What are Instagram filters and How can I Use Them?

Puppy face, satan face, horse face, grainy filter, moody tones, glitchy cam! If these names ring a bell then you know your Instagram filters and can create some interactive and attractive social media feed. This is not an article for beginners but just a safe space to discuss the ongoing trends. Believe us, it’s going to be the ride of your life, so buckle up!

Where Snapchat still seconds as an optional app, everybody uses Instagram, ranging from celebrities to politicians. It was only after Snapchat introduced its hilarious filters, did IG come up with filters that were similar but better and widely accepted. 


When TikTok was banned in India, Instagram launched “Reels,” a similar feature that increased the usage of Instagram filters. These filters on Instagram met the two requirements a viral trend seeks: they were as refreshing as intriguing. There is not a single rule that one can follow regarding the use of these, but the statement “Too much of anything is bad” can be applied here as well. These Instagram effects will enhance your pictures and ensure that your post/reel/story looks flawless but layering your content with too many filters might come across as overkill.

How to use Instagram Filters?

When it comes to using Instagram filters, you’d find that there is a lot to explore. So here is a guide to help you curate the filters you like, and use them in your stories-

  • To begin with, swipe right on your main feed or just click on the top left corner on the story icon.
  • Then at the bottom of the screen, on either side of the record button, you can swipe left or right and you can explore the saved and the new filters.
  • If you are not satisfied with the existing filters, you can swipe left and go to the end where there is a ‘Browse effects’ option available. This option will give you infinite filters to choose from.
  • Now, you are set! Go ahead and take a picture, record a video, or a reel.

Story Filters vs. Feed Filters

best instagram filters

We would like to draw a parallel between the filters for feed and filters for stories. One cannot capture a picture with a simple camera and apply filters like “glitchy cam,” “puppy face,” etc. To apply these filters they have to capture the content via the story camera.

On the bright side, Instagram provides exclusive filters for already captured photos and videos. However, many agree that story filters are more interactive and fun to play with.

Factors to consider regarding the choice

how to use instagram filters

With infinite filters out there, choose the apt filter that would not only amplify your brand personality but will also set the mood for your content. After you choose the right filter, your content will tell the story you are trying to narrate. To put it in simpler words, the filter you decide will help you set the tone for your brand, like choosing a grainy filter will give a vintage look to your content, thus taking the audience back in time. Sounds tedious! So here is a guide that will help you make the right choice-

  • Consistent- As discussed above that your content needs to narrate a story, it also highlights the fact that one should be consistent with the filters they use. This means that one should not juggle around with too many filters as they would steer away from the essence of the message. Let your story and feed be uniform and not messy.
  • The filter should match your Brand Image- When you choose a filter, you have to ensure that it personifies your brand and does justice to it. Don’t use a filter that is tacky just for the sake of standing out. For example, you cannot have the ‘Coffin dance’ filter if you are a clothing brand. So, the choice should be on-brand and not contrasting at all.
  • Avoid over filtering- Yes, there is such a thing called over filtering and you wouldn’t want to engage with it. Such an action can ruin a marvelous post. We know that Instagram lets you play with an endless number of options varying from saturation to adding music and GIFs, but adding too many elements can deteriorate your feed. So make sure that you use a limited number of filters.

Creating your own Instagram Filters

instagram effects

If the pre-existing filters are not enough for you, just make your OWN! Facebook introduced Spark AR that would help you create your own fancy, jejune, mature, raw, exquisite, etc. (depends on your choice) filter. It is also a software that can be downloaded on your Mac or Windows. This is an easy to use software that helps you create your filters from scratch. If you are a creative person and have some extra time to kill, then there is no harm in trying something new. Also, you never know, you might end up creating new ‘Moody Tones’ or ‘Juno.’ 

