Since 2020, a new marketing tool has appeared: the Instagram filters.

More and more brands are using this type of visual to communicate on their accounts. However, for some people, the usefulness of Instagram filters is still a bit unclear, which is why we're sharing our guide to everything you need to know about filters. We'll talk about its characteristics, its typology and its advantages for your communication, then the do's and dont's of creating a filter.


The characteristics of an Instagram filter: definition, vocabulary, typology

By definition, an Instagram filter represents a story creation model, changing not only the appearance of an image, but also the effect it has on the user viewing it. Through these filters, the user can also embed a brand's content with a message, visuals or a link connecting the brand's Instagram account and the filter created.

In order to know if your filter is used or not, several insights are available to measure the effectiveness of your effect. Here are the explanations of these different notions:

  • Impressions: this measures the total number of times the effect appeared
  • Openings: refers to the number of times the effect has been used
  • Captures: used to find out how many times the effect has been recorded
  • Shares: determines how many times the effect has been shared


It is from the print data that the filter can be categorised and an analysis of its effectiveness can be made. Therefore, the effects can be divided into 3 categories:

  • effects that did not take off too much have an average of 5,000 impressions 
  • effects that have appeared about 50,000 times but only take off through promotional activity
  • effects with an impression of more than 50 thousand impressions are categorised as viral effects.


We can therefore see that the aim of a filter is to reach 50 thousand impressions. To achieve this, it is important to note that it is normally the virality of the filter that makes it strong.

However, we can also see that filters can be classified according to their typology. Indeed, each filter is unique and corresponds to a particular functioning:

  • Face tracker effects: characterised by camera effects that focus on the user and their content with effects on their face or around them
  • More sophisticated effects based on image recognition: defined by a camera placing an object on a flat surface, for example, and therefore requiring special working conditions (normal lighting, uniform surface without glare)
  • Games: an attractive system allowing the brand to create an interactive link with the user. However, it should be noted that some platforms are less suitable for this type of filter. This is notably the case of Instagram, which is a social network more suited to selfie filters with shorter content.
  • 3D effects: allowing the visualization of a brand's products in augmented reality or immersive visits for more cultural places. This type of filter is used more for the promotion of a product in order to give the buyer the possibility of trying out and then configuring a product before buying it

The advantages of Instagram filters for your digital communication

Thanks to the many possibilities, filters are real assets to adopt in your communication. Indeed, they allow you to :

  • Generate personalised content by defining your own style and brand image. Indeed, a filter that includes your colours, your slogan, or your logo will be easier to identify by your community and your targets through these visual clues. Also note that this type of filter is more used to feed the brand's Instagram account since it has many branding elements, that's why this kind of filter is not very viral, unless one of your users wants to show his belonging to your community.  
  • Generate profile views to target new customers. Therefore, if you offer a filter that appeals to as many people as possible, this will lead to new users discovering your brand, subscribing to your Instagram account and thus gaining visibility.
  • Create a digital branded content strategy with a competition featuring promotional wins or a prize to be won. This will allow you to improve your e-reputation with a relevant return on investment.

So we can say that Instagram filters are a very specific tool to generate and activate a new audience. But above all it can help you to stand out from your competitors with a digital marketing strategy that will allow you to build a loyal community.


Mistakes not to be made when creating a filter :

However, in order to take advantage of this tool, it is important to list the mistakes that should not be made. 

Indeed, the Instagram filters that are unlikely to gain notoriety are mainly due to design errors highlighting : 

  • An overly intrusive and omnipresent brand: despite the fact that filters represent a strong advertising tool working on the principle of personalization, one must nevertheless remain vigilant on the way it should be done, by proposing for example something more discreet
  • A sloppy technique: creating a filter requires a certain amount of knowledge, which it is important to master in order to avoid any kind of bug. It is therefore important that it works properly so as not to compromise the brand's image. 
  • Too much creativity: with so many filters on social networks, it is necessary to do something creative to stand out from the rest. But you should always put yourself in the shoes of the audience so as not to risk doing something too thoughtful   
  • Complex mechanics understandable to a limited audience 

The elements for creating a viral filter :

On the other hand, when this tool is well used, it can create a real virality around your community and thus become a real asset for your communication strategy. Here are the main elements to make a filter viral and usable by all.

According to the definition above, it is obvious that filters are used by the general public. Therefore, when a brand wants to create a filter, it must think about the fact that the filter must be appreciated by its audience and respond to the characteristics of its target. Instagram filters are levers for an engaging content strategy.

We give you some criteria contributing to this virality: 

  • It should make the user more attractive, so the user will get feedback from his followers on his appearance and image
  • It should make the user smile, which will allow them to showcase their sense of humour and make their audience laugh
  • It should impact on the user's feeling about his image, by using the filter the user should feel better. He can for example identify himself with a group or express his support for a current topic.
  • It can also give the user the opportunity to play, get busy or win a prize through a filter
  • It should help the user to feel nostalgic
  • It should help the user to feel creative with content that reflects their image and is synonymous with novelty
  • It must allow the user to be part of the current trend 

In short, the user will make a filter go viral, if it makes them feel better, builds their confidence and attracts the attention of their community.



Creating a filter for your brand's Instagram account can therefore be a real plus to exploit in your communication strategy on social networks. However, it must be used intelligently and thoughtfully by the community management team. 

Whether the filter created is a modification of the colourimetry of the image or whether it is made in augmented reality, it is important to define a feasible digital strategy, to reconcile the expectations of your community and the quality of the rendering. A filter is appreciated, used and disseminated only when it pleases your audience. The advantages that can be listed are: the loyalty of your community, a better conversion rate for target prospects on Instagram.

However, this tool is still being developed and new features are regularly added to optimise the filter creation software : Spark AR