Whether or not you think photo filters represent creative assets or the death of photography as we know it, one thing's becoming increasingly clear: they're your ticket to popularity. Yahoo and Georgia Tech researchers have learned that filtered photos (at least, on Flickr) are 21 percent more likely to get views, and 45 percent more likely to receive comments. This doesn't mean that you can throw on any effect you like, mind you. Warmer-looking filters usually get the best results, while colder examples have less of an impact. In short, feel free to tweak your Instagram shots if you feel they lack a certain oomph that will draw in the crowds -- just don't try to be overly dark and edgy.
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