Photography Social Media

Instagram’s Incrementalism

Instagram’s growth strategy is clear: build products out of the trends in its own network. Almost a year ago, Instagram introduced Hyperlapse. Last week, it debuted Layout.

But I suspect that Instagram is also working on new filters. While it may be true that #nofilter is the most popular filter, they remain far from dead. Filters went dormant on Instagram because there wasn’t a way to adjust them. Everyone’s images looked fake. Meanwhile, other photo apps like VSCOcam offered a better variety of filters that were also adjustable. VSCO filters gave images an extra pop without looking inauthentic.

Today, if you peeled away the editing on Instagram uploads you’d find that they processed through somewhere else first, whether that be through VSCO, Snapseed, or newly arrived Priime.

What I love about Priime is that it not only suggest filters for your photos but also tells you why you should use one filter over another. Each filter explains what it’s best suited for, for instance, street photography, portraits, or landscape.

Filters are actually more popular than ever. This is why Instagram needs of a major overhaul of the ones that made it a sticky platform in the first place. I suspect that Instagram will build a separate app for filters to give them their own identity.

If Instagram wants to be as large as Facebook, it doesn’t need to figure how to incorporate live broadcast elements of the Meerkat and Periscope apps tomorrow. Instagram should focus on photography first. How can any photographer, amateur or professional, argue against a company that’s trying to equip them with the best tools?

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By Wells Baum

Wells Baum is a daily blogger who writes about Life & Arts. He's also the author of and four books.