Instagram-style photo filters coming to Twitter

Facebook caused quite the stir when it announced plans to purchase Instagram, the vast photo sharing network that’s most famous for its dazzling array of image filters. Just as when Instagram expanded beyond iOS and onto Android, many users and commentators overreacted in the most cringeworthy ways to the Facebook acquisition, with some predicting the end of Instagram as we know it, while others mocked the $1bn purchase price as being a gargantuan waste for what was clearly a fad that had already peaked.

Ultimately, Facebook paid $715m for it (as Facebook’s declining share price hit the overall value of the deal), but Instagram has continued to go from strength to strength, with no hint that consumers are tiring of making their beautiful photos look old and crappy. It’s not surprising, then, that Twitter has been looking on at these events with somewhat jealous eyes.


Instagram's huge popularity is the driving force behind Twitter's planned new photo filters

It’s perhaps even less of a shock to learn, via The New York Times, that Twitter is planning to integrate its own Instagram-style image filters within its mobile apps. Twitter already sees significant volumes of Instagram photos being shared on its network and, to put it simply, it would prefer to cut out the middle man, enabling users to bypass Instagram by adding visual effects to their photos directly from the Twitter app itself.

The new features are expected to be added to Twitter’s mobile apps “in the coming months”, and further additions are already being discussed. One feature likely to be added soon is the ability to upload videos directly to Twitter, circumventing third-party video services such as YouTube and Vimeo.  


Source: Bits at The New York Times | Image via Electric Pig

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I'm not sure this is such a great idea. Optional filters will perhaps not _hurt_ but I'm not sure they will help much either. The reason Instagram is so popular is that they've achieved critical mass in terms of users interested in reading a visual feed. There's a niche Instagram succeeded in grabbing here.

People not understanding why small, sepia-toned photos are so popular and think that this is just a fad don't really understand this. It's not about the sepia, and it's not about the small, square photos (well, in part it is for technical reasons -- they can be uploaded even on 2G making the accessibility pretty awesome).

First and foremost, Instagram is about the community and the visual feed. If Twitter adds filtered photos, they'll now have a feed almost exactly like before; text posts, links, video posts, and photo posts, where some of the photo posts are now using the occasional filter. They will still not be a visual feed, a "visual Twitter".

People wanting that will still turn to Instagram. Not because they prefer Instagram, but because they HAVE to in order to get that. Facebook, Twitter, Google+ -- none of these networks have a focus on being a visual feed. Well, Google seems interested in visualizing their feed more than the rest (just check their mobile apps) but photos are still not the only way to interact on it. It's still used as a network for more general use.

Listen to you all bitching about filters and hipsters. Instagrams great I go on it more than facebook or twitter barely any of my friends put filters over their photos I think thats just the image people have of it. Facebook and twitter both have trendy users but you don't have to follow/be friends with them.

Slammers said,
Listen to you all bitching about filters and hipsters. Instagrams great I go on it more than facebook or twitter barely any of my friends put filters over their photos I think thats just the image people have of it. Facebook and twitter both have trendy users but you don't have to follow/be friends with them.

I think it comes from most people on here not talking to normal non-techy much.

Instagram photo's are awful, don't get me wrong filters when used correctly can be very effective. But not when it taken on an iphone with shaky hands in bad lighting conditions and the filter is stronger than the sun.

Gaffney said,
Instagram photo's are awful, don't get me wrong filters when used correctly can be very effective. But not when it taken on an iphone with shaky hands in bad lighting conditions and the filter is stronger than the sun.

True. Like in any kind of photography, lighting matters a lot.

I know a number of awesome Instagrammers though.

@moneal: http://ink361.com/#!/users/56303/photos
@carly__: http://ink361.com/#!/users/3720153/photos
@koci: http://ink361.com/#!/users/277810/photos
@carrielala: http://ink361.com/#!/users/1423996/photos
@chrisvallejos: http://ink361.com/#!/users/3000290/photos
@colerise: http://ink361.com/#!/users/75/photos
@_f7: http://ink361.com/#!/users/1980383/photos
@veerlepieters: http://ink361.com/#!/users/44571/photos

There's a lot of great stuff out there, and those are the guys I'm focusing on -- not the crap.

Without categorisation, adequate searching, and a context for uploaded video, what use is there in storing it within Twitter?

mdtaUK said,
Without categorisation, adequate searching, and a context for uploaded video, what use is there in storing it within Twitter?

Hashtags would be the categories. But searching archives may not be in their interest since Twitter is more about the "now" than the "past". If you want searches, archives, categorizing via sets and so on, you're better off using a dedicated photo storage site like Flickr.

I hate filtered photos---you know the ones of teenage girls in the mirror that are black and white? Why? Do they think it makes them look better?

Oh please no!! I don't want to see endless "filtered" photos that people think are cool because they've given them a border and washed out the color to make it look like it was taken in the 70's! I want to see high quality digital photos! ...not all this instagram rubbish!!

Colin McGregor said,
Great, now twitter will be full of ****ty filtered photos from colorblind hipsters thinking they are photographers.

Hipsters already have Instagram and share to Twitter either way.

GS:mac

Colin McGregor said,
Great, now twitter will be full of ****ty filtered photos from colorblind hipsters thinking they are photographers.

First -- it already is. But since you don't have to follow them, this should not be a problem for you.