Twitter just announced that its Android and iPhone apps now feature Instagram-like photo filters. Given the heated back-and-forth between Twitter and Instagram in recent days, this wasn’t exactly unexpected, but it happened a bit faster than most of us anticipated. This new feature is, interestingly, powered by Aviary, the company behind the popular online and mobile photo editing SDK.
Here are the key features of the new mobile Twitter photo sharing experience:
Filters. Apply one of eight filters, ranging from black & white to vintage, to add a new look and feel to your photos.
Take a bird’s-eye view. See how each filter would affect your photo in a single grid view, or swipe through looks to compare your options.
Frame the action. Crop and pinch to zoom in order to focus attention.
Auto-enhance. Make your photos pop with balanced light and colors by tapping the wand.
The most interesting feature here is that the app offers a grid view that lets you see thumbnail previews of what your pictures will look like after you apply each one of the eight possible filters. The options are pretty straightforward and range from black and white to warm, cool, cinematic, and gritty. Overall, this is not some revolutionary new feature, but the fact that Twitter was this close to releasing this app sure explains why Instagram decided to kill its Twitter integration last week.
It’s interesting that Twitter decided to go with a partner to power this new feature. Photo filters aren’t exactly rocket science, after all. Aviary powers the photo-editing experiences for a large number of apps, including big names like Flickr, Box and Walgreens, so maybe Twitter decided it best leave this feature in the hands of a company that has a lot of experience in this business. Either that or it wanted to get this feature out fast and decided to go with a partner rather than developing this in-house.
Aviary says that it worked with Twitter’s team for “several months” and that the two companies together have “created a unique experience.”
Update: The iOS update should be available on the App Store now.