Apr 23

Insta-Filter, Insta-Good

Snoopy, No Filters

Lately there has been a lot of buzz around Instagram and the huge price tag that Facebook was willing to pay to purchase it.  Facebook paid a billion dollars for Instagram and at first you might scratch your head a little as it seems like a lot of money for a photo sharing site that is not Pinterest.  In fact, the initial motivation for Facebook was to get their hands on the rights to use Instagram filters within Facebook.  You can expect to see filters in Facebook very soon with an emphasize on the very.  If filters are that important to Facebook, then I think we need to spend a little time taking a closer look at these filters.

Snoopy – Earlybird Filter

Filters are basically an alteration (painted on or by pixel math) that Instagram can apply to your photograph.  The filter, once applied,  will change the appearance of the picture in some way.  Most filters tend to give the picture a more vintage look.  The Globe and Mail, a Canadian newspaper, once referred to Instagram as “The charades version of Twitter where everything happens in 1976.”  I found  that amusing but yet it is kind of true to some degree.  I have found myself feeling a little nostalgic at times when looking at some of the filtered photographs that feel like they could have been taken in my childhood.

Snoopy – Toaster Filter

The most popular filter on Instagram is their toaster filter which according to the statistics can garnish you more likes than any of the other filters.  Personally, I have not noticed a dramatic increase on the likes of my photos with any particular filter but there is a slight increase.   Just before I began to write this article, I uploaded a picture of Snoopy and posted it five times with four different filters and once without a filter.  So far, the toaster filter is winning with 12 likes followed by inkwell with 10 likes, then X Pro II and earlybird both having 9 likes while the unfiltered picture only has 8 likes.  One has to wonder if putting up a picture without filters is perhaps not something to do.

Snoopy – X Pro II Filter

There are definitely pictures that you should not add filters to and those would be pictures you may be using to promote your brand.  A great example is if I put up a picture of the cover of my book, a filter could alter the way the end product looks which is not something I would want to do.  With that exception aside, there is a real art to knowing which filters look great and compliment a photo better.  I personally, try out a few filters and pick the one that I like best.  One of my favorites is X Pro II which I find can make the photo pop more as it makes colors much more vivid.

Snoopy – Inkwell

There are new filters in development and with Facebook being one of the new driving forces behind Instagram, you can expect change.  These filters and the new ones in development are here to stay and you will be seeing them everywhere as they get integrated into Facebook.  The visual Internet is about to get interesting and I for one look forward to where this will all end up.  My recommendation is to try out Instagram on your iPhone or Android and play around with the filters.  You may just discover that they can be a lot of fun.  In some cases a filter can even save a picture that doesn’t measure up and that is pretty nifty in my books.

Before I close up this article I would be amiss if I did not report the statistics on those pictures one more time.  Toaster retains the lead with 16 likes followed by earlybird and inkwell who both have 14 likes each.  My favorite, X Pro II is next with 13 likes and the unfiltered picture brings up the rear with 10 likes.  If you want to see where it all ends up then, by all means, check me out on Instagram.  My user name is candacemountain and I am always appreciative of likes and followers.

Candace Mountain

Candace Mountain is the author of the supernatural thriller The Daughter of Man which is available on Amazon for the kindle or as a trade paperback. Candace is also one of the major contributors for digiLAUNCH which is due out in 2012.


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  1. Rachel Morgan

    Since I know next to nothing about Instagram, I now find myself a tad more enlightened :-)

    1. camountain

      I am glad I was able to help on your path to enlightenment.

  2. Anna

    I’ve just recently joined Instagram. Glad to learn more about it! :)

  3. Jonathan D Allen

    We’ve seen each other on Instagram, so you know how much I love Instagram. It’s basically exactly what I had hoped that tumblr could be – a visual conversation with mostly original content that speaks to a user’s life. Looking forward to seeing where it goes!

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