A Guide to the Instagram Filters You'll Soon Be Seeing on Facebook


Your coffee, filtered on Instagram [Image: Jessica Zollman/Creative Commons]

Now that it's been acquired by Facebook, Instagram is no longer just a social network; it's part of the social network. Which means, among other things, that Facebook is about to become prettier/cheekier/even more full of unmitigated '70s flare.

It also means that users of Facebook will soon have many more options when it comes to the ways they represent themselves, visually, through its platform. Is that photo of you and your dog Walden-worthy, or is it more Brannan-y? Was your birthday party the serious stuff of black-and-white Inkwell, or does it call for the ironic saturation of a Nashville or a Toaster? 

To help you navigate these unfiltered waters, here's a guide to some of the Instagram products you may soon be seeing on Facebook. 

Effect: Also known as "no filter" (or, more popularly, #nofilter), this is Instagram at its purest: filter-free
Use for: Anything, really

X-Pro II
Effect: Warm, saturated tones with an emphasis on aquas and greens
Use for: That photo of you on the beach with your new boyfriend, meant to make your old boyfriend jealous

Effect: Faded, blurred colors, with an emphasis on yellow and beige
Use for: That photo of you at brunch with your new boyfriend, meant to make your old boyfriend jealous

Effect: Dreamy, ever-so-slightly blurry, with saturated yellows and greens
Use for: Food pictures -- those cookies you just baked, that steak you just grilled, etc.

Effect: Sepia-like, with an emphasis on purples and browns
Use for: Arting up photos of otherwise mundane objects: cups of coffee, coffee stirrers, coffee stains on napkins, etc.

Effect: High exposure, with corner vignetting
Use for: "Mad Men"-esque takes on your night out, your picnic with friends, your backyard BBQ, etc.
Fun Fact: This filter was named after Kevin Rose's dog.

Effect: Low-key, with an emphasis on grays and greens
Use for: Pictures of your dog

Effect: True-to-life contrast, with slightly gray and brown overtones
Use for: Pictures of Kevin Rose's dog 

Effect: Black-and-white, high-contrast
Use for: Giving any old picture a classically old-school effect, and/or disguising bad lighting in your #nofilter photo

Effect: Washed-out color with bluish overtones
Use for: Pictures of last weekend's pool party

Effect: Fuzziness, with an emphasis on yellow and golden tones
Use for: Making last weekend's pool party look like it took place in Palm Springs, in 1960

Effect: Sharp images with a magenta-meets-purple tint, framed by a distinctive film-strip-esque border
Use for: Photos that call for ironic nostalgia

Effect: Gloria Gaynor-level '70s flair
Use for: Photos that call for in-your-face nostalgia (particularly useful now that Facebook is Timelined)

Lord Kelvin
Effect: Super-saturated, supremely retro photos with a distinctive scratchy border
Use for: Photos that call for actual nostalgia

Jump to comments
Presented by

Megan Garber is a staff writer at The Atlantic. She was formerly an assistant editor at the Nieman Journalism Lab, where she wrote about innovations in the media.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

The Time JFK Called the Air Force to Complain About a 'Silly Bastard'

51 years ago, President John F. Kennedy made a very angry phone call.

Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus


Adventures in Legal Weed

Colorado is now well into its first year as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana. How's it going? James Hamblin visits Aspen.


What Makes a Story Great?

The storytellers behind House of CardsandThis American Life reflect on the creative process.


Tracing Sriracha's Origin to Thailand

Ever wonder how the wildly popular hot sauce got its name? It all started in Si Racha.


Where Confiscated Wildlife Ends Up

A government facility outside of Denver houses more than a million products of the illegal wildlife trade, from tigers and bears to bald eagles.


Is Wine Healthy?

James Hamblin prepares to impress his date with knowledge about the health benefits of wine.


The World's Largest Balloon Festival

Nine days, more than 700 balloons, and a whole lot of hot air



More in Technology

Just In