Whether it’s documenting a fun trip, or simply sharing a selfie with friends, people love to capture their lives through their smartphones’ eyes. Adding special effects to these photos is an easy way to make them extra fun, and face filters are one of the most popular ways to do that.
There are several types of face filters available in the app store, with many being based on augmented reality technology that allows you to add digital elements to your real world photo or video. Some filters are simply a way to alter your skin color or eye color, while others allow you to change the shape of your mouth and other facial features.
Instagram’s parent company, Meta, has tried to limit the use of face-altering effects on its platform, though some can still be found. According to a report by the Wall Street Journal, some of these effects have been linked to “detrimental psychological impacts” for users, including lowered self-esteem and body image issues.
Facebook, meanwhile, is trying to address the problem through an initiative called Spark AR. This open-source tool allows creators to create filters that incorporate augmented reality effects, such as distortion and face reshaping.
Some of these filters mimic the “Kardashian ideal” of big cat eyes, plump lips, high cheekbones, and small noses – but it’s not always possible to achieve that look with real life photos. In fact, the infamous Khloe Kardashian was caught using a face filter that completely changed her natural face for an Instagram post.
These Instagram and TikTok face filters have also been linked to the worsening of body image issues for young women. A recent study from the University of West England’s Centre of Appearance Research found that 60% of teen girls who used Instagram and TikTok had felt bad about their bodies when they were not able to attain the “perfect” results they saw online.
In an effort to counter this trend, a number of companies are now embracing realness and diversity in their advertising. For example, The Body Shop has launched a campaign called the ‘Global Self Love Movement,’ which encourages customers to upload images that are unedited and more relatable to a range of people.
Aerie, the intimates brand, has also embraced diversity and unfiltered images in its ads. The company recently launched a hashtag #AerieREAL to promote its commitment to realness and inclusiveness.
Snapchat, a popular social media platform, has also started offering face filters that can alter a user’s appearance. These filters enable users to switch up their image with a few taps, giving them a new way to send snaps to their friends during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The use of face filters has become a social norm for people, especially teens and adults, to express themselves online. It has also become an important way for brands to connect with consumers in a more personalized manner, and is increasingly being used by millennials to share their interests and personality. face filters