Instagram Chases the Art of the Perfect Selfie With Newfangled Tools

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Bridging the gap between photo apps and Photoshop, Instagram announced its latest suite of tools by which users can tweak and manipulate each and every selfie they have the urge to produce.

The Facebook-owned (FB) photo-sharing social network showed its version 6.0 product on Tuesday, available for immediate update, its second since the beginning of the year.

"Inspiring creativity is incredibly important to us -- and as the Instagram community grows, we've been excited to hear requests for more ways to creatively take hold of how your photos look and feel," the Instagram said in a statement.

The latest release features 10 new or updated tools emphasizing what the photo operator calls "adjustability." Now users can dictate the strength of filters applied, say Sepia or monochrome, rather than a one-size-fits-all blanket approach to each picture. The addition of degree sliders to already-existing tools, such as brightness and contrast, allows users to further manipulate and individualize each image.

The rollout of more advanced in-app features is a likely reaction to a crop of new apps such as Pro Camera and Hipstamatic that offer a more stylized approach to smartphone photography. Further, by differentiating its offering, Instagram hopes to appeal to a larger group than the amateur point-and-click crowd, extending its appeal to bloggers and professional photographers intent on convenience and quality.

Just under four years old, Instagram already facilitates around 60 million photo uploads daily and boasts approximately 200 million active users each month. Since Facebook acquired the startup in April 2012, the social network has been exploring ways to monetize the platform, including announcing plans to integrate advertising as early as September.

--Written by Keris Alison Lahiff in New York. 

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