What is an Instagram filter? Definition?

An Instagram filter is a feature that allows you to project 2D/3D elements into a real environment through augmented reality. It is an effect that is added to your camera before taking a photo or video for your story. Instagram filters can also be used in the new format available on the app: Reels.

What is Augmented Reality?

Instagram Filters work through Augmented Reality. It is the fact of integrating virtual elements into the real world and this through different media. In this case for the Instagram filters it works with the mobile application Instagram and therefore on a smartphone. (IOS/Android).


Instagram Filter Types on the Application

Face Animation filters are augmented reality filters available on Instagram. The animations and effects are triggered by the user's facial movements.

Roulette Filters on Instagram are very trendy, messages or icons scroll across the screen until one is randomly displayed. Many brands are already using it!

3D Visualization allows you to virtually test a product on Instagram before purchasing it. To reassure customers, brands that sell online rely heavily on it.

Immersive Packaging filters are known on Instagram to showcase and highlight a product to users through image recognition or scanning a QR Code.

AR Game filters are highly appreciated on Instagram for their originality and playful interactions. Users particularly enjoy taking on challenges and participating in games.

Where to find Instagram Filters? Search?.

An Instagram filter can be found in various places within the application. In order to help you discover all the possibilities, we will present them to you one by one. Please note that there are 6 methods available for you to find these contents on the social network:

1. On the Instagram account profile

Each filter creator has a tab that lists all the filters they've created on their Instagram profile. So if you're looking for a filter on Instagram based on its creator, you can go straight to their profile and click on the tab with stars to find their Instagram filters.

find an instagram filter in gallery

2. In the Instagram effects gallery.

You can easily search for a filter on Instagram in the location where all the filters are grouped together.

  1. Simply act as if you were going to take a selfie.
  2. Then, click once on the screen to see a toolbar appear at the bottom of the screen with the filter bubbles.
  3. Swipe all the way to the right.
  4. Click on the "magnifying glass" icon.
  5. Enter the name of the filter in the search bar.
  6. Click on the desired filter.
  7. Click on "Try".
  8. You can now test and share the filter as you wish!
add a filter on Instagram

3. With the Instagram camera

You can simply find the Instagram filters in your camera. However, it should be noted that if you search for a particular filter not previously used, it will not be offered. It is therefore better to use this technique to search for a trendy Instagram filter or "go on an adventure" of what Instagram offers. To do this:
  • Open your camera space
  • Press the screen once
  • A banner with different bubbles representing each of the filters appeared
  • Make your choice!
add instagram filter step 3

4. Effect links

Recently, Instagram offered its users the possibility to share the effects links. A much anticipated feature because of its ease of sharing and high potential. Thanks to this feature, all you have to do is : As a sender :
  • Press the name of the effect and click on the icon: "More".
  • And "Share the effect link".
  • Finally, you need to decide how you want to transfer
As a receiver, it is very simple!
  • Click on the link received
  • You will be automatically redirected to the effect

5. In an Instagram story

When viewing a story with an effect, the identity of the Instagram filter appears under the name of the account that posted it. Simply click on the filter's identity and choose the "Try" or "Save" option that appears.

Sometimes a "swipe up" is used to redirect more easily to the filter. In this case you will simply have to slide your finger from the bottom to the top of the screen.

6. Thanks to a Reel

The effects can be used in real content. To find an Instagram filter seen in a real, simply follow the procedure below:
  • Click on the Instagram effect visible when you go to the reel: stars icon (see images below)
  • Visit the profile of the effect, you can see all the Reels made with
  • Click on "Use effect" at the bottom of the screen

Top 3 best Instagram filters of the month

The sad Instagram filter

This Instagram filter quickly became popular as it transforms the person's facial expression and makes them look sad. The sad filter can be used to create humorous Reels.

The Instagram cartoon filter

Originally, the cartoon filter comes from a highly popular Snapchat Lens. Later on, Instagram filter creators tried to replicate the same effect. You can find several of them in the Instagram filter gallery.

The colored hair filter

Ever wondered how you would look with a different hair color? With Instagram filters for colored hair, you can try out various shades and colors. It's a great way to experiment before heading to the hair salon and potentially regretting the color!

How to create an Instagram filter?

Creating an Instagram filter is possible with the Meta Spark Studio software, which is specifically designed for Instagram filters. This augmented reality software resembles a 3D creation software and requires some knowledge and skills to operate, but allows for the creation of various types of filters.

Step 1

Before starting to use the software, you need to create the elements you want to integrate into your effect. These elements can be images, videos, GIFs, or 3D objects. For your images and visuals, you can use Illustrator and Canva, and for your 3D elements, you can use Blender.

Step 2

On Meta Spark Studio, you can create an Instagram filter using various types of patches that allow you to create triggers, animations, and interactions for your 2D and 3D elements in your filter. These patches can be connected together to make your Instagram filter dynamic and lively.

