Instagram filters should be an important part of your IG marketing strategy. Filters are a great way to spice up the photos you’re posting and help your feed look cohesive.

The best part? Filters are quick and easy to use.

Thanks to Instagram filters, you don’t need to spend hours editing your photos. Here’s how to use Instagram filters on your account and six of the most popular options you should be using right now.

Key Takeaways: Understanding Instagram Filter

  • Instagram Filters Overview: Enhancements for your photos, promoting visual attractiveness.
  • Accessing Filters: Available for both posts and Stories; for posts, select after choosing a photo; for Stories, swipe right.
  • Popular Filters for Engagement: Including 90stethic for sparkle in Stories, Juno for warm tones in posts, and Sierra for a vintage look.
  • Custom Filters: Create your brand’s unique AR filters using Spark AR Studio to boost engagement and brand awareness.

What Is An Instagram Filter?

Instagram filters are overlays you can put on your photos to help the images appear more visually attractive. These filters can save you time and money as you seek to create a cohesive theme that highlights your brand. Some filters, like the classic Clarendon or X-Pro II, have been around as long as the app itself (Instagram launched in 2010).

Others — including most of the currently trending Instagram Story filters — are newer. Instagram has continued adding more filters and photo editing features over time as the app has evolved and become more visually sophisticated. Now, you don’t even have to leave the app to create attractive photos that will get more engagement.

How to Find and Use Instagram Filters

You can use Instagram filters for both the photos you post on your feed and for Instagram Stories. Here’s how to access and use those filters.

Instagram Posts

To use Instagram filters for posts on your feed, start by tapping the + sign at the top of your home feed to create a post like you normally would. Select a photo and tap “next.” There, you’ll be able to choose your favorite filter from a list of 23 different options.

using a filter on instagram

Once you’ve tapped on the filter you want to use, you can further edit the image if desired, adjusting things like the exposure and contrast. Then tap “next” again to add a caption and post your image. If you want to schedule your Instagram posts in advance, then you can still add the filter and save the image, no problem.

Instagram Stories

Find a filter for Instagram Stories by opening Stories and swiping to the right of the shutter button. There, you can select an effect and snap your photo.

You can also upload a photo you’ve already taken and add an effect on top. To do this, tap the sparkle emoji at the top of the screen after uploading an image to Stories. Then swipe through the effects to preview each one and choose your favorite.

adding an effect to a photo

Using popular Instagram filters might help your photos get more engagement as people recognize the trendy filters and your images match the popular aesthetic. Here are six popular filters you can incorporate into your Instagram marketing strategy right now to get better results.


Add a little sparkle with the Instagram Story filter 90stethic (created by user @demiandrou). This filter adds a silvery overlay to your photo and drops in a few sparkles at key locations. It’s a fun way to grab your followers’ attention as they’re scrolling through Instagram Stories.

Instagram Story filter 90stethic


Juno is a well-known Instagram filter used for in-feed posts. While it’s been around for a while, it’s still relevant and can play a helpful role in your Instagram strategy! We recommend using Juno for photos that have warm color tones. This Instagram filter is a great way to further bring out those tones.

Juno Instagram filter


Give your next Instagram Story a little pizzazz with the Starburst filter (created by Instagram). This filter radiates beams of light, providing the perfect way to showcase a new product or other item in the center of the image.

Starburst Instagram filter


The Sierra filter is a great fit for in-feed posts that are landscapes or images of objects (this filter tends to wash out skin tones, so it’s not recommended for use with photos of peoples’ faces). Instagram’s Sierra filter helps photos look vintage, but it’s a more subtle option than some other Instagram filters — allowing your feed to have a soft, bright look. If you use Instagram for food, Sierra might be the perfect filter for you.

Sierra Instagram filter

Now 2.0

Now 2.0 is an Instagram Story filter designed by user @filipearantes. The filter shows the day of the week and the time of day in white script on the screen. It’s especially popular among influencers — the perfect fit for that snap of your morning coffee or afternoon workout.

Now 2.0 filter


We couldn’t wrap up this article without adding a classic black-and-white filter into the mix. If you’re feeling the monochrome vibes, use the Inkwell filter for a photo in your Instagram feed. This filter is simple and classy — it will work well for virtually any photo you have to post.

Inkwell Instagram filter

How To Create Your Own Filter

Don’t see a filter you like, or just want to exercise a little creativity?

You can create your own Instagram filter, too! Instagram allows users to design their own AR filters, which are augmented reality filters adding digital effects (like a pair of cat ears) to an image.

Creating a custom filter for your brand will help increase engagement and brand awareness as other Instagram users use your filter.

Get started by downloading Spark AR Studio, a program that lets you design filters for the Facebook family of apps. You can work off of one of the premade templates or create your own filter from scratch.

If you get stuck, Spark has tutorials that can help get you over any bumps in the road.

When your filter is done, Spark will review it to make sure it adheres to all guidelines. Then your filter will be available for use on Instagram Stories. Creating your own Instagram filter is a fun way to boost your brand awareness.

Succeed With Instagram Filters

Instagram filters have a lot of benefits for your brand. They help increase engagement while simultaneously saving you money and time. Plus, they’re a whole lot of fun! Use these fun filters as a way to get some serious engagement and brand awareness for your biz.