Facebook Leapfrogs Twitter, Adds Instagram-Style Photo Filters To iOS Apps First

Yesterday we wrote about a rumour in the New York Times that proposed that Twitter is soon going to add photo filters to its platform to allow it to compete with Instagram, the photo-sharing social network that was acquired by Facebook back in April. The Times suggested that Twitter was finally learning a lesson from Facebook; namely, “if you can’t buy it, build it”.

Well, it appears Facebook might have learned a lesson of its own, too, as the tipoff from the Times has led to them rushing out an update to their official Facebook apps on the iPhone and iPad, and, while it wasn’t mentioned in the release notes, it’s the camera functionality that has seen the biggest change.

Specifically: it now has Instagram-style photo filters.

I guess Facebook’s lesson is that it’s “better to be the first than the best”, but we’ll have to wait and see what Twitter unveils before making our conclusions about that. In the meantime, Facebook’s iOS update (version 5.1) is available now and includes 14 new photo filters which you can access via the magic wand icon. I’ve included some examples below.

There’s no release date as of yet for Twitter’s photo filters, but we should know soon enough whether Facebook’s quick release is going to lead to a lot of egg on face, and with whom.

(Original Facebook photo image courtesy of iPhone 5 Wallpapers.)