Facebook Targets Instagram With Photo Filters

Instagram Photosscreenshot via InstagramA photograph with Instagram’s lomo-filter, left, and its poprocket filter.

Get ready for the photo-filter wars to begin.

Facebook plans to add a series of photo filters to its mobile application in the coming months with the hopes of drawing  off fans of  Instagram, the popular photo-sharing application.

The new feature has been ready for some time, according to two engineers who work at Facebook, but Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, hopes his engineers and artists create more filters before releasing the new product. Both Facebook engineers asked not to be named as they are not allowed to speak publicly for the company about unannounced products.

The engineers said Facebook will introduce almost a dozen photo filters, including some that are similar to Instagram like old-style camera lenses and grainy film. Facebook will also try to introduce new styles of filters with the hopes of drawing users away from other photo apps.

The engineers also said that Facebook attempted to acquire Instagram over the summer, but to no avail.

Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram, declined to comment about acquisitions or Facebook’s plans to release competing software. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment.

Facebook might have more competition to worry about than just Instagram. Programming code found in the upcoming release of Apple’s iOS 5 shows a series of new photo filters that are likely to be integrated directly into Apple’s mobile platform, MG Siegler of the blog TechCrunch noted earlier this month.

Instagram has grown voraciously since its debut less than a year ago. The company now boasts more than eight million users. In February Instagramraised a $7 million round in funding led by Benchmark Capital.

As seen on http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com

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