Step 3

When you are satisfied with your Instagram filter, you can proceed to the final step: publishing your Instagram effect. To do this, you need to go to Meta Spark Hub, which is the platform for managing Instagram filters. You will need to complete the description sheet for your effect and import the file of your filter. An Instagram moderator will then review and approve the publication of the effect based on the criteria and compliance with Meta's (formerly Facebook) policies.
To learn more, we have created a detailed tutorial on creating Instagram filters.

Why are Instagram filters an advantage for brands?

Instagram filters have become highly popular and relevant content among the Instagram community. They allow you to easily reach your target audience by offering engaging digital content that stands out. Moreover, integrating an Instagram filter into your digital communication strategy enables you to quickly address various marketing objectives with highly satisfying return on investment. For instance, Instagram filters can be effective tools to increase audience and visibility, enhance brand image and reputation, or boost conversion rates. Additionally, social media filters serve as relevant alternatives to traditional marketing, delivering superior returns on investment.

Why choose our agency specialized in Instagram filters?

Our agency specializes in creating Instagram filters and accompanies you from start to finish in your wildest projects! The expertise of our teams and the project management conducted ensure the delivery of high-quality projects. With over 700 filters created since the establishment of our agency, Instagram filters hold no secrets for our developers.

Price of an Instagram filter? How much?

The price of an Instagram filter depends on several variables and factors that need to be considered when creating your quote. It is indeed very difficult to provide the exact price of an Instagram filter right from the beginning when the filter's characteristics have not yet been specified. We can only give you a price range, which is often quite broad. To guide you in your budget considerations, here is a list of variables and factors to take into account.

Creating assets and illustrations to be integrated into the Instagram filter.

The price of an Instagram filter will depend on the content you wish to integrate into it. Indeed, some clients have already created their own assets and elements (2D and 3D), while others do not have custom assets to provide us with. For the latter situation, an additional cost for asset creation will be included in the price of the Instagram filter. Creating assets is important to offer an Instagram filter that aligns with your digital strategy, brand image, and target audience. This price range can vary between $100 and $10,000 , depending on the type of assets to be created (3D, art, videos, copyrights, etc.).

Integrating and optimizing the assets in the Instagram filter.

The second factor that can affect the price of an Instagram filter is the difficulty of integration and optimization of elements within the Instagram filter creation software. Indeed, depending on the type of graphic elements to be integrated, optimization is crucial to achieve an optimal and high-quality result. Additionally, there are various tracking features within this software that need to be configured to ensure a smooth process in creating the Instagram filter. This factor can therefore impact the price of an Instagram filter, ranging from $200 to $7,000.

Designing and organizing the interactions of the Instagram filter.

Interactions in an Instagram filter are crucial to make it dynamic and seamless. This allows users to trigger various actions through interactions to activate a predefined scenario. For example, in an AR game, multiple interactions are possible, each triggering different scenarios.

Interactions can affect the price of an Instagram filter and depend on their complexity. It is very difficult to provide a price range for this factor as it depends on the characteristics of the interactions.

Considering other variables for an Instagram filter.

Two other variables are important to know in order to understand our pricing structure for an Instagram filter:
  • Production times : In every communications agency, the production schedule is important. Teams have defined and optimised schedules to publish each filter on time. So, if a project deadline is very short, the schedule of the teams involved will have to be modified and reorganised to create the filter in time.
  • Project management: A retro-planning is carried out for each project in order to manage production times and feedback loops. In addition, specifications are defined and detailed beforehand to ensure that the concept of the Instagram filter is well understood. This same specification allows us to know the client's request before production so as not to increase the price during creation.

Promoting your Instagram filter? How?

There are two ways to promote your Instagram effect: organic promotion and paid promotion. Organic promotion allows you to naturally promote your filter, while paid promotion involves using paid content to highlight the Instagram filter and reach your target audience.

Promoting your filter organically

  • Create a social media campaign (regularly posting stories, posts, Reels) around the Instagram filter
  • Organize a contest (to participate, users have to post a photo or video with the filter)
  • Print QR codes (display the QR code in your stores, on brochures, etc.)

Promote your filter through paid methods

  • Run an influencer campaign (the influencer posts a story using the Instagram filter)
  • Sponsor your Instagram filter using the "Immersive Experience" feature (in posts, stories, and Reels). This allows you to easily distribute your digital content.

Instagram filters statistics? Engagement?

Instagram filters also have KPIs that allow for analyzing their performance. There are two groups of insights: engagement data and demographic data.