Why design Filters?

filters on instagram

As we all know that AR is the future, so designing custom filters for your brand can be favorable. With Instagram proving that it’s here to stay, some brand promotion via this platform can really up your social media game. But we feel that the ‘Why’ still needs to be answered, so here is the answer-

  1. Enhance Engagement- When you roll out as a new brand in the market, it gets hard to cease the attention of the audience. And as we all know that the new and upcoming audience is extremely hard to please, thus providing them with a filter that would grasp their attention can get them to Google you. With the users dedicating a large chunk of time using the app, they are bound to explore more filters and features, hence generating the engagement you require for your business.
  2. Increased Awareness- If your brand is coming up with a new product or service, creating an intriguing filter that demonstrated its functionality can raise an enormous amount of awareness for your brand. The same applies to the holiday season, where your Instagram effects help the users wish their loved ones with a new funky way that will ensure new leads. Using interactive filters like “roulette” or “quiz” can pique their curiosity and they would want to learn more about your product.
  3. Image Building Exercise- Everybody hopes that they yield humongous profits and never run out of business, well that’s the primary goal, survival. So, if you wish to build a long-lasting image then this brand building exercise can ensure promising results. As the engagement increases, so as the customer retention and brand loyalty because the recall value doubles due to the constant engagement.

If you liked reading this then you would also be interested in reading:

  1. How To Post A GIF On Instagram?
  2. What are Interactive Posts?
  3. Instagram Video Length

Exploring new Filters

If browsing filters get tedious for you, there are numerous alternatives available to work around with. One of the alternatives is “Lenslist,” which is similar to browsing effects on Instagram but is easier to use and one can explore the most prominent and unhidden gems. One thing to keep in mind is that it is a website and not a software or an app on the Playstore. So, there is a lag as you have to switch to the app from the browser. Also, the site shows Instagram filters from all around the world but certain filters are not available in some regions, hence the system shows an error. Despite these minor setbacks, Lenslist is easy to use and provides a divergent set of filters that would help you and your brand stand out.

Best Instagram Filters

best instagram filters

With thousands of filters out there, is it possible to figure out the best Instagram filters? Besides your personal favorites, through a detailed research, Canva found out the best and the most popular filters amongst the users. This detailed analysis was carried out by perusing the latest 1 million posts posted around the world under the hashtags nature, food, fashion, and selfie. The results are as follows-

  • World’s favorite filters- The top 3 favorite filters from all around the world are- 

1. Clarendon, in the first position. Its ability to convert a simple image into a dazzling and glamorous image would baffle anyone, so this is not surprising at all. It would enhance the features of the product/service that you are trying to display. The geographical statistics suggest that it is widely used in North and South America, Russia, Europe, Asia, Australia, and Africa, covering around 119 countries.

2. Juno comes after Clarendon. It diffuses the yellows and oranges and makes them pop, thus making our portraits and content more cheerful. It is popular in over 38 countries.

3. Sierra and Valencia succeed Juno. Sierra ensures that your skin looks spotless, thus making it a perfect partner for portraits and selfies. On the contrary, Valencia gives a grainy effect and a poppy yellow tint that makes your content alluring. These two filters are used in more than 29 countries.

  • Best Nature Filters- Every other user on Instagram is a traveler, consequently, it is filled with pictures of scenic beauty. But these pictures from nature are not so natural as users love to add their favorite filters on these images. Here is a list-

1. Valencia here tops the list, where posts with this filter had an average of 121 likes. The intense dull and warm colors make it a perfect partner for your journey.

2. Surprisingly, posts with No Filter succeed Valencia with an average of 91 likes per post. This clears things out and ensures that people don’t have to rely on filters for a tremendous piece of work.

3. The last on the list is Brooklyn with an average of 87 likes per post on Instagram. This filter gives the perfect shade of warmth in your pictures along with a grainy effect, thus giving them a vintage and nostalgic look.

In conclusion, although the world of Instagram is limited to our cellular devices, it is the only place where every piece of content is supported and welcomed with warmth. Most of the time this community is a safe place for the users, where exceptions can be seen on an irregular basis. But it still manages to beat all the other apps. With these infinite filters, Instagram makes it possible to communicate the ideology that one is trying to portray. Instagram is one of the major platforms where brands strengthen their social media marketing as it yields colossal results. Hence, going that extra mile gives their brand the right push. So, what are you waiting for? Go be an IG Savage!

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