Battle of The Filters: Instagram vs. Twitter vs. Flickr

Instagram made a huge splash in 2012, becoming one of the most used photo editing/filtering/sharing apps on the market.  Things only got better when Facebook took them in for a cool $1 billion.  But now that they’ve established their popularity, they’ve gotten caught up in the viciously competitive business of social networking, fanning the flames by removing support for Twitter and preventing Instagram users from posting photos on the rival platform.

But Twitters may not miss Instagram too much, as the microblogging site released their latest mobile app version that features photo filters as well as some editing options.

And just a couple days later, Yahoo! has entered the photo-filtering sphere with the latest version of Flickr for iOS.

So you probably already know what’s up next, of course.   A comparison of photo-filtering fun!


Instagram: 17 filters – Amaro, Rise, Hudson, Valencia, X-Pro II, Sierra, Willow, Lo-Fi, Earlybird, Toaster, Brannan, Inkwell, Walden, Hefe, Nashville, 1977, and Kelvin, then the 18th option is “Normal” –  which means no filters.

Twitter: 8 filters – Vignette, Black & White, Warm, Cool, Vintage, Cinematic, Happy and Gritty, then the 9th is “No Filter”.

Flickr: 15 filters – Panda, Mammoth, Ocelot, Chameleon, Wallaby, Iguana, Aardvark, Narwhal, Salamander, Flamingo, Toucan, Orca, Peacock, Chinchilla, Orangutan and of course the 16th is the “Original” or no filter.


Instagram: If you want to apply filters, you need to do that one at a time so it could be a bit daunting to go through all the filters then remember which filter you liked the best.

Twitter: With a touch of a button, you can see all the filters applied to a photo so choosing which filter tickles your fancy is pretty quick.

Flickr: You either take a photo or upload from your gallery then you are automatically presented with the filter options then click on the small pencil icon to open up the other editing options.

Additional tools

Instagram: Lets you rotate image, add border, make one point in focus and the rest a little fuzzy, and turn the contrast up with an on/off switch.

Twitter: The app lets you scale, move, and crop photo plust there’s an auto-enhanvce button for those lazy moments when you want a perfect looking photo in just one touch of a button.

Flickr: Lets you enhance, change the orientation of the photo, crop, adjust brightness, tweak the contrast, change the saturation, adjust sharpness, draw on the photo, add text, remove red eye, whiten teeth and remove blemishes.


On the filter application and preview, Twitter gets the medal since they made it convenient for people to see the effects of the filters on just one page.  As for the editing features, Flicker takes the cake since they have more ways for people to enhance photos.  But Instagram has the most filters so they take the top spot for that one.  As for popularity, Instagram is the hot new thing in town.  But they still have far fewer users than Twitter’s massive network, and if Twitter continues to add features to their filtering app, they could win over Instagram users.