If you’ve been reading the blog over the past few months you may have noticed more and more posts about Instagram and the various marketing opportunities it presents. I honestly think it’s going to become a hybrid of Flickr and Twitter.

I know that sounds daft but after seeing trending topics it made me realise that you have a army of users ready to take a photo about anything at any second then upload and tag it.

One of the key parts of Instagram is adding ‘filters’ to photos. These give the picture effects such as black and white or Lomo, usually putting it in a Polaroid style frame of some sort.

After creating the Instabam iPhone app, I saw the opportunity in creating ‘branded filters’ i.e apps that add effects to photos but relate back to the brand.

For example a Disney Filter could overlay really bright, cartoon-style colours onto a picture or Reeses Chocolate Filter could make photos orange tinted etc. You can even add a subtle logo or stamp around the frame or bottom corner, for example:

Users then upload the photo to places like Instagram, virally spreading the brand name and app. Win!

Over the past few months I’ve been scoping out this exact type of app for a global brand, but sadly it got canned a few weeks ago…then last night I got a notification from Hipstamatic saying they’ve just released a Nike photo filter! Pah! It’s available for free for a limited time only in the Hipstamatic store.

But if I’m going to get pipped to the post by anyone I’m glad it’s Nike. It’ really nicely done too, love the filter descriptions. Check the images below:

Brands have the ability to generate really rich user generated content within photo sharing applications, it’s just a matter of time before they all have a presence.

(Also in the news today was Topshop taking Instagram style photoshoots in stores.)