Engagement insights:

  • Impressions: Number of times your Instagram filter has been viewed/displayed on screens (Story, Reel, Post)
  • Uses: Number of times your Instagram effect has been opened and used for a few seconds
  • Opens: Number of times your filter has been opened in the Instagram camera
  • Captures: Number of times users have used the effect and captured a video or photo with the filter
  • Shares: Number of shares of a photo and/or video with the Instagram effect in a story or via direct message
  • Average open duration: Average duration of opening the Instagram filter

Demographic Insights :

This data is based on information recorded during the creation of your Instagram and Facebook account.
  • Gender
  • Age range
  • Countries (Top 5 countries where Instagram filter usage was highest)
  • Cities (Top 5 cities where filter use was highest)
  • Languages (Top 5 languages of your filter audience)

Publish an Instagram filter? How?

Publishing an Instagram filter can be done through the Meta Spark software or through the Instagram filter management platform, Meta Spark Hub. In this tutorial, we will be using the second option as it is easier to follow. Before starting the first step, please make sure that your Instagram and Facebook accounts are properly linked and are business accounts.
how to publish your Instagram filter - step 1

Step 1:

Go to Meta Spark Hub and click on "Manage Effect" in the top right corner. Then, log in with your Facebook account. This platform is accessible on both mobile and computer, but we recommend using a computer for easier publishing of your Instagram filter.
publish your Instagram filter - step 2

Step 2:

Once you are logged in, the homepage will appear. Click on "Publish" in the top right corner of the screen, then select "Effect" and click on "Continue".

Step 3:

Fill in the necessary information. Here are the important terms that you need to fill in correctly.


This is the name of your effect that will appear publicly when users see or search for your filter on Instagram.
  • The name of the effect must be 20 characters long (including spaces).
  • The name of the effect must not include your account name and must be the same as another Instagram filter published on your account
  • It is best to give a name related to your filter
  • The name can be changed after the filter is published


Keywords are terms that characterize your filter. They allow users to find an Instagram filter based on a theme.
  • Minimum 8 keywords
  • Use words that represent elements of your Instagram filter
  • You can compose keywords with several words in them

Thumbnail :

It's the thumbnail (icon) that represents your Instagram filter. It is visible in the record button of your stories and in the effects gallery. This thumbnail is a visual that should attract the curiosity of users.
  • The format must be 400x400px
  • Don't put too much detail as the sticker is small
  • Use brightly coloured images and icons to attract the eye
  • Create a thumbnail that can help users understand the mechanism of your Instagram filter

Demo Video

The demo video is a short video of your effect. It is used to show how the Instagram filter works to users. Additionally, it helps moderators analyze your filter and determine if it complies with all the rules of the Instagram social network.
  • The video must be no longer than 15 seconds
  • Its format must be vertical and with a 9:16 ratio
  • The video should show the whole mechanism of your Instagram filter
  • The demonstration video will be public: smile 🙂

Step 4:

Once all the information has been completed, you can click on "Submit" to publish your Instagram filter. From that point on, a moderator will analyze your filter and all the information to approve (or not) the publication of your Instagram filter.

Instagram filter regulations? Policies?

Instagram filters are content just like any other on the social network and therefore must adhere to the same rules. Here is an overview of the aspects to comply with for your filter to be published on Instagram.

Filter content:

Instagram filters must be created using images, videos, or code written by the user. Filters must not include violent, hateful, sexual content, or promote illegal products.

Intellectual property:

Filters must not use trademarks, logos, celebrity names, or other protected elements unless you have obtained prior written permission from the rights owners.

Respect for the community:

Instagram filters must not contain discriminatory, racist, sexist, homophobic, or any other statements that could offend a community or group of people.

Technical aspect:

Instagram filters must be created using the Spark AR Studio platform provided by Instagram. Filters should be tested and verified before publication to ensure they function properly and that the file size does not exceed 4MB.
It is important to note that Instagram's rules and policies may change over time. Therefore, it is recommended to regularly consult the official documentation of the social media platform here to ensure that your filters comply with the current rules.


Instagram filters may not work for various reasons, including poor internet connection, app update issues, or compatibility problems with your phone. Make sure your app is up to date and your internet connection is stable to troubleshoot Instagram filter issues.

Choosing an Instagram filter depends on your preferences and the effect you want to give to your photo or video. There are a variety of Instagram filters available for different styles and moods. All you have to do is search for a filter on Instagram and try out several to see which one works best for your photo or video.

Yes, Instagram filters are free. The Instagram app offers a wide variety of free filters that you can use to enhance your photos and videos.

Instagram filters can only be used within the Instagram application. You cannot use them outside of the Instagram app. However, you can still apply an Instagram filter within the app and then save the video or photo.

No, Instagram filters cannot be used on animals. The technology in the Instagram app is not yet advanced enough for that, unlike Snapchat and TikTok, where some filters can be applied to animals.

You can put a filter on a photo you've already taken by using the "Import" function in the Instagram application and then clicking on the little star icon at the top right of the screen. However, putting a filter on a photo is limited in terms of the number of filters available, so it's best to use an Instagram filter directly when you take the photo or video.

Yes, some Instagram filters can be used for two people at the same time. Simply select the filter and take a selfie photo with both people in the frame. However, not all filters are designed for this purpose.