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Twitter to roll out Instagram-style photo filters, report claims

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Twitter is reportedly preparing to roll out photo filters on the microblogging website, after missing out on a deal to acquire the popular photo-sharing app Instagram.

The New York Times has reported that in the "coming months" Twitter will add the filters to its mobile applications, allowing users to share altered images directly on Twitter, without having to go through the now Facebook-owned Instagram.

The paper cited as its source "people who work at the company but asked not to be named as they are not allowed to discuss unannounced projects". There are no further details available on the exact make-up of the filter system.

Twitter logo

© Twitter

Instagram for Android screenshot - Camera Filter

© Instagram



Instagram works by users adding a photo and then applying a range of filters, such as sepia tones or black & white, before sharing them with other users.

Twitter is understood to have been close to making a bid for Instagram before Facebook swung in and acquired the startup in a $715m (£448m) deal.

Adding its own photo filters would allow Twitter to bypass Instagram and encourage users to spend more time on the social network, a key factor in driving up advertising revenues.

One Twitter employee told the Times that the network's V.I.T.'s (Very Important Tweeters), mostly high-profile celebrities and personalities on Twitter, are very keen for the photo filters to be added.

This is because the V.I.T.s, like many other Twitter users, currently use Instagram to modify their pictures and then share them on Twitter, where they may have a larger following.

Instagram for Android screenshot - First Run

© Instagram

Twitter unveils new profile pages, iPad app

© Twitter



After missing out on the Instagram acquisition, Twitter is understood to have explored other potential options for buying established photo-enhancer services.

The search was reportedly led by Jack Dorsey, the company's co-founder and executive chairman, and chief executive Dick Costolo.

However, the Times says that they were put off by the high prices being touted for the companies targeted, and instead decided to develop the filters in-house.

The service is expected to start rolling out soon to users.

Twitter is also claimed to be working on a tool for its mobile applications that would allow users to upload and possibly even edit video without having to use a third party service, such as Google's YouTube.

A spokesperson for Twitter declined to comment on the report.

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