Hands on: Turns out, Twitter is no Instagram when it comes to photo filters

instagram versus twitterYesterday Instagram and Twitter played dueling releases: Shortly after Instagram announced a new iteration blocking Twitter access, Twitter formerly introduced its own filters for its mobile app. Today, that update was pushed to both Android and iPhone Twitter users.

As expected (and explained by Twitter), users now have the option to use auto adjust, crop, as well as eight filters within the Twitter mobile app before pushing a photo live. So how does the function compare to the photo-sharing app that rules them all?

I won’t string you along: It doesn’t. You can see for yourself in the photo above and the rest below that Instagram boasts far superior results. Up top, you’ll see the Twitter-filtered image at left, and the Instagram-filtered image at right. Let’s do a few more side-by-side comparisons.

On the left is Instagram’s auto adjust tool. On the right is Twitter’s: 

twitter instagram auto adjust compare

 Here are Instagram’s 18 filters:

instagram filters
instagram filters two
instagram filters three
instagram filters four

instagram filters five
And here are Twitter’s eight:

twitter filters
twitter filters two

With Instagram, you can use tilt-shift, which adds depth of field to an image with blur. Twitter doesn’t have the feature.

Just to drive home what I’m getting at, here’s one more side-by-side look at an Instagram filter next to a Twitter filter: 

instagram twitter side by side

Hopefully, it’s obvious to you by now that Instagram has a far superior filtering app. Images are cleaner, clearer, more detailed … in short, better. It’s the same reaction we all had to the Facebook Camera app, and exactly what I worried about when news broke Twitter would be attempting this. Sure, the convenience factor is facebook filtersthere; you can use fun filters and immediately send the content off with minimal steps. This is even more true now that Instagram and Twitter have so publicly parted ways. But that ease of use is what Twitter will have to bank this project on, because quality is not going to be it. Here’s a quick reminder of what the Facebook filters look like at right. 

It’s a frustrating end to a bitter tale between the two companies: For the foreseeable future, we won’t be able to view Instagram images on Twitter and there’s no comparable Web platform at our disposal. At the same time, the option available to replace this, the new filters from Twitter, are a poor substitute. I don’t want to beat a dead horse here, but it’s a clear lose for users. 

You could make the argument that filters are a feature not a company, but Instagram is clearly the exception to that rule. The community is there, and thriving, and while it might not experience the viral networking it formerly knew (which is a real disadvantage for everyone), the users aren’t going anywhere. 

On the plus side, while Twitter filters can’t hold a candle to what Instagram is capable of, at least we’ll have something to clean up the otherwise bland barrage of smartphone photos pushed to the site. 

Social Media

Instagram to make giving easier with a Stories donation sticker for fundraisers

Instagram is preparing to launch a donation feature within Stories that would allow users to raise cash for a range of nonprofit charities. The company confirmed it's aiming to launch the donation sticker later this year.

How to perform a reverse image search in Android or iOS

You can quickly use Google to search, and reverse search, images on a PC or laptop, but did you know it's almost as easy to do in Android and iOS? We explain how to do it here, whether you want to use Chrome or a third-party app.

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.
Social Media

Instagram test reveals direct messages may be coming to browsers

Instagram for the web has always been a minimalist affair compared to the feature-rich smartphone app, but in the last few years that's started to change. The latest news is that Instagram is considering adding direct messages.

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.

From f/1.2 primes to the mysterious DS, here are Canon’s upcoming RF lenses

Canon's EOS R mirrorless series will gain six new lenses this year. Canon just shared a list of six lenses under development, including four zooms and two prime lenses. One has a mysterious new feature called Defocus Smoothing.

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…

Photography news: Wacom’s slimmer pen, Leica’s cinema special edition

In this week's photography news, Wacom launches a new slimmer pen for pro users. Leica's upcoming M10-P is designed for cinema, inside and out, with built-in cinema modes in the updated software.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!

Be careful who you bokeh, jokes Apple’s latest iPhone ad

With iPhone sales under pressure, you'd think there wouldn't be much to laugh about at Apple HQ. But the company has seen fit to inject some humor into its latest handset ad, which highlights the camera's Depth Control feature.

What’s the difference between Lightroom CC and Lightroom Classic?

Lightroom CC has evolved into a capable photo editor, but is it enough to supplant Lightroom Classic? We took each program for a test drive to compare the two versions and see which is faster, more powerful, and better organized.

Luminar’s libraries gain speed, drop need for you to manually import images

Luminar 3 just got a performance boost. Skylum Luminar 3.0.2 has improved speed over December's update, which added the long-promised libraries feature giving editors a Lightroom alternative.