Instagram exposes 5 new filters for a more subtle effect

The updated app lets users pretty up their photos without going overboard

Instagram's new filters go for a more subtle artsy effect.

Instagram's new filters go for a more subtle artsy effect.

Instagram's got five new filters that it hopes will improve people's smartphone photos by changing them less.

Instagram has not released new filters since 2012. And its original filters compensated for the lower quality of photos taken with earlier smartphones, the company said. But now we're in the heyday of smartphone photography, right? So Instagram is offering filters that it says apply a more subtle effect, capitalizing on the higher image quality of mobile devices.

The new filters -- Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden and Perpetua -- are part of an update to Instagram's app on iOS and Android rolling out Tuesday. They soften and subtly shift colors, the company says, and were inspired by the photography, art, fashion and design of the larger Instagram community.

These aren't wacky, trippy filters that turn your photos into a Salvador Dali painting. They're aimed more at making photos prettier without going overboard.

Instagram's users are sure to take notice. With 300 million users who log in at least monthly -- that's more than Twitter -- a lot of people will start playing around with the filters.

Instagram's app update also includes some new features around personalization, to let users rearrange their filters and choose which ones are displayed.

Each filter icon will now give users a blurred preview of how their photo will look with that effect applied, so it's not necessary to tap through each filter before deciding on one.

Finally, Instagram's app now lets users upload slow-motion video and incorporates real-time commenting so users don't have to refresh their feeds.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

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