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. 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Halfbikes, VR for all your senses, and more

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's fun to gawk!
Product Review

The Xperia 10 Plus feels great in your hand, but you'll still want to put it down

There has never been a better time to buy a smartphone with an unusual design, and one of the cheaper models out there vying for your attention is the Sony Xperia 10 Plus, with its 21:9 aspect ratio screen.
Photography

Photography News: Instagram’s disappearing likes, the best photos of the year

In this week's Photography News, see why Instagram is testing a version that excludes the number of likes a post gets. Also, see the impressive winners from two photography contests and the latest features coming to the Fujifilm X-T3.
Product Review

Equal parts tool and toy, the Lensbaby Edge 35 bucks photographic tradition

The Lensbaby Edge 35, part of the Composer Pro optic swap system, creates tilt-shift-like blur without the tilt-shift price. Made for photographers who want find tradition boring, it opens up new ways to work with blur.
Social Media

Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp went down worldwide for 2 hours this morning

Chaos erupted on the internet this morning, as Facebook, Instagram, and Whatsapp all went down from 6:30 a.m. to approximately 9 a.m. Thousands of users were unable to access the sites or send or receive Whatsapp messages.
Deals

The best budget-friendly GoPro alternatives that won’t leave you broke

Cold weather is here, and a good action camera is the perfect way to record all your adventures. You don't need to shell out the big bucks for a GoPro: Check out these great GoPro alternatives, including some 4K cameras, that won’t leave…
Photography

The Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 is a knockout lens for any smartphone

Where cheaper wide-angle accessory lenses add distortion, and costlier models don't always justify their higher prices, the Black Eye Pro Cinema Wide G4 offers a valuable balance of modest price and high quality optics.
Photography

Etch-A-Snap camera puts a modern spin on one of your favorite childhood toys

Can't draw on an Etch A Sketch? Snap a photo with the Etch-A-Snap and the camera will draw out the scene for you. The weirdly cool camera designed by Martin Fitzpatrick replaces the usual LCD screen with an old-school Etch A Sketch.
Photography

Family feud: Huawei P30 Pro vs. P20 Pro vs. Mate 20 Pro camera shootout

The Huawei P30 Pro's camera has an amazing zoom mode and low light capabilities. But take these away, and how does it compare when facing its sibling phones, the P20 Pro and Mate 20 Pro, taking regular photos?
Photography

Nikon Z 7 vs. Sony A7R III: High-res mirrorless cameras compared

The Nikon Z 7 and Sony A7R III both have over 40 megapixels, but which one comes out on top? With similar image quality, the answer comes down to speed, autofocus, battery life, and design.
Deals

The Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera gets a steep price cut at Walmart

Modern smartphones can snap pretty impressive pics, but if you want pro-quality photos, you need a dedicated digital camera. The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is one of the best entry-level DSLR cameras on the market, and it’s on sale right now for…
Photography

Panasonic Lumix S1R vs. Nikon Z 7: When megapixels matter, which do you choose?

The 47-megapixels Lumix S1R and 46-megapixel Nikon Z 7 are the two highest-resolution, full-frame mirrorless cameras on the market. The S1R features a high-resolution mode that can take 187MP images, but the Nikon is lighter and cheaper.
Photography

Sweet 16: Wacom’s Cintiq 16 pen display makes retouching photos a breeze

Wacom’s Cintiq pen displays are usually reserved for the pros (or wealthy enthusiasts), but the new Cintiq 16 brings screen and stylus editing to an approachable price. Does it cut too much to get there?
Mobile

Selfies are now banned at China’s gigantic Aperture Spherical Telescope

You can't take a selfie with the world's largest single-dish radio telescope anymore, as the Chinese government has banned everything from smartphones to digital cameras in the surrounding 5-kilometer area.