NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Apple (AAPL - Get Report) revealed robust photo editing tools Monday that could threaten Facebook's (FB - Get Report) Instagram photo editing app -- not to mention a host of other popular services.
$AAPL #WWDC Themes: Android Sux, we're copying BlackBerry, inventing instagram, dropbox and Windows 8.? Adam Adamou (@Grazen) Jun. 2 at 02:36 PM
Instagram took off thanks to stylized filters that allow users to turn their photos into retro, sepia hazed prints -- or to brighten bland images, perform easy edits and, of course, share everything easily on Facebook. And since Facebook users spend much of their time checking out friends' photos, Zuckerberg & Co. bought the company for $1 billion.
The alternative was to risk, say, Google (GOOG) snapping up the cool photo sharing app and gaining traction with its competing social network, Google Plus.
More than 150 million people use Instagram. But Apple's coming photo-editing tools could check Instagram's popularity.
During Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference Monday, Apple management showed off PhotoKit, a suite of photo filters and editing tools that will come bundled with IOS8. PhotoKit will allow users to highlight areas in a photo, adjust color and apply stylized filters to an image, and even add word bubbles, arrows and other graphic elements.
After altering an image, PhotoKit users can just drag and drop their photos into emails, social network posts, text messages and group chats. And, thanks to Apple's new iCloud services, users won't have to worry that photos are too large to deliver to friends however they want.
The concern for Facebook is that if it's so easy to edit and send a photo to a group over the phone or via email, maybe people won't need to use Instagram, or post to Facebook as often.
Perhaps even more threatening for Facebook and Instagram is Apple's willingness to open up its camera controls to developers, allowing them to create even more robust photo apps that could lure away Instagram users. StockTwits members recognized the challenge posed by Apple's earlier, less exciting photo editing tools last year.
$AAPL the picture sharing and organizing feature of the new ios7 is a real direct competition to facebook and instagram? eduardo ojeda (@popme) Jun. 10 at 07:54 PM
The new tools only make Apple more of a threat.
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At the time of publication, the author held no positions in any of the stocks mentioned.
This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.