With more than 1 billion monthly users – 500 million of which are on the app every day – Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, second only to Facebook when it comes to engagement. And it’s not just consumers who are using the platform to share content; of the top 100 brands around the globe, 90% have an active presence on Instagram. Those brands are using Instagram to post photos and videos, build brand awareness, and sell products and services.
There’s no denying the power of Instagram to capture an audience and drive them to act – so why not make the most of this social media channel? To make it easy to up your Instagram game, we’ve included our favourite 24 apps for Instagram in a single post. Leverage these apps to make your images and videos shine, and to make your posting and analytics easier than ever before.
8 apps for Instagram to amp up your images
There’s no denying Instagram has forever changed how people share images on social media. Since the app launched in 2010, Instagram users have shared more than 40 billion photos on the platform, and continue to share another 80 million every day. As you join in, use these apps to enhance your images with filters, text, graphics, and more.
Afterlight 2 is a photo editing app that takes photo filtering to the next level. Their ever-growing library of natural filters amplifies Instagram’s existing suite of options, helping you add extra polish to your images. As an added bonus, the app even lets you create your own filters to give your photos a consistent style that’s different from anyone else; play with your image hue, saturation and lightness, and overlay textures and effects to achieve the exact look you want. This affordable app is $2.99 and is currently ranked #2 app in the iTunes Photo and Video category – and for good reason. The only downside we can find is that it’s limited to iOS only, so Android users will have to find another option.
(Image credit: Afterlight)
For Android users who can’t take advantage of Afterlight 2, you’re in luck. Snapseed is a free professional photo editor developed by Google but also available for iPhone and iPad. Complete with 29 filters and tools, Snapseed lets you personalise filters and save them to be used again later. You can also overlay a caption onto your photos using the 38 different text styles available on the app. While its features are vast, some users report having difficulty navigating to all of them, so if you’re going to download Snapseed, be prepared to spend a little time familiarising yourself with its menus and functionality.
(Image credit: Google)
Creative software giant Adobe is known for leading the photo editing space, so it’s no surprise their free image editing app, Aviary, is a hit with iOS and Android users alike. Aviary puts professional-grade photo editing features in the hands of Instagrammers everywhere. Their app is stocked with a variety of overlays, effects, frames, stickers, and more, allowing creatives to put their personal touch on their photos before posting. The coolest part of the app is their in-product tutorials; the app features a curated collection of beautiful photos, complete with step-by-step instructions users can follow to achieve those same effects. However, some users have expressed frustration with the in-app ads that promote other Adobe products. If you’re bothered by ads, you may want to seek out a paid, ad-free photo editor.
(Image credit: Adobe)
VSCO is an iOS and Android photo editing app designed for creatives, by creatives. Its features are similar to the other apps on this list – editing, filtering, frames, and more – but VSCO’s biggest differentiator is its minimal interface. If you’re a junkie for a clean, crisp, easy-to-use app, VSCO might be for you. However, a few users have reported technical glitches with uploading and sharing photos. Luckily, you can try out VSCO free for 7 days, giving you a chance to experience it for yourself. After that, VSCO is $19.99 per year.
(Image credit: topappslike)
Adobe makes a second appearance on our list with Photoshop Express, a mobile-friendly, scaled-down version of their popular photo editing software, Photoshop. This iOS and Android app lets you edit photos, add text, play with image colours, watermark images, and create collages all in one place. Users also report it being easy to use if you’re already familiar with Adobe’s products. However, there’s a downside for non-Adobe users. The app is free, but to access premium features, you have to have a paid Adobe account and login. Even so, its free features are worth a download.
(Image credit: Google)
PicMonkey is an ideal solution for companies that want to add branded elements to their photos. The app lets you customise your colour palette, store branded fonts, and keep your logo on file to overlay on images. One of the major downsides to PicMonkey when compared to others on this list is its price. PicMonkey is available for $5.99 per month for a basic plan and $9.99 per month for a pro plan, making it one of the more expensive options in this section of our guide. But the rave reviews from users may make it worthy of trying out. PicMonkey is available for iOS and Android, and is available on desktop via a Chrome extension.
