Learn Spark AR Studio

Everything you need to know to create an interactive augmented reality experience.


Categories for Instagram Effects

Categories will bring a new way for people to browse and find effects they love. Giving each of your effects a category means we can show them to the people most likely to use them.

If you're uploading an effect to Instagram you can choose a category for it yourself. You can also choose a category for effects you've already uploaded, to give them the most exposure possible.

To make it easier for people to browse effects, we've added some new categories and changed the names of some existing categories.

Find out about:

How we've Updated the Effect Categories

Based on feedback from the community, we've updated the effect categories that we offer for Instagram. There are now 13 categories for you to choose from.

You can start using the new categories right away for any new effects you upload.

To update existing effects from the old categories to the new ones, we’ll assign new category tags for you:

  • Effects in the Status category will be moved to Surroundings.
  • Effects in the Support category will be moved to either Causes or Fandom.
  • Effects in the Filters and Portraits categories will be moved to one of several new categories we're introducing for better clarity: Selfies, Camera Styles, Color and Light, Animals, Weird and Scary, Sci-Fi and Fantasy, or Love.

There will be no changes to effects in the Events, Funny, or Moods categories.

You’ll be able to see the updates we’ve made and edit the category yourself if you wish.

Choose from Thirteen Categories

You'll need to pick just one of these categories for your effect. If your effect could fit into multiple categories, you'll need to pick the one that's most relevant for the content of the effect.

Here are brief descriptions of each category, and examples of effects that fit into them.


Cosmetic and stylized effects that change someone's appearance.

For example, Noir, Mime Me and Beauty 3000.


Animal transformation or artwork.

For example, Cute Bear, Kitten and Butterfly.

Camera Styles

For creating sketches or watercolors, or camera effects like VCR or Kaleidoscope.

For example, Charcoal, VCR and Kaleidoscope.

Color and Light

Manipulations of vivid color or light.

For example, LED Starburst, Light Streak and Light Leak.

Weird and Scary

Unnerving effects with a twist

For example, Love Machine, Red Devil and Vampire Nostalgia.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Futuristic or fanciful effects and characters.

For example, Leaving Planet A, AfterFormV1 and Face Hologram Box.


Gestures of love or positivity.

For example, Floating Heart, Heart Bloom and Typography.


Amusing or ridiculous effects to make people laugh.

For example, Mouth Face, Surprised Eyes and Mona Lisa.


Effects that help people express how they feel.

For example, Weather, I-Moji and Blue Monday.


Effects that share where people are or what's happening around them, or transport them to another place.

For example, KC: I'm so in LOVE!, Fire Emoji and Palm Shade.


For cultural moments or big events, like holidays, sports games or concerts.

For example, New Year Mask, 2019 and Patty Caps!.


Effects supporting a cause, movement or organization.

For example, Save the Oceans and Save the Elephants.


For showing appreciation of media, entertainment or sports teams.

For example, SHOW TIME!, SoccerB and GGG.

Please note that Spark AR Studio does not specifically endorse any of the effects featured in these examples.

How to Select a Category for an Effect

If you're publishing a new effect

If you're publishing a new effect, you'll be asked to select a category when you're uploading your effect in Spark Hub.

You'll see this option in the Discovery section.

Adding a category for an existing effect

If any effects you've already uploaded don't have a category, it's a good idea to add one.

Effects without categories will still be visible in the Instagram camera, but won't appear anywhere categories are shown.

To add a category for an existing effect:

  1. Go to Spark AR Hub.
  2. Click on the effect.
  3. Scroll down to the Discovery section.
  4. Click Edit next to the Category field.
  5. Choose a category from the dropdown list.

The category for your effect will need to be approved by our review team before it can be confirmed.

Explaining your choice of category

It's a good idea to provide more context about the category you've selected, to help the reviewer understand your choice. If our review team thinks your effect is better suited to another category, they'll change the category for you.

If you're publishing a new effect, you can provide this information in the Review Information section.

If you're adding a category for an existing effect, you can add Review Information on the Effect Details page. The reviewer will see the updated description when reviewing your category choice.

Join the Spark AR Creator's community

Find inspiration, see examples, get support, and share your work with a network of creators.

Join Community

Frequently asked questions

Have a specific question? Maybe it's been answered.

Read FAQs