Snapchat’s April Fool’s joke pokes fun at Facebook and lets users add a Russian bot filter to photos

For April Fool’s Day this year, Snapchat rolled out a hilarious filter that lets users apply a Russian bot filter to their photos. 

The filter adds a Facebook-like frame to your photos, changes text to the Russian alphabet and even shows likes from ‘your mom’ and ‘a bot,’ in an apparent swipe at the social media giant.

The filter was only available on Sunday, but plenty of users seemed to have fun with the cheeky effect.


For April Fool’s Day this year, Snapchat rolled out a hilarious filter that lets users apply a Russian bot filter to their photos. The filter was only available on Sunday

Many Twitter users called the filter ‘savage,’ while others called it a ‘hilarious prank’. 

Snapchat seems to be poking fun at Facebook’s problems with Russian bots on their platform.

It was recently revealed that as many as 140 million people may have seen Russian propaganda in their feed ahead of the 2016 presidential election. 

It’s also not the first time that Snapchat has made a cheeky April Fool’s joke aimed at Facebook. 

For April Fool’s Day last year, Snapchat rolled out an Instagram-style filter that placed a border around user photos that looked just like the one used on the Facebook-owned social media platform.

And like this year’s joke, the fake filter also added a like from ‘my_mom’. 

Some Snapchat users were surprised by the filter, while others took to Twitter to post photos with the joke filter.

The move comes as Snapchat unveiled its first-ever television ad during the 2018 NCAA March Madness Men’s Final Four this weekend.

The 60-second ad showed off all the ways that people can use Snapchat, from snapping pictures with their friends, to checking out current events via Snap Maps. 

It starts off by talking about how Snapchat is a different kind of camera. 

‘It’s a camera that adds magic to your yard, makes early mornings a little more fun and brings your best friend with you,’ the ad says.

The ad also notes that Snapchat comes with your ‘very own mini me,’ referencing the firm’s Bitmoji feature. 

The feature allow users to create a custom-made ‘Bitmoji’ avatar that has personalized outfits and characteristics that look like the user.

‘It’s a camera with a map so you can travel the world on your morning commute,’ Snapchat continues. 

‘It can lead to adventure and help you get there,’ the ad says.  

The ad closes by saying Snapchat is an app ‘where how you feel matters more than how you look’, in a nod to the app’s more candid social media style. 

The Snapchat TV ad closely follows many of the ideas set out in the app’s recent redesign. 

Snapchat completely overhauled the app’s design last November, by separating the app between ‘social’ and ‘media’ in an effort to make the app more personalized and easy to use. 

Snapchat still opens to the camera, but swiping left reveals a new ‘Friends’ page, where users see Stories from the friends they talk to the most.

Swiping right from the camera now reveals a redesigned ‘Discover’ page, where users will see Stories from publishers, creators, and the community.

The new Friends page uses machine learning to organise people based on the way you communicate with them, and will improve the more people use it, the firm says.       

Snapchat added GIFs to the app that let users select from hundreds of animated stickers. GIFs can be found by clicking on the ‘Sticker’ icon in the toolbar on the right side of the app


Snapchat has introduced several major new features in the last six months to increase its popularity,  including:

  • App redesign: Separates ‘Friends’ and ‘Discover’ pages to create a more personalised experience.
  • Deluxe bitmoji app: Features new hairstyles and skin tones and more inclusive avatars.
  • Snap Store: Users can buy a t-shirt with a dog filter plastered on the front or a plushie of the firm’s ‘augmented reality superstar,’ also known as the dancing hot dog, among other items.
  • Custom geofilters: Geofilters are a location-based tool that allows Snapchat users to share where they are, or what they’re up to, by adding overlay text and images to a Snap. They can be placed to cover an area the size of a house up to a 100 football pitches and made visible for a couple of hours up to a few days. 
  • Share Snapchat Stories with anyone: Users can now share Snapchat stories with anyone, regardless of whether they have the app. The features allows users to create a hyperlink for clips and pictures. The feature appears when you press and hold down on certain ‘tiles’ in the Discover part of the app.
  • Add links, voice filters and backdrops to snaps: The ‘paperclip’ feature allows users to add a link to their snap, which users can open by swiping up. The ‘backdrops’ feature allows users to add a motif backdrop to their snap by drawing they want to stand outside of the filter. The ‘voice filters’ allows users to remix the sound of their voice in various different styles, including that of a cat or an alien.