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It’s Official: Twitter Takes On Instagram With Photo Filters

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Twitter and Aviary, a New York-based maker of photo-enhancement software, announced in dual blog posts this evening that they are teaming up to offer photo filters for Twitter users directly through the company’s mobile applications. The partnership follows Instagram’s recent decision to disallow its users from sharing filtered photos to the popular micro-blogging service.

The announcement can be viewed as a strategic move by Twitter to control more of the user experience surrounding photos, a powerful driver of social media usage.

Aviary CEO Avi Muchnick says that his company has been working with Twitter for months to integrate the filtering tools into the social network’s iPhone and Android applications. A spokesperson for the company would not comment on the timing of Instagram’s earlier announcement. To Muchnick’s knowledge, it was coincidental.


The filtering tools are accessed via the camera icon at the bottom left of the Twitter mobile app. Users can then enhance, crop or add one of eight Instagram-like filters, ranging from “Vignette” to “Gritty”.

Aviary, founded in 2007, currently powers the photo editing of 2500 partner applications, including Flickr, and Squarespace. The company’s software has edited 2 billion photos since the launch of its white-label product in 2011. The company’s photo-editing software is used by 25 million monthly users.

French social marketing firm Semiocast last pegged Twitter’s user base at 500 million registered accounts.

Reached over email, Twitter spokesperson said, “We wanted to work with a company that has strong expertise in mobile photo filtering. We partnered with Aviary, and we’re grateful to them for powering our filters and effects.”

Asked to reflect on the implications of the Twitter partnership, Muchnick responded: “Their photos are going to look fantastic now.”



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