(Image credit: PicMonkey)
Canva is a social media image powerhouse that lets you create custom images for most major social platforms. For the most part, Canva is your average photo editing tool, but the app’s most unique quality is its beautiful graphs. For brands who want to create infographic-style graphics for social media posts, you can leverage Canva’s extensive and beautiful collection of flow charts, diagrams, maps, and more. The app also comes with a collection of stock photos you can use as a foundation for your Instagram posts. Canva has been available on iOS and web for a while, and just recently launched an Android version of the app. It’s free to access Canva’s basic features, but its major drawback is its price for bonus features. To collaborate with coworkers, upload custom fonts, and access other business-class features, Canva will cost $12.95 per month per team member.
(Image credit: Canva)
If you like the infographic features of Canva, you’re going to love Piktochart. This web-based app was designed exclusively for creating visuals like charts, graphs, and infographics. You can use Piktochart for Instagram posts, but can also leverage this platform to amp up your presentations, flyers, and more. While this app hits infographics out of the park, that’s where its functionality stops; if you’re looking for an all-in-one tool with infographic and photo editing abilities, you might want to consider another tool. Piktochart starts at $12.50 per month with discounts of up to 25% if you pay for an entire year.
(Image credit: Piktochart)
8 apps for Instagram to boost your video like a boss
When Instagram launched its video sharing feature, users posted more than 5 million videos in just 24 hours. Since then, 41% of marketers have used video on Instagram, and of those marketers, 78% found it to be an effective strategy. Whether you’re using video in posts or Stories, video is a powerful media you should be leveraging to boost your Instagram ROI. Here are a few tools you can use to do just that.
InShot is an iOS- and Android-friendly video editor that lets you add music, effects, voice overs, emojis, and text to your videos. You can also play with video speed, merge multiple videos together, and cut, split and trim videos. The app is perfect for editing videos for Instagram posts, IGVT and Stories, as well as videos for other platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The baseline app is free, and in-app purchases are available for users to buy special effects and premium features. However, a few users have experienced technical glitches and frustrations when adding text and other features to their videos, so consider trying the free version before paying for extra features.
(Image credit: techcody.com)
Video Editor – Editing Studio
Video Editor – Editing Studio is an iOS-only, easy-to-use video editor with options that let you add filters to video, play with speeds, crop videos, and add music and voice overs. A free version comes with basic features, while adding text titles, transitions, and other finishing touches are available as in-app purchases. The biggest differentiator Video Editor – Editing Studio brings to the table is its usability; it’s one of the easiest video editors to navigate, even for those who aren’t familiar with video software. What’s the downside? If you figure it out, let us know.
(Image credit: iTunes)
Quik by GoPro
Game-changing video giant GoPro has a video editing tool they created specifically for users to edit GoPro-style videos. The tool helps you amp up your video’s energy by syncing it to music with just a few clicks. The app also adds graphs and gauges to your videos to display height and speed as an overlay graphic. If your brand is high intensity and your videos often feature stunts, this app is perfect for you. However, since Quik was created specifically for GoPro use cases, its editing options are pretty basic. Still, they’re easy to apply and free, making this app a win in our book. Quik is available for iOS and Android, and as a desktop application.
(Image credit: GoPro)
Hype Type is an animated text video app that allows users to animate text on top of video – a perfect combination for Instagram since some users watch videos without sound. While this app only features typography motion graphics, it does so better than most of the competition, making it a great staple in your Instagram toolbox. Hype Type is free on iOS and Android for the basic version; premium text styles and animations can be purchased in the app.
(Image credit: leoandotherstories.com)
Create the gifs of your dreams with GIPHY Cam, an app that lets you capture and embellish gifs to your heart’s content. Simply record a gif, add effects (moustaches, googly eyes, and other oddball add-ons available) and export your gif for social media sharing. The downside to this app is its functionality is limited to gifs only, but GIPHY Cam is like a specialty ramen restaurant – you know it’s good because it’s the only thing they do. GIPHY Cam is available for free on iOS and Android.
(Image credit: thenextweb.com)
Created by Instagram, the Boomerang app captures micro-moments, turning them into looping videos you can share on Instagram and other platforms. The app works by taking a burst of 10 photos and turning them into a single (and fun) mini video. The big downside to Boomerang is you can’t create a Boomerang video from existing video footage; you have to capture the moment in the Boomerang app itself to export it as a mini video. Boomerang is free and available on iOS and Android.
