Instagram Stories has released a new Rihanna diamond-themed filter, which is linked to the Diamond Ball, the annual fundraiser for the Clara Lionel Foundation, an organization founded by the singer in 2012 to support global education and health programs. The filter allows users to “shine bright like a diamond” with an animated diamond headpiece.
The charity is named after Rihanna’s grandparents, Clara and Lionel Braithwaite. The organization supports programs such as the Clara Braithwaite Center for Oncology and Nuclear Medicine at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Barbados. The foundation was established to reach "across borders to fight together for basic rights to education and health." It aims to improve the quality of life for young people across the world.
The filter release comes less than 24 hours after Rihanna debuted her second Savage x Fenty lingerie collection, which has been widely praised for promoting body positivity. The singer has joined the ranks of brands like the NBA and Vogue, as well as celebrities like Kylie Jenner and Ariana Grande with her new custom filter. Users must follow RiRi to use the filter, which can be accessed by opening Instagram Stories, tapping on the face icon in the bottom right-hand corner, and selecting the filter.
The release has been seen as a rebuke of Snapchat, which launched the first AR face filters, after the app featured an ad in March that asked users to choose between slapping Rihanna or punching Chris Brown. Rihanna hit back, criticizing the ad and its normalization of domestic violence. Snapchat later pulled the ad, claiming it was published by mistake and issued an apology.
Rihanna, however, didn’t buy the app’s apology and issued her own statement on Instagram. “Now SNAPCHAT I know you already know you ain’t my fav app out there! But I’m just trying to figure out what the point was with this mess! I’d love to call it ignorance, but I know you ain’t that dumb!” she wrote.
“You spent money to animate something that would intentionally bring shame to DV victims and made a joke of it!!!! This isn’t about my personal feelings, cause I don’t have much of them...but all the women, children, and men that have been victims of DV in the past and especially the ones who haven’t made it out yet....you let us down! Shame on you. Throw the whole app-oligy away,” she added.
The singer’s clapback didn’t go unnoticed. Snapchat reportedly lost $800 million after stocks plunged by 4 percent after Rihanna’s takedown. The company had already taken a hit the month before when Kylie Jenner asked her 25 million Twitter followers, “does anyone else not open Snapchat anymore?” The resulting losses cost Snapchat $1.3 billion.
Instagram has also announced that they will release a Will Smith filter, which is expected to be a throwback to his Fresh Prince days. The filter will place sideways hats on you and a friend when taking a selfie, and when you flip the camera, graffiti will appear in the background.