Zoom: Free video chat filters can give you a long beard, devil horns or an egg for a head

Zoom: Free video chat filters can give you a long beard, devil horns or an egg for a head

One free app makes all the difference between buttoned-up video chats and a party.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Thanks to the coronavirus, I spend a tremendous part of my day using Zoom to keep in contact with co-workers and friends. I also spend way too much time trying to figure out the best possible Zoom background. Just this week, I stumbled on a free app that has broken open my world and made me obsessed with transforming my appearance from anything to a beautiful woman (I’m a stubbly man) to something Hades coughed up — horns and all. 

Makes that trick of changing your background seem pretty boring in hindsight.

Zoom has been in the news for positive and negative reasons. It’s helped people attend their graduation virtually, but some schools have banned it for security reasons. “Zoombombing” has become a thing and, just generally, there are privacy concerns with the video chat service.

How do you take things to the next level? With a free app called Snap Camera. Snap Camera has been around since 2018 and it essentially allows you to add Snapchat style filters to video conferencing apps like Zoom. 

You can use it to transform yourself from this:


Mark Serrels/CNET

To this…


Mark Serrels/CNET

Or how about this…

… Miaow?

Mark Serrels/CNET

But definitely don’t do this.

This is cracked.

Mark Serrels/CNET

Yes, those are my teeth attached to the yolk of a digitally cracked egg. Terrifying.

Installing Snap Camera is pretty simple. First off, download the application here and work through the process of installing it. 

Once it’s up and running you’ll see a selection of filters to potentially chose from.

Plenty of options to terrify your coworkers.

Screenshot/Snap Camera

Once that’s good to go you can mess around with the settings in Zoom, to get it working there. On a Mac it’s as simple as heading to Preferences, clicking on video and selecting Snap Camera from the camera drop down. It’s a very similar process on a PC. 

It’s as easy as cracking an egg.


As long as you keep the Snap Camera app open the filters will work. Just be aware: This is a can of worms. Surprise your colleagues in one meeting and I all but guarantee every single person in the next meeting will come looking like this:

Adding a whole new dimension to isolation beard-growing.

Mark Serrels/CNET

If that’s a future you feel comfortable with, please enjoy.

Snap Camera also works with Skype and Microsoft Teams. You can even use it while streaming on Twitch. 

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