Facetune manufacturer Lightricks is now available with the new Filtertune app, which is intended to create a community around custom photo filters. The app lets creators create their own filters for preset photos and then share them on social media as photos with a special QR code. When others see a filter they like, they can scan it to import it back into the Filtertune app for their own use.
While it would be easier to create an in-app system for sharing filters – similar to Instagram's "Effects Gallery", for example – Lightricks' user base doesn't focus on a single app.
Instead, it offers an ever-growing suite of mobile photo and video editing apps, including the flagship Facetune and the sequel Facetune2, as well as Facetune Video, Enlight Quickshot, Photofox, Videoleap, Pixaloop, Boosted, Seen, PosterBoost, Artleap and Beatleap.
Overall, the collection of apps has had over 400 million downloads to date, but the number of active users is much lower. Lightricks announced this summer that its collection of apps had 200 million registered users. The paid subscribers had reached 3 million last year.
While those numbers and the growth of apps have helped turn Lightricks into a unicorn, Instagram provides access to a much larger community for photo sharing. For this reason, it makes sense for Filtertune to provide tools that allow users to leverage existing social media platforms to share their filters and discover new ones.
According to Lightricks, the idea for the app was actually inspired by social media trends, where online influencers posted "How I edit my photos" and offered their own fan presets to download or buy.
Filtertune, however, is not a marketplace for filters. It's just a tool to create, edit and share.
The app allows you to either edit an existing filter or create your own from scratch.
The app focuses on realistic photo editing and doesn't use overlays of digital assets to create new styles – like apps that swap the background, for example, or those that use AR.
When your filter is ready, tap the share button, which will add a banner to your photo that says “Get this filter” and includes download instructions and a QR code. Then save this picture on your iPhone camera roll and publish it anywhere – for example on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, in an email, in a messaging app or on your own website.
When others see the shared picture, they save it to their own camera roll by taking a screenshot.
The next time these users open the Filtertune app, it will look for new filters by looking for images with a QR code. If found, the new filters will be added to the in-app collection.
Users can then use Filter Tune to edit photos with one of the custom filters found on various social media.
It's interesting to see just how much Filtertune relies on Instagram to help drive discovery here. Even the “Discover” button in the app takes you straight to the hashtag #filtertune on Instagram when you tap it, instead of going to a separate section in the app where users can find new filters to try out.
"Filtertune is a natural evolution of our growing product experience. In doing so, Lightricks will continue to foster the online community, sharing and collaboration culture required by young artists, creators and anyone who enjoys social media," said Zeev Farbman , Co-Founder and CEO of Lightricks, in a statement on the launch of the new app.
Farbman also found that Lightricks' Facetune2 and Quickshot apps saw users increase by 30% and 35%, respectively, in 2020. The company told theinformationsuperhighway that Ligthtricks has seen an overall increase in monthly active users of 45% this year.
The new app can be downloaded for free on iOS.