Twitter’s Photo Filters Do The Job, But Instagram Still Has The Edge [Review]

Twitter’s Photo Filters Do The Job, But Instagram Still Has The Edge [Review]

All new Instagram! Sorry, no: Twitter! Yeah. Twitter.

Twitter might have been a bit previous announcing it ahead of its actual appearance in the App Store, but it’s here now: Twitter for iOS 5.2 is out, and comes with Twitter’s very own Instagrammish photo filters. Are they any good?

There are nine filters on offer, and they cover the basics. There’s a black-and-white option, an over-saturated option, a faded-colors 1970s look, something sepia-tinged. It all looks a bit over-familiar. A bit dull. Given that it was determined to remake Instagram, it would have been fun if Twitter had decided to come up with some fresh ideas for its filters.

Sadly not. These are much the same filters you’ve seen not just inside Instagram, but in a thousand other copycat apps all over the App Store. Don’t come here looking for something to make your photos look different, because all you’ll get is something that makes your photos look just like everyone else’s.

In use, everything’s hunky dory. The taking, saving, editing and sharing of images was fast and responsive, even on an iPhone 4. There’s no additional clutter outside the photo-sharing section of the app; if you’ve no interest in photography, you’ll hardly notice that anything’s changed.

So it’s much-hyped, and it’s here now, but do we care? Twitter is very clearly trying to steal some of Instagram’s thunder. In this promo video, it very obviously tries to imagine a near-future Twitter that looks remarkably like an Instagram feed. Like this:

Twitter’s Photo Filters Do The Job, But Instagram Still Has The Edge [Review]

How Twitter wants to be. Look familiar?

The new stuff is perfectly functional, it works just fine. But it feels like something pasted on top of the Twitter we’re used to. It doesn’t feel like it belongs inside the Twitter app. It ain’t got soul. And Instagram’s own update this week added new features, a new UI, and felt right. Instagram still has the edge over its new-found rival, I’d say.

That said, Twitter has huge forward momentum, vast user numbers pushing it ahead. Most of those people don’t care where their images are hosted. Most of them don’t care which app they use to take them. They just want to take photos and share them. With its newly reinforced grip over the way Tweets are displayed anywhere outside of its own apps, it looks to me like Twitter is determined to become as large and as popular a photo sharing service as Facebook is. This is a battle that’s only just hotting up.

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  • ChadMobley

    “This is a battle that’s only just hotting up.” Reread that word “hotting” and correct. :)

About the author

Giles TurnbullGiles Turnbull is a freelance writer in England. He also writes for the Press Association and The Morning News. You can find out more at his website, and follow him on Twitter @gilest.

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