In 2014, Instagram users were still largely unaware of the filters and the terms they could apply to their posts.
While they did have the option of changing the filter settings on their posts to their liking, they could not do so on Instagram because of a filter-related patent.
“The filter is a tool that lets you see and manipulate content in a way that’s easier to understand,” said Kelly Gebhard, a patent attorney at Cravath Swaine Robbins who has filed a number of lawsuits in the past year to defend the filters.
“It allows you to understand the way people think about what you’re posting.”
Gebhard told Business Insider that Instagram’s filtering features can’t change the way someone feels about something, but can change how they think about other people’s posts.
“The reason people post is not because of the way they think, but because of how they’re perceived by others,” he said.
“You have to understand how people perceive you to know what to post.”
Gebhart said the patent he filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on January 31, 2017, states that the filter can: “display and control the appearance of content” by “selecting” or “modifying the content” of a post and “displaying the selected content to a user, as well as presenting the selected media content to the user’s audience.”
“By selecting content to be displayed to the public, a user can create and manage an attractive user interface for engaging in conversation with others,” the patent reads.
“It may be useful for creating a personalized user experience that enhances the user experience.”
Gretchen, who’s from Brooklyn, told Business News Daily that she was happy to see the patent move forward and that Instagram is doing a great job.
The company, which has more than 300 million active users, is trying to get its filters on the front pages of search engines, and it has made it easier to use them in the U.S. and elsewhere.
Instagram is also working to expand its filters to countries like Russia, China and the Philippines.
For now, though, Instagram is using its filters for marketing purposes, which is where the patent lies.
“We use filters to build brand loyalty and awareness for our brands, and they’re a great way to get people to like you,” said Gebhart.
“If you’ve got a good filter, you’re going to get more people to follow you, and the more people follow you the more likely you are to get new followers.”
Gebarthe added that he and his client are trying to convince Instagram to expand the filtering options to other social media platforms like Facebook and Snapchat.
Gretchens said she’s not sure Instagram will expand the filters beyond Instagram.
It’s also possible Instagram could eventually change its filters so they work in all its products, including its main feed.
Gretons blog post, “A great way for Instagram to improve its filter experience is to allow users to control what the filters do on its product,” Gebarthes wrote.
“I am hopeful that this proposal will be adopted soon.”