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Graham Awards


Agent tests Instagram edits on property photos - but original wins out

An estate agent has conducted an interesting test on whether photographs on agents’ details may be improved by being edited on the social media photo-sharing service Instagram.

The test was very small and unscientific - it involved just three photographs of three of the agent’s listed properties with six different edits, judged by only 18 people - but it does raise the interesting issue of whether Instagram could be used as an editing platform.

The test, undertaken by House Network, started with the competely un-doctored photograph of a detached house; another five versions were given filters having been edited through Instragram. You can see them at the bottom of this story.


The panel was shown six ‘editions’ of the external shot of the properties. Five of the editions had a selection of the most-used Instagram filters applied to them, while one photo was left untouched as the original.

The Instagrammers were then asked to select which edition they believed would appeal most to a potential buyer. To ensure the test was blind, panel members were not told which were the Instagram versions and which was the original.

Interestingly the 18 judges, who were all experienced Instagram users and contributors, strongly favoured the original un-doctored photo. 

Of the Instagram editions, the shots which had ‘Mayfair’ and ‘Valencia’ filters were voted as having the most attractive appearance. 

Instagram is the world’s leading photo-sharing social media platform but House Network says it is little-used by agents (and perhaps the experiment will do little to change that). 

“With its photo-editing capabilities and overall emphasis on being visual, providing the editing and filters weren’t overdone to the extent the property was misrepresented, there’s an argument to be made that Instagram lends itself to showing off houses for sale more than any other social platform” says House Network chief executive Mark Readings. 

So for the images below, 1=Mayfair filter, 2=Valencia filter, 3=Rise filter, 4=Amaro filter, 5=original image unfiltered, 6=Nashville filter.

Agent tests Instagram edits on property photos - but original wins out

  • Karl Knipe

    It comes as no surprise to me that the original photo was chosen as the most appealing to buyers. Not only does the property look better, but so does the sky and grass!

    I don't believe that changing the filter of an image will attract more buyers - just a poor attempt to disguise any flaws - which fell flat on its face here anyway!

    Ultimately people decide on a property when they see it in the flesh, and there won't be any filter available then.


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