Photographic filters have long ceased to be a rarity only available to a few to become our daily bread. This has been thanks in part to smartphones with a catalog full of applications to implement all kinds of effects to our photos, but above all thanks to the popularity of photographic social networks like Instagram, Hipstamatic or Flickr.
Many of us often we have sinned to underestimate these filters photography and doing without them with the idea that it is a fashion that does not affect the visits and interactions it receives. But Yahoo has conducted a study in which, after analyzing the behavior of Flickr users, they conclude just the opposite. Filters help.
Why do users use filters? Do these have any relationship with the way in which other users interact with our photos? These are the two questions that Yahoo has tried to answer, and to do so they began by conducting several semi-structured interviews with different types of Flickr users, both professional and casual photographers.
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What are filters used for?
Interview results have determined that even professional photographers who take pictures with high-end cameras also use their phones and apps to add filters. In the case of these photographers, filters are used to correct errors in photos and improve the overall aesthetics of the capture.
On the other hand, the so-called social photographers use the cameras of their mobiles to make more casual photographs. Usually these photos reflect objects, events, people and other aspects of their daily lives, and they use filters as a simple customization tool to get unique or more fun photos.
Depending on the user, filters are used to enhance the photo as well as to personalize it.
So while both types of people use photographic filters, according to this Yahoo study the purposes for which they are used are completely different. While the most professionals use them to correct errors or enhance some aspects of their shots, others use them for pure fun, to be able to personalize them by adding color saturation and vintage effects without having to deal with complex photographic editors.
What effect do filters have on photos?
After conducting these surveys, Yahoo went further and analyzed its 7.6 million photos published through the Flickr mobile application using different formulas. This review has concluded that filters increase the popularity of photos. In fact, photographs with filters have a 21% more likely to be viewed and 45% more than being commented on by other users.
Warm colors are more attractive to users than cool ones
But not all filters work the same. The study has also found that those that increase contrast and correct exposure help with interactions. Similarly, those that add a warmer color temperature are more attractive to users than those that use cool colors.
But these are just the broad lines of the Yahoo study. If you are really interested in the subject and want to delve into the formulas they have used or the details of each of the filters, you can read the full study thoroughly, entitled Why We Filter Our Photos and How It Impacts Engagement, which will be presented next Monday at the 9th International Conference on Weblogs and Social Media (ICWSM) in Oxford.
Via | Yahoo Labs
Images | David Shamma, Aslak Raanes and Eli Christman
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