Twitter Adds Filters to Compete Directly With Instagram

While the mobile space is no stranger to intense, often petty competition, the social scene hasn’t seen such antics. Last week, Instagram (which was purchased by Facebook in April of this year) pulled support for viewing photos uploaded to the service on Twitter. This move obviously upset many users, though it was done in anticipation of Twitter updating their own app to include photo filters.

Filtering a photo rose to popularity with Instagram, though other services have since incorporated it. In the early days, Instagram on iOS made it easy to take a photo and post it to various different social networks. Filters were added to make the app more fun, and to give photos taken in Instagram a more unique, interesting look. Many have criticized Instagram’s photo filters for promoting a false sense of art, as well as by promoting skeuomorphism:  many filters in Instagram (and now Twitter) reduce the quality of a photo in order to make it appear older and taken by a specific camera.

Now, with Twitter’s implementation of filters being available to both iOS and Android users, it is unclear what effect Instagram will feel. It’s possible – though unlikely, given Instagram’s integration with Facebook – that Instagram will be harmed quite severely. However, that theory doesn’t take in to account Instagram’s strong social presence. In reality, it seems more likely that Instagram will continue to exist almost unaffected.

Twitter’s implementation of photo filters is quite good, from a design standpoint, on iOS. However, the implementation on Android does not follow that platform’s specific design guidelines, and so looks out of place. Still, users of the native Twitter app will likely find the feature interesting, if not useful, on either platform.

[Twitter]

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