Following Instagram’s decision to stop letting users view photos on Twitter, rumors that Twitter is to launch its own photo filters are looking more solid by the day.

All Things D claims that Twitter will release its new filters product before the end of 2012, and now, recent images shared by both Twitter employees and co-founder Jack Dorsey reveal what may be an early look at Twitter’s soon-to-be-launched photo filters project.

Twitter employees appear to be testing new versions of its iOS and Android apps, highlighting the use of filters but also apps that are significantly different from those used by the public. For example, if you look below at these two images shared “via Twitter for iPhone,” you may notice a subtle difference between them:

(Left shows a Twitter employee’s tweet, right a user of the most recent Twitter for iPhone app.)

11 730x557 Twitter’s photo filters may already be live, as employees test them in new iOS and Android apps

The tweet shared by Sara Mauskopf includes an additional space in the name of the originating client. This might suggest that Sara is one of a handful of Twitter employees (that we have noticed) testing a beta release, which has added filters and editing functionality.

The photos below also largely share the same square dimensions (1024 x 1024px), whereas photos shared through Instagram are a mere 612 x 612px. Here’s a few examples:

Twitter Product Manager Sara Mauskopf:

Twitter employee Ryan Greenberg:

Twitter engineer Sara Haider:

Dorsey has shared a number of black and white photos with a distinct, low contrast look. That same look is mirrored by this photo from employee Jeff Kan. Jeff Kan’s photo notably was shared from “Twitter for Android,” revealing that this beta is also potentially being tested on Android.

Note: Jack’s pictures are shared via “Photo for iOS”

The implications of Twitter filters are potentially massive, and the upcoming release is interestingly timed, as Instagram begins to direct users away from Twitter and onto its own, growing Web-based offering.

Twitter appears to have realized that Instagram could make such a decision, and now it is looking to fill the void. Twitter stands to lose out on users spending time on its site if people are directed to Instagram, as hoards of Instagram fans become engaged on Instagram.com. Similarly, Twitter’s new filters could lure users away from Instagram, as the service gets cozier with Facebook.

It’s noteworthy that Facebook already has its own photo filter offering.

Image credit: Matthijs