Imagine you could see the world through rose-tinted glasses. Wouldn’t that be nice? Well, we may not be able to provide you with an optimistic view of life, but we can definitely show you how to make your social media pop. Yes! We’re talking about social media filters. These amazing filters have the ability to take a picture from meh to WOW in a second. And that is what makes social media filters so tempting to try.
We’re sure that you have tried social media filters at one point or another. After all, who didn’t go through a Retrica phase during high school? This was the OG filter app that we all used to make sure the pictures we shared on Facebook and Instagram looked oh-so-cool.
In the earlier days, social media filters were pretty basic. They let us play around with colors, brightness, and contrast or lend a sepia hue for that washed, vintage look. Today, social media filters are much more advanced, using technology like AI and AR. You can use them to see what you’d look like as an older person or even as someone of the opposite sex!
Today we’re going to dive into the world of social media filters and how they’ve impacted our virtual lives.
What Are Social Media Filters?
Social media filters are essentially photo effects that can be added to images before sharing them on social media sites. Many of these social media apps with camera integrations also feature a wide range of filters for users. These include a variety of effects such as black-and-white, pop art, flower crowns, virtual makeup, and, everybody’s favorite, puppy ears!
Professional photographers often have to enhance the raw images they capture before publishing them. There’s a ton of work that goes into this process. They almost never depend on filters to get the look they want. Instead, they painstakingly edit the image to perfection. Some broad effects are similar to the basic edits a professional photographer may do. Such as decreasing contrast for a dreamy look or a vignette to pull the focus to one part of an image. This can be a very time-consuming process as well.
Now, we know that you don’t have that kind of time or put that much effort into a selfie or a group pic before you post it to social media. And that’s where filters come in. You can achieve so many things with filters to fit the aesthetic you’re going for on your social media pages. Let us look at what social media filters can do for you.
What Are the Benefits of Social Media Filters?
When you browse through social media, you may have noticed that many people attempt to maintain a theme or an aesthetic on their pages. Some may use frames or specific effects that align with what they want to showcase to the world. We already discussed how professional photos are retouched and finetuned during the editing stage. But it’s not always possible to manually layer effects over one another to achieve that perfect final image.
Social media filters are the easier alternative. With a single tap, you can add a preset of effects that can enhance your photo before you upload it. And what’s more, you can try out and preview these filters before you pick one.
Here are some of the benefits of using social media filters:
Swipe, try, and select. It really doesn’t get easier than this.
Always look fly
Look stunning even if you’ve just got out of bed. #iwokeuplikethis
Create an aesthetic
Your page is the cover of your book for the world. Make it look amazing!
Personalize your posts
Pick the filters that work best for you and use them to personalize your posts.
It’s fun to try out new filters and play around with different aesthetics. But beware that you don’t go overboard. Remember that quote from Spiderman? “With great power comes great responsibility.” Knowing where to draw the line is important.
How Much Is Too Much?
It is very easy to get carried away while trying out social media filters. But remember to strike a balance between the original image and the final one. Using way too many filters layered on top of one another can result in loss of details, blurry edges, and overall, a very tacky picture.
Social media filters can make any photo look better, whether it’s a selfie or an image of a landscape. And sometimes, it’s even necessary to use a filter. For instance, underwater photographs usually have a murky green tinge and can look really blurry. But with presets, which are basically custom filters available on Adobe Lightroom, you can take an underwater shot from dull and green to clear and colorful in a few steps.
While social media filters are a helpful tool to have, do they really have an impact on how well your posts do?
Social Media Filters and Engagement
Instagram filters may seem like all fun and games. But choosing the right filters can actually result in more views and better engagement. According to SocialPilot, photos with filters are 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more likely to be commented on than photos without filters.
When you think about it, aren’t you more likely to respond positively to a well-rounded picture than a dull, low-lit image? It appears that social media algorithms would also agree with you on that!
Social media marketing is also taking advantage of the popularity of social media filters.
When Instagram started AR filters, they took over our feeds by a storm in no time! Instagram partnered with Spark AR to open its AR platform to creators allowing them to make their own filters. According to Owled Media, some of the best AR filters are getting well over 1 billion views. Brands are taking notice of this and creatively using AR filters to promote their products. Like this lip kit filter by Kylie Cosmetics or this lipstick color wheel filter by SUGAR Cosmetics.
Brands are winning at the filter game as they find new ways to use these AR filters to entertain and engage with their customer base while providing powerful brand messaging.
There is a wide range of filters for practically everything, from game filters to beauty filters. Although, the latter has come under fire in the recent past due to its impact on impressionable teens.
Social Media Filters and Dysmorphia
It’s time to address the elephant in the room. Social media filters, especially beauty filters, face flak for promoting unrealistic beauty standards to society. We see ourselves more on our devices than we do in the mirror. With the pandemic, there came a significant rise in our screen time, from Zoom meetings and video calls to going live or making short videos on our phones.
While technology helps in many ways to keep us connected, it might also be the reason for our insecurity. Beauty filters are an alluring solution to simply tap and swipe away your blemishes in mere seconds. But the more you see an enhanced version of yourself on a screen, the more amplified your flaws are going to seem in the mirror.
Beauty magazines in the past have often been harshly criticized for showcasing airbrushed images of celebrities and selling a fake standard of beauty. But today, with beauty filters on every phone and nearly every social media platform, the impact is even greater. Studies show that the rise in beauty filters on selfies has led to a surge in cosmetic surgeries. This is an alarming trend in today’s age.
On Snapchat, the most significant demographic is between the ages of 15 and 25, while on Instagram, this demographic is the second largest. The rampant use of filters leads to dysmorphia and low self-esteem, especially among this age group. Instagram started tagging filters on stories in an effort to tackle this issue. While it’s a step in the right direction, there’s more to be done. So remember to exercise caution when you use filters. After all, it’s only meant for fun.
“You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are”- Alessia Cara.
Well, that was all about the exciting world of social media filters. There are thousands of filters that you can try and have fun with. The introduction of AI and AR has already made an impact on the scope of social media filters. It remains to be seen what’s in the future.
For now, we’d like to know which is your go-to favorite filter. Leave us a reply in the comments below!