10 Instagram filters to glow up your story game for the new year

From aesthetic-looking to interactive funny ones, Instagram filters can help spice up your selfie game.

Shannon Kuan

Weird talents include playing the violin, but with a ukulele and a clothes hanger.

Published: 12 January 2021, 4:24 PM

Filters have become an essential part of posting stories on Instagram.

With a simple click of a button, one can easily transform the look of their photos or videos using premade filters already applied to their pictures.

Some filters are even interactive, allowing users to play games with it, change their appearance, or warp images.

Whether you use Instagram filters for jokes, or to improve the quality of your photos and videos, here are some recommendations for everyone!

1. Bleak afternoon by vitulox



One thing I dislike about Instagram filters is that almost all of them can only be added to photos in real time as you are taking your shots on Instagram stories itself.

However, this filter not only provides six different colour grading options, a sliding bar at the side to adjust lighting and grain, optional Tumblr-esque stickers that you can choose from by tapping once, there is also an ‘Add Media’ option.

This means that you can add this Instagram filter to any existing photo in your gallery! If you took a photo on your normal phone camera but want to post it on Instagram stories and wish to add a filter to it, try this one out here.

2. Who is more _? by vamonke



When I first downloaded Instagram, I never thought it would be possible to play games on it with our friends. But this filter does that exactly!

Asking a series of five questions, this filter involves two people filming themselves and tilting their heads to the direction of whoever they think among them is most like the question asked.

A test to see how in sync you are with each other, this filter also offers a couple’s edition and a burning bridges version with riskier questions that may expose what you truly think of each other.

Play it with your friends here.

3. Soft reverb by hazeltannn



For those who love posting singing covers on Instagram but hate the way your voice sounds on recording, this voice-changing filter will change your life.

This filter adds reverb and echo to sounds, making it sound like you’re singing in an empty staircase.

Make your singing covers sound extra magical without any editing here.

4. PicsArt_PLRD2 by shkodo.tanya



This filter offers 12 different layouts and can turn your story into a Windows Desktop, Microsoft Paint or iPhone camera background. It also adds a pink tint and grain to your shots, making it extra cute.

Spice up your plain photos here.

5. Genetics Scanner by iamcraiglewis2



Disguising as a harmless filter that simply scans your face to guess your genetic heritage, it instead morphs you into a random animal that you supposedly look like.

A fun trick to play on your unsuspecting friends, this filter will dissolve you into fits of laughter.

Try it out here.

6. Colored hair by nessa_iwata



Dyeing your hair can be a difficult decision to make as it has long-term effects. But with this filter, you can finally have dyed hair without having to actually go to the salon.

Offering a range of different hair colours and shades, the filter also adds blush and extended eyelashes if you want to look extra cute in your photos.

It also looks really natural and some might not be able to tell that it’s a filter that coloured your hair.

Check out what hair colours suit you best here.

7. Aesthetic_Colors by robertobrendo



This filter emphasises on the colours of your photos and videos by adding a colour palette of the shots you’re taking, as well as add different background layers for a more artistic look.

Not only do your shots look aesthetically pleasing, there is now a colour palette that you can easily refer to if you are adding text and want to incorporate it into your images.

Download the filter here.

8. Guess the gibberish by gu_christopher



Another fun game that you can play with, this filter will give you 10 seconds to decipher a seemingly random sentence and figure out what real phrase it sounds like.

A way to show off your smarts or provide laughter from your confusion and misunderstanding, this filter is hilarious and you can even use it to test who amongst your friends can guess it first.

Download the filter here.

9. 21:9 by timloehrs



Instagram stories are mostly taken vertically as that’s how one would hold their phone while scrolling social media.

Let’s admit it. If we see a story that’s posted horizontally, most of us would be too lazy to turn our phones to view it and would probably skip it instead.

But with this filter, shots are automatically cropped horizontally, adding a retro film-like vibe to the story.

It’s definitely my personal favourite go-to filter, as I like adding yellow text at the centre bottom of the shot to mimic subtitles on a movie.

Download this filter here.

10. Close Friends by hopeablaze



One of Instagram’s latest important updates to their app was the introduction of a ‘Close Friends’ list.

With the aim of having a little more privacy when posting stories, users can have a trusted select few people view an exclusive portion of their stories.

This filter can help you better connect with your close friends list by asking you to share personal stories or do quick dares on camera.

Share moments with your close friends here.

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