(Image credit: iTunes)
Another free Instagram-owned app, Hyperlapse is a simple app that lets you record time lapse videos and play with your video speed. The app features built in stabilisation, so when you shoot a video while jumping, running or riding in a car, the app will automatically smooth out your video in a way that was previously only possible with a tripod. Like some of the others on this list, Hyperlapse’s functionality is minimal, but it’s so great at these few features, it deserves a spot on our list. The major downside is that right now, Hyperlapse is only available on iOS.
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Clips is a free Apple-made app that makes videos more fun. Easily add filters, emojis, and branded stickers from popular movies and TV shows to your videos. You can even take your videos out of this world and transport yourself into a new scene with 360-degree backgrounds. Add drama, humour, wit or intensity to your video with this app’s suite of special features. As a downside, Clips is only available on iOS, but it is free to iPhone and iPad users.
(Image credit: engadget.com)
5 apps for Instagram to automate your post publishing
If you’ve managed an Instagram account for a while, you know posting content can seem like a full-time job. In fact, top brands post almost 5 times per week on average, which can easily eat up several hours. That’s why many social media managers leverage scheduling tools that allow them to load content in batches and automate posting. There are many of these tools out there, but here are some of the most popular apps for Instagram scheduling and publishing.
Later is a scheduling platform created specifically for Instagram that comes with a whole suite of extra features. Not only can you schedule posts, but you can collect user-generated content, track hashtags, create shoppable posts, and analyse your performance. The app is also an official Instagram partner and uses their API to import photos, making it a highly secure option for companies concerned with the security of their social accounts. However, Later is not an automated tool; since it’s a web-based app (and because Instagram only allows users to post via the mobile app), later sends you a notification when it’s time to post, at which point users have to take the post live themselves. It’s an extra step that might be worth it to take advantage of the rest of their features. Later is free for individuals, but can cost up to $49 per month for large companies.
(Image credit: Sprout Social)
Buffer is a free social media scheduling app that integrates with Instagram and a number of other popular social platforms. This app lets you automatically post single images, and sends reminders so you can manually post videos and multiple image-posts. As an added bonus, the app automatically identifies which of your posts perform well so you can optimise your feed. The biggest downside to Buffer is its price point. While it’s free for individuals, the app costs up to $399 per month for large brands who want to manage several accounts and users. Buffer is available as a web, iOS and Android app.
(Image credit: Buffer)
Sprout Social is a multi-platform social scheduling tool that lets users schedule Instagram posts, watch hashtags, manage comments, and run reporting. The tool comes with an asset library feature, letting brands store commonly used assets to create consistency between posts. The app recently launched Instagram publishing, allowing brands to schedule posts in the platform and push them to Instagram automatically. Sprout Social has it all – and it’s priced accordingly. Monthly plans start at $99 per user and can exceed $200 per user, making this platform best for large companies managing lots of different accounts across a team. The app is available online as a web app and as iOS and Android mobile apps.
(Image credit: Sprout Social)
Hootsuite is one of the most popular social media management platforms, and integrates with all the major social networks. Like a couple others on this list, Hootsuite allows users to automate single-image posts and sends reminders for video and multi-image posts. One of our favourite features is its bulk scheduling tool; upload a pre-formatted CSV to schedule hundreds of social media posts at once, saving hours – even days – worth of work. Best of all, it’s more affordable than some of its competitors. A team of 3 users can manage up to 20 profiles for $129 per month. If you’re using Hootsuite to manage your Instagram account, it’s a great option – but many users report issues when posting to Facebook, so people looking for a multi-platform management tool may want to test that out before committing. Hootsuite is available as a web app and for iOS and Android.
(Image credit: Hootsuite)
Plann is an all-inclusive Instagram planning and scheduling tool available for both iOS and Android. Plann lets you schedule regular posts, but also lets you manage Stories – something other tools on this list can’t do yet. Its most unique feature is its drag-and-drop feed feature, which allows you to curate a beautiful image grid. Using this functionality, users can upload images and see how they’ll lay out in their feed to optimise the look of their profile. However, as Plann is exclusively for Instagram, if you’re managing multiple social accounts, you’ll have to bounce between a couple of different scheduling apps. Still, this iOS- and Android-friendly app is perfect for users who want to create the most stunning Instagram feed with the least amount of effort. To top it off, it’s also affordable. Single user plans are free, with their most robust plan costing only $12 per month.
