Instagram’s filters have never been subtle. They’re loud, obvious, obtrusive, and despite their momentary charm, you quickly realize that other services, like VSCO and Afterlight, are much better served for editing purposes. Look at any Instagram profile with a lot of followers, and chances are they use VSCO as their preferred editing software; it’s no surprise that the company’s iPad app was highlighted as one of this year’s best. It’s also no surprise folks advertise photos with the #nofilter hasthtag.
Starting today, however, Instagram has introduced a handful of new filters that are much more muted, delicate, and clearly designed to prove a point: Instagram offers some great filters, too. It’s been two years since Instagram last introduced new filters, instead focusing on editing tools and video features. But today, the company has revealed five hot off the presses that it calls its “best yet.”
Inspired by the photography , art, fashion and design of the global Instagram community, we’re releasing five new filters that we believe are our best yet, Instagram said. You’ll see the filters at the front of your filter tray: Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden and Perpetua. They soften and subtly shift colors to achieve the look and feel you want for each photo.
In addition to the new filters, Instagram is also making it easier for users to apply these photo tweaks. Going forward, when you go to apply a filter, you’ll see a preview of how your photo will look with that particular one applied at the bottom; this makes it easier to see at a glance how your photo will look. There’s also a new option to arrange them based on your preference, giving you the ability to keep Kelvin hidden away and unused.
Instagram has never really put much emphasis on filters despite gaining an early following for that very thing. However, as the photo-sharing service has evolved over the past few years—reaching 300 million users in the process—it openly admits that it’s obligated to offer better tools.
“We’ve seen tremendous creativity within the community, not only in the moments they share, but in the time spent carefully composing and editing photos and videos to bring out emotions and make them beautiful,” Instagram said.
With these five new filters, which are much more even and muted, Instagram looks to be actively going after services like VSCO. The update for Android and iOS is rolling out today. You can check out what the filters look like in the photos above.