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Instagram Stories AR Filters: What are they and how do brands use them?

Instagram Stories AR Filters: What are they and how do brands use them?

For many, AR remains an acronym for the future. However, augmented reality (AR) is already here and it exists in your humble Instagram stories. All those filters you see in Instagram Stories that merge images with reality, to create a new (augmented) image, partly fictional, partly real.

Instagram Stories is one of the great social success stories of recent years, especially among young people. One of the favorite features are the filters that allow you to alter an image in some way in your Instagram story. Some come with Instagram, but many more are created privately. Brands have discovered the benefits of creating custom filters, particularly those involving augmented reality.

Instagram Stories Custom AR Filters:
  • What is an Instagram Stories AR filter?
  • How can you access Instagram Stories custom AR filters?
  • Instagram Story Custom AR Filter Examples
  • Can you create your own custom Instagram story AR filters?

What is an Instagram Stories AR filter?


Augmented reality (AR) is not as futuristic as you might think. Movie directors have been doing it for years (sorry, if I believed the dragons and dire wolves in Game of Thrones were real).

Technology has run its course and has accelerated in recent years. What was a work of wonder in the late 1990s/early 2000s (think part of Fight Club's virtual catalogue, for example) has now arrived on your everyday smartphone. When Pokémon Go first appeared on the Nintendo 3DS, a wide variety of people were chasing this imaginary yellow figure all over the world.

An Instagram Stories AR filter is simply superimposing virtual computer-generated and/or video effects on top of a real-world image, creating a blended image.

The most common use of these on Instagram has been as face filters on Instagram Stories. You can add numerous types of filters to your photos and videos.

Instagram added face filters to Instagram in 2017. They immediately became a hit. People love the opportunity to modify their photos and videos, usually in a fun way.

To be honest, Instagram can't claim credit for face filters. They are a close replica of the Snapchat lenses. However, until recently, Instagram created and controlled face filters.

However, in May 2018, Instagram established a closed beta, allowing brands, public figures, celebrities, and other popular creators to create original face filters for their audience through Facebook's Spark AR Studio platform. There are around 20,000 users in the Spark AR community, so there are probably a lot of custom filters that most people don't know about yet. Brands have found this to be a great way to build support because people need to follow the brand (or at least visit their profile) to gain access to the filter.

How can you access Instagram Stories custom AR filters?

The easiest way to access a custom Instagram Stories AR filter is to view and/or follow the account that first created the filter. Please note that this is not always obvious. Many Instagram accounts don't reference their custom filters on their profile page, and often you only find filters because you already know they exist, or you find them by accident. The next time you go to Instagram Stories, swipe over to the Stories camera. At the bottom, you will see a face icon. If you have new filters installed, you will see a blue dot next to this face. Click the icon and you'll see the filters created by that new account appear in your filter list (with a blue dot indicating new filters).

Keep in mind that some filters only work on one of your two cameras (front and back), so if you can't find the filter you're looking for, change it to the other camera.

Another way you can get access to a custom Instagram story AR filter is if one of your Instagram friends sends you a story that uses the filter. You will see "Try it" in the upper left corner. If you click on those words, you now have access to that filter as well.

Of course, if you're really interested in keeping up with effects on Instagram (Facebook and Snapchat), you can head over to Lenslist . This includes augmented reality collections such as movies/TV, vacations, video games, and many other categories.


Instagram Story Custom AR Filter Examples

  1. Johanna Jaskowska - Multiple filters including Beauty 3000

The first filter created by Johanna Jaskowska © Facebook

Johanna Jaskowska loves making Instagram filters. In fact, her Instagram tagline is "There is no filter without you."

Most of the photos you share include some kind of custom filter. Vogue has even profiled her on the subject (you'll need to use Google Translate if you want to read it in English).

She is a French artist, who works at Antoni Garage GmbH (Mercedes-Benz advertising agency) and is a great lover of photography and science fiction cinema. She believes that augmented reality "is the last of the visual arts to be able to express and enhance the maximum human beauty."

One of Johanna's best known filters is Beauty3000. Gives the face a plastic look (along with various light effects).

Johanna's designs tend to be face overlays, adding features to the face without obscuring the face itself.

She includes a helpful story that shows how to use her filters on your story.

  1. George Kedenburg III - Battery Life and Desktop 96

Images of Tommy Palladino / Next Reality

George Kedenburg III takes a more retro look with his AR Instagram filters. If you go to your Instagram page, click on your Story, IG Effects. This story demonstrates both of George's filters. One places a battery life indicator above the main person's head in an image/video. The Desktop 96 filter is even more peculiar and places the user in the world of Windows 95.

  1. Disney - Mickey and Minnie

Disney has seen the opportunity that custom AR filters offer, with their Mickey and Minnie AR filter. When you click on this filter, your Instagram Story theme sprouts mouse ears and heart-shaped eyes. You can change the effect to other mouse-related variations by tapping the screen until you have one that suits your mood.

  1. Ariana Grande

Ariana Grande can definitely be considered an Instagram influencer with 157 million followers to date. However, it was also one of the first "names" to release a custom Instagram Stories AR filter, with its No Tears Left to Cry filter . This is very reminiscent of an old-style kaleidoscope, albeit with pastel colors.

  1. Adidas Originals

The AdidasOriginals custom filter is quite different. In fact, it's almost addictive. Your first impression is that it just "ages" your image/video, reducing its overall quality and looking like the film used in "the good old days". But the fun begins if you take a selfie and raise your eyebrows. Every time you raise your eyebrows, the image/video reacts in some way. It can jump". It could send the Adidas symbol floating across the screen. Or maybe you could roll the whole screen.

I'm not sure if the filter gives a VHS look to your video, or if it takes us right back to the days of 8mm film. No doubt, remember these days of the distant past (wearing your Adidas gear).

  1. gucci beauty


Gucci Beauty offers another fun filter. If you're taking a selfie (or at least have a face in your picture/video), you'll find that you've suddenly grown a beautiful head of hair and possibly a beard or mustache to go with it. If you tap the screen, you can switch to two other looks (just as extravagant).

Of course, you'll suddenly have Gucci accessories to match your old and new look.

Can you create your own custom Instagram story AR filters?

Unfortunately, most of us mere mortals still can't create our own Instagram Stories AR filters. However, it won't be long before we can do it.

For now, you need to apply to Instagram's closed beta program . It is not impossible for developers to be accepted. According to the instructions: “We are looking for individual developers to participate in this phase of our closed beta, but we plan to open the platform to partners and brands shortly. Partners, agencies and brands are encouraged to apply to be notified when we open the platform further."

This is all part of the Spark AR Hub. You can download Spark AR Studio to get started. AR is surprisingly popular. “Since last year's F8, more than a billion people have used AR experiences powered by Spark AR. Hundreds of millions of people use these experiences monthly on Facebook, Messenger, Instagram and Portal."

At the end of April, Facebook announced the expansion of the community . They also stated that this summer they will exit closed beta, opening up Instagram to the entire Spark AR ecosystem of developers and creators.

If you're interested in learning how to create effects with Spark AR Studio, there's a wealth of information available in the Spark Learning Center.

Currently, there are only a few brands that have been brave enough to create custom Instagram Stories AR filters, but as the system opens up and people expand the types of filters they create, you can expect to see many more brands out there. They use to stand up. out of his opposition.

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