The Little App that Beat Facebook…for Now.

Recently this week, photo editing app Prisma, rolled out its most recent update, allowing users to apply high quality, artistic like filters to Facebook live streaming. Sounds ordinary? Not really. For a 5-month old app, Prisma’s capabilities are outstanding. The app not only has photo editing tools and filters, but these filters turn photos and now Facebook live videos into art under the likes of Van Gogh, Picasso, and Levitan to name three of the thirty options.

The announcement puts Prisma in the lead in launching such a real-time technological filter known as a style transfer. On the heels of Prisma’s initial launch in June, Google has been bragging about a software prototype with similar capabilities but no further word has been released. Social media giant, Facebook, was and still is testing similar technology to apply to their videos but on its flagship app available only in Ireland. Despite the overseas testing, Facebook swears it’s going to debut a US launch soon.

Facebook's version of style transfer during a recent demo.

Facebook’s version of style transfer filters during a recent demo.

Beating Facebook in its own game, a four-star rating, and over 72 million downloads would mean this is an incredible feature to an incredible app, right? Wrong. Prisma completely missed the mark. The new real-time video style filters are only available on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7. You know, because, that’s the logical thing to do – launch innovative technology that could garner a company huge market share by beating the competition yet only available on a phone model that has weak sales. It’s understood to go to the biggest, brightest, newest iPhone’s but that is just not completely logical in boosting business.

Prisma filter used on Instagram.

Prisma filter used on Instagram.

Don’t get me wrong. The app has amazing capabilities and an explanation is needed on why it is only available on the iPhone 6S and iPhone 7. The process to turn such live videos into art pieces requires some type of artificial intelligence (AI) that only happens locally. This process was unique to Prisma which explains is why the likes of Facebook and Google are hot on the heels in creating similar technology. More importantly, the technology is a bit advanced and requires a high amount of computing power that is only available to the newest and latest iPhones. Prisma’s Aram Airapetyan says, “Not every smartphone can handle that so we’re working to bring this to powerful Android smartphones”. Woomp, woomp for those of us who settled with our iPhone 6’s.

Prisma filter on Instagram.

Prisma filter used on Instagram.

Even more interesting, Prisma’s filter features for Instagram are available to iPhone and Android users for all phone models. Prisma even has ideas for the app to support Gifs and Android offline video processing. None the less, the limited capabilities of the Facebook live video style filters do not shy away consumers from downloading and using the app due to its initial Instagram photo editing tools. Although, the Facebook live filters are only a few days old, it will be interesting to see the usage rate on the filters.


Prisma filter used on Instagram.

With the launch of the Prisma filters for Facebook live videos, there is speculation that Facebook will acquire Prisma into its ever growing social media conglomerate. Earlier this year, Prismsa’s CEO Alexey Moiseenkov visited Facebook headquarters. Will the small but powerful app allow themselves to be bought out or continue to try to battle the industry’s toughest players? Stay strong little startup.

Prisma filter.

Prisma filter.


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