Facetune creator Lightricks came out today with a new app, Filtertune, designed to build a community around custom photo filters. With the app, creators can create their own custom preset photo filters, then share them on social media as a photo with a special QR code attached. When others see a filter they like, they can take a screenshot of it to import it back into the Filtertune app for their own use.
While it would be easier to create some sort of in-app system for sharing filters, similar to Instagram’s “Effects Gallery,” for example, Lightricks’s user base isn’t concentrated in a single app.
Instead, it offers an ever-expanding suite of mobile video and photo editing apps, including Facetune and flagship sequel, Facetune2, as well as Facetune Video, Enlight Quickshot, Photofox, Videoleap, Pixaloop, Boosted, Seen, PosterBoost, Artleap, and Beatleap.
Together, its collection of apps has seen over 400 million downloads to date, but its active user numbers are much smaller. Lightricks this summer claimed its app collection had 200 million registered users. Paid subscribers hit 3 million last year.
While these numbers and the growth of apps have helped turn Lightricks into a unicorn, Instagram offers access to a much larger photo sharing community. That’s why it makes sense for Filtertune to provide tools that allow users to tap into existing social media platforms to share their filters and discover new ones.
In fact, Lightricks says the app idea was actually prompted by social media trends where online influencers posted “How I Edit My Photos” and offered their presets for fans to download or purchase.
Filtertune, however, is not a market for filters. It is just a tool for creating, editing and sharing.
Using the app, you can edit an existing filter or create your own from scratch.
The app focuses on realistic photo editing, not using digital asset overlays to create new styles, like apps that change the background, for example, or those that use AR.
When the filter is complete, tap the share button which adds a banner to your photo that says “Get this filter” and offers download instructions along with a QR code. So you save this image to your iPhone’s camera roll, then post it wherever you want, like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, in an email, in a messaging app or on your website.
When others see the shared image, they save it to their Camera Roll by taking a screenshot.
The next time these users open the Filtertune app, it will search for new filters by searching for images with a QR code. When it finds them, the new filters will be added to the in-app collection.
Users can then use Filtertune to edit photos with any of the custom filters detected by social media.
It’s interesting to see how much Filtertune leans on Instagram to drive the discovery here. Even the “Discover” button in the app, when tapped, takes you directly to the #filtertune hashtag on Instagram, instead of a dedicated section within your app where users can find new filters to try.
“Filtertune represents a natural evolution of our growing product experiences, and with it, Lightricks will continue to foster a culture of online community, sharing and collaboration needed for young artists, creators and anyone who loves social media,” said Zeev Farbman , co-founder and CEO of Lightricks, in a statement on the launch of the new app.
Farbman also noted that Lightricks’ Facetune2 and Quickshot apps saw a 30% increase and a 35% increase in users in 2020, respectively. The company also told ProWellTech that Ligthtricks, overall, has seen a 45% increase in monthly active users this year.
The new app is free to download on iOS.