Instagram for feature phones? Facebook adds simple photo filter options to mobile app

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By Brittany Darwell Comments

Feature phone users can now apply simple filters and borders to their mobile photos using the “Facebook For Every Phone” app, according to a post by the company.

Facebook offers the option to make photos sepia or black and white by clicking the “effects” button on the photo edit screen. This lets users without smartphones post photos similar to the popular Instagram style. Facebook acquired Instagram in April, but no one from the Instagram team was involved with the new Facebook For Every Phone feature. According to a spokesperson, it was made by one engineer during a Hackathon event.

The social network has released several updates for its Facebook For Every Phone app recently, striving to bring smartphone-like capabilities to more than 3,600 different Java-enabled feature phones. Last month, Facebook updated the app to allow users to interact with pages and check into locations. These are key features to increase engagement among feature phone users, particularly in growing markets like India and Africa, where many users never access the desktop version of the site. According to a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, about 83 million monthly active users accessed Facebook solely through mobile apps or m.facebook.com in March.

Facebook has not provided usage numbers for its feature phone app, but the fan page for the app has more than 82 million Likes. Users are given the option to Like the Facebook For Every Phone page when they first log-in using the app, though other users can Like the page even if they don’t use the app. The page has quickly grown to become the most popular page on Facebook since the its launch on Jan. 20. According to our PageData service, the page has more than 16 million more Likes than the second most popular page on the site, which happens to be the general Facebook fan page.