Instagram is one of the most used apps on our phones and it looks like it’s going to stay that way. Since the introduction of their face filters software that has kept us hooked on our phone screens, creativity has taken the spotlight. Software developer Spark AR Studios made their Instagram face filters and AR effects-making tool available to all Instagram users in 2019 and since then we have seen many users take their hand to creating AR filters of their own. 

As a social media agency, we at Monumental sensed that it would be a resounding success. In 2019 alone, 500 million people used Instagram Stories every day. There are a plethora of uses for the technology as a marketing tool. Brands could use the software to allow customers to try one clothes or cosmetics, for example. The customisation aspect of the face filters will do wonders for the shopping experience. Not only this, but the Instagram face filters have been a smash hit for entertainment purposes. Take Adidas, for example, with vintage filters and retro-looking photos trending recently, Adidas Originals decided to create a custom AR effect that adds a VHS look to your stories.

Instagram Face Filters in 2020

We think we can speak for all you queens when we say that 2020 did not turn out any of us expected it to. Social distancing measures have meant big changes for the way social media has been used, namely an increase in use. As we have found ourselves confined to our homes, 37% of adults in the US alone are now using Instagram – up from 35% in 2018. This has presented more opportunities for brands to gain awareness and drive conversions through their Instagram marketing. Approximately 200 million Instagram users visit business profiles each day, so creating Instagram face filters is a way to get a slice of some of this traffic.

This is made possible by the fact that when an AR filter is used in a user’s story, a link is featured at the top of the screen to allow you to either try the filter for yourself or visit the page from which it came. While this is great news for creative influencers that wish to gain followers, it is also a competitive opportunity for brands to drive traffic to their accounts. 

A great example of this can be seen from the festival ticket vendor, Pollen. They created a ‘which festival are you?’ filter that randomly generates a festival to supposedly match your personality. The title card of the filter shows the Pollen branding and the name of the filter is ‘Pollen Festival Quiz’. The viral nature of this funny and at times savage filter is excellent brand awareness for the company and in a year when most events have been cancelled, they need it!


How to use Instagram AR Filters

So, how can you get involved with this fad? It’s pretty simple, and free too. You simply need to select the new Filters icon that’s been slipped snuggly in between the IGTV and Tagged Photos icons on users’ profiles. From there you can peruse these facial fascinations to your heart’s content. 

Alternatively, you can see a selection of filters along the bottom of the screen when using the camera viewfinder. If none of these tickle your pickle, you can scroll through to the end of this list and access the ‘Browse Effects’ section. This is akin to the explore page, with categories of filters to browse from such as ‘Selfies’, ‘Funny’ and, for the more daring queens out there, ‘Weird and Scary’.

All you need to do then is then is strike a pose, pout those lips, and take your photo or video. Sharing it to your Instagram stories is the same as if you were to take a usual selfie – and we know y’all are a dab hand at that already, huns.

3 AR Effects Accounts You Should Follow

Which one to try first? The choice can seem overwhelming, but don’t get your knickers in a bunch. We’ll give you the 411 on the Instagram accounts you should check out to access the best of the new Instagram face filters.

1. Allan Berger (@ultrakawaii4000)

Our first creator is a young chap that makes a wide range of charming and interesting Instagram face filters. Some are cute and colourful, like his ‘Floating Hearts’ or ‘Neko’ filters that turn you into a loved-up cutie and little kitten. Others are more out there, such as his Chinese-inspired ‘DragonMuse4001’. This one will show you what you’d look like with a golden dragon tattooed on your face.

Definitely one to watch, Allan’s filters are a prime example of how features such as these can shed light on budding creatives. 

2. Clay Weishaar (

This next creator is a bright spark from the Snapchat Lens Studio who has brought her work over to Instagram. Think pop art meets space age. Her Instagram face filters are iridescent, kooky and beautiful. Especially ‘Hyper Saturation’, an iridescent, dripping visor that will fulfill your space-Barbie fantasy. Or ‘Taco Tuesday’, which allows you to convey your Mexican food cravings via tacos orbiting your head. 

Snapchat has for a while now been synonymous with filters. It was a feature that kept users active on their app. But Instagram face filters may well knock them off the top spot. Clay Weishaar’s transition to Instagram is an example of their burgeoning dominance in the story-based social media market. We may be bidding a fond farewell to Snapchat within a couple of years…

3. Johanna Jaskowska (@johwska)

Another one to watch, we have Johanna Jaskowska. A young creator whose work has an element of the editorial about it. Her filter ‘Odyssey’ is a nacreous wonder, covering the face in a beautiful sheen. ‘Macka’ is also stunning, a filter which layers a series of reflective masks over the face. Looks that wouldn’t seem out of place on the pages of Dazed, these filters are thoroughly cool.

Monumental Picks: 3 New AR Filters for you to try in 2020

1. Yulya Kors (@yulya.kors)

Next up we have the Russian princess, Yulya and her gorgeous facial enhancing filters. A favourite of our Head of New Business, Liam, her filters range from subtle colour alterations from filters such as retroCAM, all the way to the metallic sheen of ULTRAVIOLET that turns you in a glistening fembot from the year 2200. 

As you can see, these AR filters are giving Liam life – why not try it for yourself? 

2. Arno Partissimo (@arnopartissimo)

Despite the fact that this Spark AR produced filter read her to filth, our PR & Marketing Manager Alicia is a fan of this account’s work. Arno Partissimo is a photographer and videographer who has come up with filters such as ‘Which Disney?’ and the hilarious Teletubbies sun simulator, ‘RISE N SHINE.’

These random generator filters are proving highly popular – this and the Pollen Festival Filter being prime examples. It would seem that a trend among the most popular filters is to be humorous – and who wouldn’t want to be told that they’re kindred spirits with Quasimodo?

3.Nahir Esper (@nahir.esper)

Our UX Specialist, Laura, is a dab hand at all things digital design – so pay close attention to her sophisticated choice, queens. Nahir Esper creates AR filters with sassy captions such as Neon II that lets everyone know you’re sick of their sh*t with a ‘SHHH’ over the lips.

Esper has a private Instagram account and a follow is required before you can access all of their filters. This has resulted in Esper garnering 1.8M followers, demonstrating the power of these filters to create a new form of influencer.

It was originally Instagram’s plan that to unlock these Instagram face filters, users must first follow their creators. This is not the case as of late 2019, but nevertheless, filter producers have amassed thousands of followers. These people have become a new wave of influencers in the Instagram sphere. Sponsorships and advertisements will no doubt become commonplace on their feeds too; a new marketing opportunity is emerging.

If you’re looking to brush up on your social media skills, be sure to sign up for Monumental’s Masterclass to get some Social Media Training.


  • Alicia, the digital marketing dynamo herself, is our digital marketing Manager at Monumental. We are yet to find something our Indonesian-Belgian princess can't do. Prior to discovering Monumental, Alicia finished an honours degree in Sociology at the University of Kent and began building her marketing network in the Middle East. Having graced us with her stunning social channel aesthetics and unrivalled powers of Influencer marketing and SEO for several years now, it's no wonder she's giving us that side-eye.