One of the most popular ways to have fun with social media is the use of filters. So many platforms now allow you to add a filter before, during, and/or after picture taking. I read recently that one user of Snapchat noticed his girlfriend’s interest skyrocket in the past year or so on the app after the frequently updated filters were gaining in popularity. In fact, many users make it a habit in the morning that after checking Facebook, they switch over to Snapchat to see the new filters for the day. It’s not uncommon to find a flower headband as a profile photo. I would know, I have had more than one.
While Snapchat started the trend of ever changing filters, Facebook has noticed and jumped on the bandwagon. There are even filters and stickers available for Facebook owned Instagram. While that sounds fun, it’s important to really take a look at what’s happening here. Facebook wanted to buy Snapchat, was refused, so now they are copying the ideas that keep that app in an upward swing of momentum. Do not be deceived by a copy, though. While Facebook may have way more options to add to a photo, they are lagging behind in quality.
You see, Snapchat filters are legit top notch. The team that puts these filters together REALLY have created a superb addition to the product and they create an experience. For those of you unfamiliar with Snapchat and its filters, let me give you a quick crash course by explaining filters. You see, before you take a photo you can press on the camera screen and slide across many options for changes happening to your face. As you can see in the snap to the left, this is a sponsored filter promoting upcoming movie, Despicable Me 3. Sometimes the filters have music, sometimes they put makeup on you, sometimes they are glasses, as seen here. Then once you’ve taken a photo you can add even more to it. There are filters that say the city you’re in, the location you’re at, a holiday, an event, temperature, changing the lighting, and much more. It’s engaging and creative. It’s really engaging though due to the ability to customize. There are so many ways to make your snap unique that many big brands use the app on the regular to reach out to interested snappers. One of my favorites is IHOP. They like to post a snap and have you screenshot it then send it back to them colored in. They aren’t the only one who does this but who doesn’t love coloring in pancakes? Taco Bell is pretty active with their interactive snaps as well. Honestly, more and more brands, not food related – clearly that’s where my head is, are using the app and it is really becoming an experience.
However, we’re not here to discuss why it’s popular, moreover why the filters are. They are nicely put together and offer a unique way to share your experiences. Now, Facebook filters! For one, as previously mentioned, there are a lot more options to choose from in the way of filter options on Facebook. While there are several filters on Snapchat, Facebook seems to have a cup that runneth over with filters. While on the onset that sounds better, the old adage comes to mind, “Quality over quantity.” While there are more, they are not nearly the level that Snapchat offers. The camera on snap is clearer and typically the filters can make the screen brighter to enhance visibility for your face in the filters. Facebook’s are slightly less crisp and do not offer the brightness that users enjoy when making a snap. They are creative and wide ranging but just don’t offer that wow you get when using snap. The example to the right shows the mosaic filter option to a live photo. Snapchat again dominates this type of filter even.
It’s a tad difficult to really get the full impact without using it. I encourage you to try them both out. Even if you don’t know anyone who uses Snapchat, it would be amazing for you to not find any company you’re interested in using the app. So many advertisers have jumped to Snapchat as well. Since the dawn of the platform, there have been many upgrades and you can learn more from an upcoming blog I’ll do on it but until then, feel free to get on and experiment with the filters. For now, I’ve added some of my favorites: