Twitter follows Facebook's Instagram and plans photo filter, report says

Facebook bought Instagram for nearly $1 billion in part because users love the photo filter app. Rival social networking service Twitter apparently sees the value and plans to introduce a similar feature to its mobile apps, a new report says.

Photo manipulation is a hot commodity in social networking products. Google recently acquired Nik Software, the German company behind Snapseed, a popular iOS photo app that’s similar to Instagram.

And since the majority of people who use Twitter do so with a phone or tablet that likely includes a camera, adding Instagram-like features is a no-brainer. This summer, Marketing Land reported that 60 percent of Twitter users access the social network with a mobile device.

Twitter users know sending short quips or linking to compelling content keeps their followers engaged. So, it makes sense that giving them the ability to share interesting photos will be a boon to the more than half a billion people who use Twitter.

The photo filter feature makes average photos look interesting by giving them frames or coloring them in different tones.

According to The New York Times, which cites an employee who spoke to the paper on condition of anonymity, Twitter is getting on board.

“The company’s V.I.T.’s, or Very Important Tweeters, as they are known internally, usually celebrities and media personalities, would be especially happy to see filters in the Twitter mobile apps.,” The Times reports. “Most V.I.T.’s now use Instagram to take photos, and then share them on Twitter, where they often have a larger following.”

The report says Twitter has wanted photo filters ever since Facebook took Instagram into its fold, and it even considered buying a similar photo service or app but decided it was cheaper for Twitter to build its own filters.

Supposedly, Twitter is also looking to add other features to its mobile apps, such as letting users upload and maybe even edit videos without having to go through a third-party service such as YouTube.

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