uses augmented reality — much like similar features in Snapchat — to overlay effects, costumes and more on top of your face. It's silly, but also just another reminder that Facebook and Instagram are never too far behind Snapchat.

Want to use the new feature? Here's how.

First, open Instagram. Tap the camera button in the top-left corner of the screen.

CNBC Tech: Instagram Face Filters 1
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Hey, who's that weirdo with the camera? Now tap the small face icon at the bottom of the screen on the right side.

CNBC Tech: Instagram Face Filters 2
Todd Haselton | CNBC

I'm a nerd!

CNBC Tech: Instagram Face Filters 3
Todd Haselton | CNBC

I'm a bunny rabbit.

CNBC Tech: Instagram Face Filters 4
Todd Haselton | CNBC

I'm a koala bear, I think?

CNBC Tech: Instagram Face Filters 5
Todd Haselton | CNBC

Those are a sampling of the filters that are available now.

Here's why this matters, though: Facebook can do what others, such as Snapchat, have already done and market these sorts of filters out to advertisers.

Imagine Disney providing augmented reality faces that align with an upcoming animated movie, for example, or a sports team allowing you to add an AR version of a baseball ballcap.

As goofy as I look as a nerd or a koala bear, these filters may one day mean big money for Facebook.