‘Beyond the Filters’: Instagram Adds 10 New Editing Features

Instagram added ten new features that allow users to edit their photos.

The photo service aims at giving users a more personalized experience by introducing some new photo editing features. Photo: The Wall Street Journal

The photo service aims at giving users a more personalized experience by introducing some new photo editing features. Photo: The Wall Street Journal

Ten new editing features have been added to Instagram’s iOS and Android apps allowing users to bridge the gap between ‘photo geeks and the rest of the world’.

Until now, the Instagram user base was divided. There were casual mobile photographers who snapped pics with their default camera or Instagram and then posted them to the app,” writes Tech Crunch.

“And then there were more serious creators who might fiddle with their photos on desktop software like Lightroom or spin them through a series of third-party editing apps before taking advantage of the Instagram network. This gave their photos a truly unique look unattainable through Instagram’s more cookie-cutter, overplayed filters.”

Until now, the photo-streaming service has previously relied on preloaded filters to edit images, but the ten new changes will allowthe app’s users to make changes to their photos independent of the filters.

Instagram’s latest update offers social media fans one brilliant sollution: the ability to adjust a filter’s strength so the effect is less obvious. The novelties also feature tools that let users adjust brightness, contrast, saturation, warmth and more, according to Instagram’s blog post today.

“Inspiring creativity is incredibly important to us – and as the Instagram community grows, we’ve been excited to hear requests for more ways to creatively take hold of how your photos look and feel,” Instagram wrote.

“People come to Instagram today to post their photos but haven’t come back to edit their photos” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom says.

Systrom admits “There’s an appetite for more advanced tools to let people be more creative on top of their photos”, but says they’re not totally accessible.

“I wish there were apps that are free and do this well but they’re either expensive, or $1.99 and not that great. Now instead of using multiple apps to get your photos looking the way you want, you can just come to Instagram.” Systrom notes. Those are clearly jabs at the $1.99 Camera+, and Photoshop Express’ pricey in-app purchases.

A year ago when Instagram introduced video, the service’s CEO touted the ability to choose a cover frame preview to entice friends to slow down and watch.

However, now selecting a cover frame will be optional, as Systrom says “Our data shows most people just use the first frame.” By speeding up the video sharing flow, Instagram might be able to get more motion pictures into its feed.

The Chief Executive concludes that “I believe that we have done a really good job building the network. We were solely focused  on not being a photography company but also being a network.”

Now with 200 million new users, it’s time for the service to return its focus to the art of photography. Still there’s plenty to do on the social side.

For now, though, Systrom beams that the new features “will create more opportunities for posting, just like filters did originally. In some ways it democratizes the way to create cool photos even more.”

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