Social media juggernaut Instagram announced earlier this week that it would be adding a brand new series of filters meant to further fool your friends and acquaintances into believing your life is a lot more notable than it actually is.
“Our users are some of the most loyal, status-obsessed individuals in the world,” said Instagram’s co-founder and CEO, Kevin Systrom, following the announcement. “We really wanted to reward that insecurity, while simultaneously feeding into their fears that they might not be as interesting as some of their friends.”
Beginning October 7, like a U2 album fluttering down from the heavens to shake your preconceptions about smartphone privacy, eight new filters will be automatically downloaded to all existing Instagram accounts.
Among them are: the ‘Michael Bay’ filter, which will add giant flames, fighting robots, and plenty of weak female characters to your photo; the ‘Amicus’ filter, which adds anywhere between one to seven friends, depending on the photo’s saturation levels; and the ‘Parent’ filter, which will automatically alter the photo to resemble someone your parents won’t be ashamed to call their son or daughter.
“One of the filters we’re most excited about is the ‘D-list’ filter,” Systrom continued. “By using Instagram’s global tracking system, we can determine which D-list celebrities live in your area and then insert them into the background of your photo, creating a completely fictional though entirely believable post that will have people thinking, ‘Wow, I can’t believe that person got a photo taken with Brandon Routh!’”
Response to the new lineup of filters has been relatively positive, with fans of giant fighting robots citing the “giant fighting robots” as a big draw while Brandon Routh is reportedly just happy to hear people still sometimes think about him, even if it’s in a demeaning, D-list capacity.
However, there has been some pushback from social critics, saying that the line of new filters might affect the way users view each other’s Instagram accounts.
“People love Instagram because it’s easy and predictable,” SFU sociologist Brenda Fraser told The Peak. “Did you know that 58 per cent of photos on Instagram are of food or beverages? Or that nine per cent are shots of an airplane wing from inside the cabin? This is the kind of predictable crap that users have grown accustomed to and love. If you start tampering with the filters, you’ll be creating a whole new sector of content and there’s no telling how people will react. Then again, it can’t be worse than the #aftersex trend earlier this year.”
In addition to the new filters, Instagram will also introduce a timer function that will allow users to delay and schedule posts for later, long after they’ve gone to bed.
Systrom explained: “Instead of staying out late and posting pictures of their friends having fun, this new function will let people schedule their posts for 1:00 a.m., giving the illusion that they’re not already curled up at home, falling asleep while reading Ender’s Game for the fifth time.
“We really think these new releases are going to change the way in which people use Instagram. Don’t feel like putting up with your friends or loved ones? Just take a photo of yourself and slap the ‘Amicus’ filter on. Don’t want people to think you’re staying at home on a Friday night? Delay the posting until 11:00 p.m. and then go to bed early. Users will finally be free from the social obligation of ever having to leave their house or talk to people again. You hear me? We’ll all be free. FREE!”
For those concerned about losing any existing filters, Instagram has assured users that the new additions won’t affect their old favourites and that the ‘Kelvin’ filter will still be very much be a part of the options, no matter how much you choose to ignore and hate it.