Twitter filters photos, Instagram updates camera


Late last week a scuffle broke out between two of the top social imaging services, as Instagram decreed it wanted its photos viewed on its site, not through Twitter, and so disabled the easy linking users of both services has enjoyed for a long while.

This week both companies rolled out updates — and the timing may be coincidental, but the intentions surely are not.

First and most telling, Twitter duplicated the feature Instagram is best known for: filters, adding eight of ’em, “ranging from black & white to vintage” [which doesn’t seem to be a long range…]

The mobile app also now sports easy tools to “edit and refine your photos… new ways to enhance the images you tweet.” The tools were developed with imaging software maker Aviary.

“Every day, millions of people come to Twitter to connect with the things they care about and find out what’s happening around the world,” the company says. “As one of the most compelling forms of self-expression, photos have long been an important part of these experiences.”

Instagram calls its latest iPhone app “the largest upgrade to our Instagram iOS camera since it was revamped just over one year ago… We’ve made significant improvements to its look and speed.”

The app has “Instagram-themed” shutter & shutter release buttons, speed and reliability improvements, as well as a new filter, Willow, “a monochrome filter with subtle purple tones and a translucent glowing white border,” and an improved Tilt-Shift feature with a “completely overhauled blur algorithm” that increases quality and accuracy, the company says. “Tilt-shift now gives a vastly more realistic rendering of depth of field because of these improvements and subtle tweaks to how we render the image.”