Make your own filters on this Instagram for photo pros

EyeEm, which is like an Instagram for professional photographers, is now attempting to woo Average Joes to the application. With a new update, EyeEm has added a wide range of such tools, like exposure, contrast, and brightness (but not color). Instead of sticking with preset filters, you can make your own.

An animation showing the new EyeEm editing tools.

An animation showing the new EyeEm editing tools.

It brings a few professional-level editing tools to the masses by simplifying them for mobile use. It’s the kind of application that’s unlikely to ever explode with consumers — Instagram beat it to the mainstream — but with 10 million registered users it’s a crowd pleaser for those looking for a little more mobile photo editing control.

With the edit tool update, the company also introduced a feature called “Open Edit,” where you can inspect a posted photo to see what editing options the person used on it. That way you can copy someone’s editing choices (i.e. filter) as a bundle and apply it to any of your photos.

EyeEm's new Open Edit tool

EyeEm’s new Open Edit tool

EyeEm is essentially trying to professionalize mobile photography and mobile photo editing. It makes money through partnerships with companies like Getty, which buys stock images from EyeEm photographers who then share the returns with the photo app. “We use technology to make sure we’re capturing the highest resolution pictures the mobile camera allows,” Markus Spiering, Chief Product Officer (and former head of product at Flickr), told me.

Here are Instagram’s five new filters

For the first time in two years, the photo sharing company is introducing new filters. This is a big deal for users, who express themselves, their emotions and their most glorious selfies through the tinted lenses.

The new shades are called Slumber, Crema, Ludwig, Aden and Perpetua. Take a look below:

Screenshots of new Instagram filters

Screenshots of new Instagram filters

Along with the new colors, Instagram introduced a filter management tool. “We know that everyone has their favorite filters,” Instagram said in a blog post. “Tap [the Manage button] to re-arrange the order of your filters and hide the ones you rarely use.”

Users can also now preview a photo they’ve taken in multiple blurred filter thumbnails to make it easier to choose a lens.

Instagram's new management tools

Instagram’s new management tools

Filters are key to the Instagram experience. Arguably, they’re the reason Instagram overcame other social photo sharing applications on the market. For the power users, Christmas came early.

Twitter reveals new back-end photo storage system

As Twitter clearly works to prioritize photos on its service, having just rolled out a filter and editing service Monday, the company explained in a blog post Tuesday that it’s developed its own back-end storage system for photos, replacing its prior partner Photobucket beginning in September.

Prismatic gets $15M to build a recommendation engine for the world

Prismatic, a San Francisco-based startup that uses machine-learning algorithms to recommend news and other content to users based on their social activity, has raised a $15-million Series A round from a star-studded group of investors including Accel Partners and Russian investor Yuri Milner.

Crazy: Orange censors all blogs, not just GigaOM

After weeks of trying to find out why Orange mobile censored GigaOM for millions of mobile users in Britain, we finally have an answer: it’s because the company’s crude child protection blocks anything that looks like a blog by default.

Is Twitter popping the filter bubble or inflating it?

A Cornell professor argues that while Twitter’s “trending topics” algorithm may not be deliberately censoring topics, it is still distorting our view of the world, in the same way that other personalization tools do. But whose fault is that, and what should we do about it?

Twitter tiptoes further into the media business

Twitter describes itself as an information network rather than a media entity, but it is making some interesting moves into the content business, including hiring a sports producer to curate content and sending out a weekly email of highlighted content. How far will it go?

Why Facebook is (mostly) right about sharing

As is usually the case when Facebook adds new features, the rollout of its “frictionless sharing” has caused controversy because of privacy and oversharing issues. But more than anything, what Facebook’s changes illustrate is that we still need better filters for our growing signal-to-noise problem.

Children and streaming don’t always mix

If streaming content is the future then I need a filter for my daughter. I realized this a few months ago after I searched for the movie Ponyo on Netflix and for weeks afterward saw the movie Pornography appear in the search-results screen.