Instagram updates with new filters, more controls

If you’re a keen Instagrammer (is that even a word?) and you live by the camera of your smartphone, you’ll be happy to hear you have new filters inbound, as well as a way of switching off the ones you don’t like.

App updates don’t normally grab our attention, but there are so many people using Instagram out there, we figured we’d touch on this one.

In fact, there are 300 million users for Instagram, making it one of the most widely used social networks out there, a number that’s probably so high thanks to how many of us are using smartphones with cameras, and how much we all love to share our lives with the world.

This week, though, the 300 million Instagrammers can make their photos look a little more vintage with the addition of new filters for a retro look, with “Slumber”, “Crema”, “Ludwig”, “Aden”, and “Perpetual”. None of these newbies have frames, but they all support the “lux” image enhancement controller Instagram uses, as well as the regular brightness, contrast, warmth, saturation, tilt, sharpness, and vignette settings.

But while the filters are a neat inclusion, it is Instagram’s user controlled filter layout we’re more interested in, because now the filters you don’t use can be hidden, making them only visible when you decide to switch them on again.

To hid them, hold down the square for the filter you’d normally use and drag it to the main screen, which will show “drag to hide” when you start to hold down on the icon. Once hidden, the filters can be reactivated using the “manage” setting at the end of the list, and you can even change the order of the filters by moving them around when you hold down on the icon, shifting the filters left and right.

One final thing: the icons at the bottom of the screen have now changed, and will show you a blurry version of your photo before you run it through Instagram, giving you a brief preview of what the photos will look like before you see the full thing.

Instagram’s changes are rolling out now to users on Android and iOS, so expect an update on each of the networks in the next few days.