What are Instagram Filters anyway?

Using the front or back camera displays, Instagram filters layer computer-generated effects on the real-life image captured by your camera. These filters use augmented reality to place 3-dimensional objects in your surroundings. Image beautification, face filters, quizzes, background effects, games are some of the more common filters you can find under ‘Effects’ on Instagram Stories.

Instagram filters at VR2ality

Here’s a lowdown on all of our 6 filters.

We started off with ‘Indira Fav Place’. This filter revealed some of the favorite hangouts on the Indira Campus in Pune, Maharashtra for students. From the campus canteen to the auditorium, users enjoyed the filter and we observed geotagging, hashtags and page tags on people’s stories.

The next filter we rolled out was the ‘Friendship Trivia’. We created question cards that asked users to name friends who were good cooks, their 2 am friends, the first to have kids, etc. The questions were randomized and this encouraged users to keep trying the filter for new questions. We noticed large user engagement because users tagged each other and encouraged friends to try out the filter.

For India’s 73rd Independence Day, we created two filters. Our ‘Indian Flag’ filter allowed users to scan and place a 3D image of India’s flag around them. Celebrating the armed forces, we had jets flying overhead with the Indian tricolour in our second Independence Day filter called ‘Independence Day IND’. 

For Ganesh Chaturthi this year, we were honoured to partner with the Shreemant Dagdusheth Halwai Sarvajanik Ganpati Trust and make a filter with the Shreemant Dagdusheth Ganpati murti as a greeting. Along with this filter, we celebrated the festival virtually this time with a 3D Ganesh idol and 3D decorations for our next filter, ‘Ganesh Chaturthi’.  

Key takeaways from our journey so far

We’re going to sum up on some of the things we learned about these filters from a business standpoint:

Brand Support & Marketing

Filters are a unique strategy to speak of your brand on social media. The creativity permits a true reflection of what your brand stands for. No doubt that filters are a marketing tool to create more awareness around your brand and have the potential to proliferate your targeted market. 

One study states that 70% of users will try to find a brand on Instagram and 200 million people visit a business profile at least once every day. This is a great platform to showcase new products/services and tap potential customers with creative filters. Many consumer goods industries like beauty & wellness, fashion & apparel and automobiles have used Instagram filters to promote branding and marketing.

Generating Leads

Creative filters and engaging content grabs eyeballs. Most brands would like to create something similar that engages their audience and gets people interested in what they have to offer. Instagram filters are also a source to generate leads. You never know who’s using your filter and showing interest in availing your service or buying your product. A study shows that 89% of marketers consider Instagram as an important social media channel for influencer marketing. 

User Engagement

Social media is a dynamic online environment. It banks on user engagement. Instagram filters are no exception. When you create filters with games or quizzes, you are engaging users online with each other. People play these games/quizzes, tag friends and this creates a domino effect that brings more people online. 

Festivals, international days and support to social causes bring in more engagement. Users will use hashtags to voice and share their feelings or opinions. According to AdEspresso, 63% of people check their Instagram accounts once every day and 42% open the app multiple times in a day. 


One of the reasons why Instagram filters have taken off so well is because of the sheer entertainment they provide. Do you like superheroes? French Fries? Or that swanky new eight-speed dual clutch 2-door? Well, the Instagram filter can have your superhero, favorite food or that car in 3D in your background! 

Using augmented reality, virtual objects are placed in a user’s environment. Users can interact with this object. For instance, you can use your head to play dunk basketball or draw with the tip of your nose or even try out new sunglasses with the tilt of your head. Q&As with friends, jumbled words or ‘gibberish’ and ‘what if’ questions were some filters that took the internet by storm. Enthusiasts played these games all day long and this was an easy source of entertainment as many were homebound in the face of the COVID-19 situation.

Jonah Peretti, Founder & CEO of BuzzFeed, once said, “Content is King, but distribution is Queen, and she wears the pants”. In that case, the filter feature on Instagram is one tool you shouldn’t be ignoring. At minimal costs, this medium can generate maximum reach and help you build a meaningful relationship with your current and potential customers. It’s also a chance to contribute to your line of work and build a powerful community based on human connection. If you’re interested in exploring filters for your business, feel free to connect with us on Instagram @VR2ality!




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