Facebook has been an online photo sharing destination for years and now plans to roll out a series of Instagram-like photo filters – that go beyond adding a black and white theme to your photos – for its mobile application. A release date has yet to be announced, but according to two Facebook engineers the filters have been ready for some time.

Many digital cameras and photo apps have included options to make your photographs black and white, sepia, or even a psychedelic rainbow medley. Photo filters have been a novelty for quite some time, but they’ve become extremely popular in Instagram, a free iPhone app that lets you upload a photo to your profile and enhance the image with a custom filter.

The New York Times reports that Facebook attempted to acquire Instagram recently, but that deal fell through. Neither company has commented on the acquisition attempt or Facebook’s plans to release a competing software.

Currently Instagram lets you upload a photo from either your phone’s library or a Facebook album. Once you’ve added a filter you have the option to share your photo with followers through Instagram, or you can push it out to your network on Twitter and Facebook. In addition to offering 16 custom filters, the photo app gives you the ability to like or comment on a photo that has been shared by a friend. Instagram launched in October 2010 and has since grown to more than 5 million users.

Earlier this month TechCrunch reported that programming code for the upcoming iPhone 5 showed a series of new photo filters as well. While certainly Apple and Facebook will succeed in drumming up excitement over the new feature, will it be enough to pull filter enthusiasts away from app tools that are already being used?

[Via: Search Engine Land, Image credit: Joost J. Baker]