Statistics: How filters are used by Instagram’s most successful users

Which filters are the most popular? Do larger accounts use them as much? And does the hashtag #nofilter actually mean no filter was used…?

Instagram filters are used to enhance photos, to give them that extra edge or just set the mood. But to what extent are they used?

Filter Popularity

When looking at the distribution of filter popularity there is a clear winner. Clarendon is in the lead with 25% followed by Juno which is used 8% of the times a filter is applied.

The popularity of filters used on Instagram.
The top four filters. Photo credit: @elepetrella for the Polaroid Eyewear campaign.
  1. Juno 7.9 %
  2. Gingham 7.4 %
  3. Lark 7.0 %
  4. Ludwig 6.1 %
  5. Valencia 4.6 %
  6. Aden 4.1 %
  7. Lo-fi 3.7 %
  8. Inkwell 2.9 %
  9. X-Pro II 2.8 %
  10. Slumber 2.8 %
  11. Amaro 2.7 %
  12. Moon 2.5 %
  13. Mayfair 2.4 %
  14. Hudson 2.4 %
  15. Sierra 2.1 %
  16. Rise 1.9 %
  17. Crema 1.9 %
  18. Reyes 1.8 %
  19. Hefe 1.7 %
  20. Nashville 1.7 %
  21. Perpetua 1.0 %
  22. Willow 1.0 %

Who are using filters?

I also wanted to find out whether filter usage would be different depending on how successful the account was, where, in this case, success if measured by the number of followers.

Filter usage of accounts based on accounts’ number of followers.

The more followers, the less likely the account will use filters.

This made me think of photographers. Those would surely be more likely to use a tool other than Instagram filters to touch up their photos? Compared to the average of 18.0% filter usage, accounts with the word “photographer” in the bio use filters on 14.6% of the photos.

Accounts with the word “photographer” in the bio used filters on 14.6% of the photos, compared to the average of 18.0%.

Photographers tend to tag their photos with the hashtag of the camera manufacturer (stay tuned for an article about Instagram hashtag usage). Is filter usage different on photos tagged with #canon, #nikon versus #iphone?

Filter usage among photos with hashtag #canon, #nikon and #iphone

Content and Filter Usage

I finally wondered if there is any particular content where filter usage would be much more common. I asked myself; at what time would it be most important for you to make sure the photo you post looks the best? When taking a selfie of course!

10% of Instagram photos with hashtag #nofilter uses a filter.

CTO & co-founder of Willa Pay (freelancers get paid), and Relatable (marketing tech). 🚀 Interests: coding, growth, business, marketing, startups and tinkering!

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