Nothing is off-limits in the fight between the two social media companies.
Snapchat is leaning into its bitter rivalry with Facebook this April Fool’s Day, unveiling a photo filter that pokes Facebook in the eye for its inability to curtail the Russian influence campaign on its site.
A new filter allows you to pretend you are uploading a new profile photo to Facebook — but the standard news feed language that someone “updated their profile picture” instead reads in Cyrillic. The people who like the photo are “Your Mom,” “A bot” and “2 others” — with all that language being featured in Cyrillic-looking text.
Here’s our friend Casey Newton of our sister site The Verge showing off the feature.
It’s a pretty aggressive prank by Snapchat — which has largely evaded the election-related Russia controversies that have ensnared Silicon Valley giants like Facebook, Twitter, Google and Reddit. But Snapchat hasn’t shied away from hand-to-hand combat with the social media giant that owns Instagram. Instagram copied Snapchat’s stories feature and its rise as a competitor to Snapchat is at least partly responsible for Snap’s business problems and lackluster performance on Wall Street.
Last April Fools’ Day, Snapchat nodded to that beef with a filter that that allowed someone to take a photo and apply a filter that was literally the Instagram interface. Well played.
But this year’s prank hits at a much more sensitive note — Facebook is in crisis, and Snapchat is pointing and laughing.