If Facebook won’t bring filters to you, these apps will bring filters to Facebook

Lens-Filter-CoastersLast summer, Facebook was rumored to be eyeing Instagram. Obviously the acquisition speculation was merely that, and Instagram has gone on to quick and unparalleled photo-sharing success. And for its part, Facebook has been rumored to be developing a built-in filter application of its own.

Unfortunately, nothing has surfaced since. We’ve said for some time now that given its popularity as an image hosting platform, Facebook should integrate some sort of photo edits or effects feature. For starters it appears that its users clearly want it: the News Feed is constantly pulling in photos pushed from the Instagram app or PicPlz. Secondly, the photo-filter craze has hit full swing and the social network would be stupid not to jump on board.

Sure, Facebook’s primary focus is not to center itself with photos—it’s an all-encompassing site. But photos have clearly become top content on the site, and users want more.

We’ve nearly given up hope that Facebook will introduce this type of tool in the near future. If that spring IPO is on the horizon, then the company is about to enter its quiet period before filing and that means no big announcements. In fact, the debut of its Open Graph apps hitting the site was speculated to be its last major event. Post-IPO, Facebook obviously can still update the site with new features, but filters probably wouldn’t be a priority.

So if  you can’t wait and don’t want to push outside app photos to Facebook (or want to edit old images or don’t have a smartphone… the list goes on) there are a couple of options at your disposal.

Aviary

Aviary offers free Web editing software that’s reminiscent of Gimp or the now-defunct Picnik. After installing the app, you can choose any of your already-uploaded photos or choose a new one from your computer. It will only display a handful at a time, so you may have to hit the “show more” icon obnoxiously often.

aviaryThere are 11 different filters, as well as a heavy helping of simple edits, like crop, enhance, and red-eye removal. You save the photo, and Aviary ports it into an album of your Aviary edits.

Pixlr-o-matic

Pixlr-o-matic is very possibly our favorite platform-free photo filter app. For the images you want to manipulate but don’t want to post to a community, this is a great option—made better yet by a Facebook app. Like Aviary, you can grab photos from your computer or from Facebook. Be forewarned: it will only pull up about 36 photos from each album, so you will be somewhat limited in these choices.

pixlr o maticThe app has 30+ filters, and that’s not counting its separate lighting effects and borders.

Phixr

Phixr doesn’t have the intuitive, nicely-designed UI the other two options do, but it certainly gets the job done. You have a variety of edits (add text, add icons, flip, adjust color and saturation… it goes on) and it also has color filters and lens filters. And it has a lot of them. What’s nice about Phixr is that it shows your original image and what it will look like with the filter side-by-side for comparison’s sake.

phixrYou are bounced out of Facebook (although this is done pretty smoothly). The benefit is that instead of auto creating a new “Phixr” album, you can choose where the editing image will go, as it shows a drop-down of all your albums. From Phixr, you can add a caption and tag anyone you want. 

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Folding canoes and ultra-fast water filters

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!
Outdoors

Forget pumps. This innovative filter purifies H2O in 8 seconds flat

The Grayl Geopress water purification system removes more than 99 percent of all bacteria, cysts, and viruses from water in just eight seconds, providing clean drinking water to travelers and outdoor adventurers.
Computing

Give your eyes a break with these handy blue light filters

Filtering blue light from your monitor is a great way to make long days of work easier on your eyes, especially when it gets later in the day. You can use ones built into MacOS and Windows, or one of the third-party options.
Photography

Full-frame mirrorless cameras just made their Hollywood debut with this thriller

The Possession of Hannah Grace isn't just a thriller -- it's also the first Hollywood feature film to be shot completely with a full-frame mirrorless camera. The film was shot with several Sony a7S II bodies and anamorphic lenses.
Photography

Lens Rentals zooms in on the most popular cameras of the year

As 2018 comes to a close, Lens Rentals is taking a look at most popular cameras of the year, based on rental data. While Sony and Panasonic saw more rentals than the previous year, Canon is still the most-rented brand on the platform.
Photography

Luminar’s new libraries don’t even need you to manually import images

Luminar 3's new libraries feature doesn't require importing -- images are automatically added after clicking on a folder. The long-promised libraries feature gives editors a Lightroom alternative with organization tools as well as syncing…
Photography

MIT science photographer isn’t an artist, but her work could fill galleries

Felice Frankel is an award-winning photographer, but she doesn't consider herself an artist. As a science photographer, she has been helping researchers better communicate their ideas for nearly three decades with eye-catching imagery.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

The best mirrorless cameras pack all the power of a DSLR, minus the bulk

Mirrorless cameras offer a lot of photography firepower, inside a compact body. Explore the best mirrorless cameras, from the pro-level to the beginner-friendly shooters, in this guide.
Photography

Photography News: Startup redesigns tripod heads ‘inside out’ for more flexibility

Well, this doesn't look like the ball heads that we've seen before. Instead of designing a tripod ball head with a small cutout, the Colorado Tripod Company created one with most of the ball exposed, allowing for more possible angles.
Photography

Leica targets street photographers with a pricey camera bundle

Described by the camera company as "your perfect companion in the city," Leica's Street Kit comprises a Leica CL camera body, a 23mm (35mm full-frame equivalent) F2 lens, batteries, a handgrip, and a black leather carrying strap.
Product Review

Meet Z6, the breakout star in Nikon's new mirrorless lineup

The Nikon Z6 is the sibling to the new mirrorless Z7 -- but for some photographers, the cheaper Z6 may be the better option. Read where the $2,000 camera beats the $3,400 one (and where it doesn’t) in our Nikon Z6 review.
Social Media

Snapchat facial recognition could soon power a new portrait mode, code suggests

Digging into Snapchat's code suggests a handful of upcoming camera features, including a portrait mode. The feature appears to use facial recognition A.I. to blur the background. The code also suggests an updated camera interface.
Social Media

#ThrowbackThursday is only the start: Instagram hashtags for every day of the week

Not getting your hashtag fill with #ThrowbackThursday or #ManCrushMonday? Here's a list of some of the more popular Instagram hashtags, so you can outfit your next post with the proper tag, regardless of what day it is.