Now Anyone Can Develop a Custom Instagram Filter: Here’s How Some are Using It to Build Their Brand
Augmented reality sounds like something straight out of a sci-fi movie, maybe something from The Matrix or Blade Runner for example. But it’s not. It a tool that people and businesses are using today to merge the digital and the real world.
Put simply, augmented reality (AR) is a technology that superimposes a digital image over the real world, frequently through Head Up Displays (HUD), holographic devices, or—most importantly for our discussion today—smartphones.
Companies like IKEA and Converse are already leveraging AR to do things like allow customers to see what a piece of furniture would look like in their home or what a pair of shoes would look like on their feet.
In fact, you’ve probably used augmented reality without even realizing it.
If you’ve ever added a face filter to your Stories on Instagram, you’ve used augmented reality. Believe it or not, the technology that lets us to add puppy dog ears to our IG videos is the same tech that we see Iron Man using to solve complex equations in Avengers movies.
Previously, only approved accounts could create and post custom Instagram filters, but now the social media giant is opening up the Spark AR tool to allow anyone to create their own filters to be used on Instagram.
This opens up a whole new world of possibilities for brands and creators to interact with and attract new fans.
Just take a look at this custom filter from a well-known Instagram fitness influencer, Alexia Clark, aka the “Queen of Workouts”:
Or this one from Gucci, which allows you to choose between three designs that mirror the Baroque and Renaissance-style portraits they often share on their feed:
Here’s another one from the hair product company, Kenra, that features a fan-favorite product:
This feature is, by its nature, meant to spark virality. They’re fun and interactive, and any post that uses the filter includes a tag in the upper left-hand corner that users can tap on to try the filter out for themselves. If a filter catches on or is shared by a popular account, the creator’s popularity could explode overnight.
And that’s just what happened to one filter effects artist, Brenda Cardenas, who noted that her following grew from 120 followers to 25,000 in less than two months. Tomas Posse, another creator, saw an increase from 1,000 to 162,000 followers since he started making and sharing filters.
And an instant boost to those Instagram vanity metrics isn’t the only benefit of creating a custom filter. If designed in a way that features or builds upon your brand and its aesthetic, these filters can help spread awareness and recognition of that brand.
Obviously, this feature isn’t going to be compatible with or be worthwhile for every brand, but it does present an exciting opportunity for those willing to give it a try. So, design nerds and tech-savvy early adopters, we hope you’ll give it a try and let us know what you think!
With over 400,000 people using Instagram Stories every day, custom filters could be an innovative tool you can use to get your brand in front of thousands of people around the world, even if it is just in augmented reality.