Instagram has an early Christmas gift to its over 300 million active users in the form of five new filters that are included in the app's next update.
Upon Instagram's launch back in October 2010, the filters that the app came with were designed with the purpose of giving users a greater scope when they edit the lower-quality pictures that they take with their smartphones.
However, that is no longer the case. After four years since Instagram's release, the cameras that come with smartphones have become much more advanced.
As such, the new filters of Instagram are not designed to mask the lower quality of the images, but rather do the opposite and take advantage of the higher quality of pictures being taken by smartphone cameras.
The first new filter is Slumber. The filter adds haze to the picture and desaturates it for a retro dreamy look that emphasizes blues and blacks.
The second new filter is Crema. The filter, as suggested by its name, adds a look of creaminess to the picture.
The third new filter is Ludwig. The filter is a minimalist one that adds only a bit of desaturation to the picture and enhances the light. According to Instagram, the filter is named as such to Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, the architect that made famous the mantra of "less is more" that minimalists follow. The filter works especially well with photos of geometric shapes, architecture and portraits.
The fourth new filter is Perpetua. The filter adds a natural blue-green look to the picture, as inspired by Oregon's Cape Perpetua.
The fifth and final new filter is Aden. The filter is best used with portraits, and adds a pastel look to pictures.
In addition to the new filters, users can now also personalize the filter options that appear underneath images. Users can add, remove and rearrange the filters depending on their preference.
The update also includes a new perspective tool, which allows users to adjust the vertical and horizontal planes of a picture. Users are now also allowed to upload videos in slow motion, and will now also be able to see comments in real time.
Instagram for iOS version 6.4.0 is now available on the Apple App Store, while Instagram for Android version 6.12.0 is now available on Google Play.
In a post on the official blog of the company, Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom revealed last week that the app has reached the milestone of 300 million active users per month.