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Categories for Instagram Effects

When you upload an effect to Instagram, you'll need to choose a category for it. Categories help people to browse and find effects they'll love.

When you choose a category for your effect, we'll review it to make sure it fits. Once it's approved, your effect will appear in the Effect Gallery under this category (unless it's a promotional effect). You can also choose a new 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:

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.

To help you decide, take a look at these descriptions of each category, and examples of effects that fit into them.


Cosmetic and stylized effects that change someone's appearance.

Examples: Noir, Mime Me and Beauty 3000.


Animal transformation or artwork.

Examples: Cute Bear, Kitten and Butterfly.

Camera Styles

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

Examples: Charcoal, VCR and Kaleidoscope.

Color and Light

Manipulations of vivid color or light.

Examples: LED Starburst, Light Streak and Light Leak.

Weird and Scary

Unnerving effects with a twist

Examples: Love Machine, Red Devil and Vampire Nostalgia.

Sci-Fi and Fantasy

Futuristic or fanciful effects and characters.

Examples: Leaving Planet A, AfterFormV1 and Face Hologram Box.


Gestures of love or positivity.

Examples: Floating Heart, Heart Bloom and Typography.


Amusing or ridiculous effects to make people laugh.

Examples: Mouth Face, Surprised Eyes and Mona Lisa.


Effects that help people express how they feel.

Examples: Weather, I-Moji and Blue Monday.


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

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


For celebrating holidays, cultural moments and other events.

Examples: New Year Mask, 2019 and Patty Caps!.


Effects supporting a cause, movement or organization.

Examples: Save the Oceans and Save the Elephants.


For showing appreciation of media, entertainment or sports teams.

Examples: 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

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

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. You can provide this information in the Review Information section.

How we've updated the effect categories

Based on feedback from the community, we updated the effect categories that we offer for Instagram. To update existing effects from the old categories to the new ones, we assigned new category tags for you:

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

There were 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.

Join the Spark AR Creator's community

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

Join Community

Join the Spark AR Creator's community

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

Join Community

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