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Photo filtering apps have been a huge hit these past few years. Apps like Instagram and Snapchat help us add filters on your pictures to take artsy photos and videos. And they also allow us to take stunning selfies! 

The Advertising Standard Agency in the UK is hunting down social media influencers that are inflating the effects of the products they’re endorsing. Some influencer’s photos are heavily filtered so that they no longer honestly represent the products. But it’s not just influencers that should be careful when playing around with photo filters. 

Filtering Your Way To Happiness

Everyone in every business wants to look like they have a perfect life. No one seems to be happy with themselves for the way they really are.

Everyone is posing and using photo filters to make themselves look better than they are. This is undoubtedly affecting their products’ success by leading people to believe that the changes you are making could be worth more than they are. 

Making your products look better with photo filters is a design trend we’ve seen in the last couple of years. The most well-known example is from the fast-fashion retailer Zara. Zara is mostly known for copying designs from more expensive fashion brands like Alexander Wang, Balenciaga and Dior. However, they also use photo filters to boost the visual appeal of their products.

You have seen them repeatedly: a photo on a social media site with a beautiful bright sunset or a tremendous blue sky in the background. With this picture, usually comes the caption “Nothing but our product makes me look like this!” But do these photos really make your skin look that smooth? It’s hard to say, but they are not giving the whole story of their amazing new skin. 

Inflating your products’ effects using photo filters is against the spirit of an honest representation of your product.

The visual magic we offer can be a strong way to connect with customers and provoke genuine connections, but it needs to be done in a way that is honest and transparent.

In the world of online marketing, landing pages, and social media it is often criticized that people are using photo filters on their photos that either enhance the effect of their product or even worse they mask flaws with filters.

Photo Filters are the new false advertising

While photo filters can improve your photos, they can also be used to hide problems. One particular site was accused of doing this with a tanning paste called Vani-T. Some have said they have no idea why Vani-T’s product page uses photo editing effects other than aesthetic purposes. 

There’s one product that always looks better with a good filter – makeup! When you post those photos to Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, people think you look like a bombshell. That’s why it becomes so easy for you to believe that your product really does work. 

Enlarging Pores.

Diminishing wrinkles.

Adding definition to your cheekbones.

Maybe I took the Instagram filters a bit far with this selfie??

No matter what the goal, photo filters are a temptation for many of us. This is because they work seemingly well on our selfies and Instagram photos. But don’t let Instagram blind you! 

A couple of days ago, I was looking on Pinterest for some inspiration when I stumbled upon this well-known makeup brand. If you zoom in on the picture and look closely at the skin’s smoothness, it seems completely unedited. But if you go zoom out, suddenly all these smoky colours appear on the skin – that’s the filter. What made me look twice at this picture is that this brand has a couple of celebrity endorsements that could have paid them thousands of dollars. 

Instagram Filters Could Be Ruining Your Product Sales

If you have a product that users are snapping photos off and sharing online, it is pointless to have them post images to your Instagram or Snapchat account that appears unrealistic and fake. This will only cause your users to view these social media accounts with scepticism and may lead them to decide against buying anything from you. 

Whether you agree with the marketing tactic or not, over-filtering your product photos is a practice that has been adopted by many brands and is becoming more prevalent. So it’s worth knowing if this tactic can really make any lasting impact on how customers view your products – could well be a negative impact. So think before adding that filter next time. 


  • Don’t inflate the effects of our products by using photo filters. Use them sparingly, and you are allowed to overdo it once in a while.
  • Don’t fall victim to the temptation of having to look good all the time and don’t distort your product’s true features using photo enhancement filters. 
  • People will be able to tell when you’re using a filter, and they may be disappointed when they see the real thing
  • Authenticity builds trust, and you will find yourself with a more loyal customer base