Facebook quietly adds photo filters to its iOS app

6 Nov 2012

Facebook version 5.1 for iOS may not be shouting from the rooftops that it has added photo filters for images, but they’re there – and not as Instagram-like as you might be expecting.

The updated app lists a few new features in its ‘What’s New’ section in the App Store, but for some reason Facebook has decided to keep the photo filters quiet. On first seeing that Facebook had in fact added photo filters to the app (via TechCrunch’s Josh Constine), my thoughts immediately went to Instagram.

However, the filters added to the Facebook app aren’t Amaro, Toaster, X-Pro or any of their Instagram kin, but rather they are the filters that come with Facebook Camera, a stand-alone camera app Facebook launched for iOS in May.

Future Human

To access the filters, users simply need to go to upload an image and tap a ‘magic wand’ icon. This brings up tools to add filters and crop or rotate an image.

Facebook 5.1 for iOS - photo filters Facebook 5.1 for iOS - photo filtersDinger the cat models the new Facebook photo filters

According to the New York Times Bits blog, Twitter is also planning to add photo filtering to apps – but it seems Facebook has beaten the microblogging service to the punch.

Other new features

Facebook users on iOS can now also upload multiple photos at once – something that is also available via the Camera app. In deciding to integrate these features into the primary app, it begs the question of whether a separate app is still needed.

The update also brings the enhanced messaging features introduced for Android in September to iOS, including the ability to swipe left on the screen to bring up a list of who on your friends list is available to chat, with those you chat to most appearing at the top of the list.

Facebook is also increasing the reach of its new Gifts service with iOS users in the US now able to buy as well as receive gifts.

Elaine Burke is the editor of Silicon Republic