Facebook to add its own photo filters instead of buying Instagram

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There’s just no escape from mobile photo filters. After being made popular by apps like Instagram and PicPlz, now Facebook is looking to add filters to its mobile apps, reports the New York Times.

The move isn’t entirely surprising, since filters aren’t very difficult to implement and Facebook has been the leading online photo sharing site for years. And this point, even Apple is looking to add photo filters as a core feature of its upcoming iOS 5 software, which will make it easier for third-party developers to implement filters.

Two anonymous Facebook engineers tell the paper that the feature has actually been completed for some time, but Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg wants to have more creative filters on hand for its debut. Facebook will have nearly a dozen filters common to every photo filter apps, like the ability to make any photo look like an antique, the engineers say. But the company is also working on new designs to differentiate itself from the increasingly crowded mobile photo filter market.

The engineers also note that Facebook attempted, and failed, to purchase Instagram over the summer, something that’s been rumored for months. Had it managed to snag Instagram, Facebook would have acquired the startup’s some 7 million users, all of which are used to applying filters to their photos. But ultimately, that’s a drop in the bucket compared to Facebook’s mammoth base of 750 million users. Instagram also just recently announced that it has reached a new milestone of 150 million shared photos.

Photo: Instagram’s 150 millionth pic by “janefot”


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