(Image credit: Plann)
3 apps for Instagram to fuel analytics and insights
Instagrammers “like” more than 4.2 billion posts each and every day, but you wouldn’t know it were it not for the power of analytics. If you’re only focused on taking beautiful photos and videos and not watching how they perform, you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to optimise your Instagram’s performance. Consider adding one of these 3 analytics apps to your Instagram suite to track and improve your success over time.
Iconosquare is an Instagram (and Facebook) analytics web app that lets users measure impressions, track follower demographics (location, language, and more), and learn about when their audience is online to boost visibility. It also tracks all the basics – comments, views, likes, etc. – to give a baseline for how each individual post performs. While its analytics capabilities are robust, it doesn’t integrate with Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ or other popular platforms. Iconosquare starts at $29 per month, but large agencies managing multiple client accounts should contact Iconosquare’s sales team for a custom quote.
(Image credit: Iconosquare)
Hootsuite’s scheduling platform has an analytics arm to track trends across your Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook accounts. The platform provides real-time analytics about posts and audience interaction to help you and your team optimise your feed. You can also track who on your team responds to custom inquiries to learn which customer service reps are doing a great job, and who could use a little more training. While its features are robust, some users report having a hard time learning Hootsuite’s interface, so prepare for a bit of a learning curve if you select this tool. Hootsuite Analytics comes with the platform’s scheduling tool, so this feature is included in the baseline Hootsuite price of $129 per month. Hootsuite is available as a web app and for iOS and Android.
(Image credit: LinkedIn)
Command is an Instagram dashboard that helps brands better understand their Instagram users and stats so they can post at the right times and about the right topics. Their “Report Card” feature provides personalised recommendations for how to improve your account performance, and the app also finds trending hashtags within your industry so you can incorporate them into content and boost engagement. For people who prefer to access analytics on a desktop, that isn’t an option with Command; the app is limited to iOS only. Command is specifically for Instagram, and its basic features are free. For advanced analytics, users will need to upgrade to a paid account for $10 per month.
(Image credit: Command)
Our all-time favourite apps for Instagram
Now that you’ve reviewed all 24 apps, you’re probably trying to figure out which are right for you. Instead of spending hours downloading and testing new apps, consider our list of the best of the best apps for Instagram.
#1 photo app for Instagram: Canva
You can’t beat Canva’s all-inclusive set of features. Whether you’re looking to edit photos, leverage their huge collection of stock photography, or create an infographic that will pop off the screen, you can do it all on this platform. Most of that functionality is available for free on all devices (including desktop), which is why it ranks #1 on our list of photo editing apps for Instagram.
#1 video app for Instagram: InShot
Many video apps for Instagram on this list come with cool features, but InShot is a solid app that provides all the basic capabilities you need to edit and enhance video – and it does so in a clean, simple, easy-to-use interface, making it ideal for first-timers. And since it’s available on iOS and Android, it can be used across a team without compatibility issues.
#1 scheduling app for Instagram: Plann
Plann was created specifically for Instagram – and it shows. The app gives users complete control over the aesthetic of their account, letting you preview your feed before going live. Other features, like their built-in competitor analytics tracker and pre-configured feed themes, prove to us they’ve thought of everything.
#1 analytics app for Instagram: Iconosquare
This analytics app has all its bases covered. Its robust insights include audience demographics, reporting, macro-level statistics about the performance of an entire account, and micro-level information about each individual post. And for $29 per month, it’s also one of the more affordable analytics tools out there. We also love that it integrates with Facebook – who doesn’t love two tools for the price of one?
80% of Instagram users follow a business account – why shouldn’t it be yours? Make your feed shine with the help of these content-enhancing and performance-boosting apps for Instagram. As you’re maximising your Instagram presence, consider these extra tips to increase your fans and engage new followers:
- Post mid-week. Instagram sees a spike in engagement during Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the middle of the day. Consider capitalising on your consumers’ mid-week lulls by sharing some fun content that brightens their week (and drives them to engage with your brand).
- Leverage the power of video. The amount of time Instagram users spend watching video has increased more than 80% every year since its launch in 2013. Learn more about boosting your video presence on social media in our ebook, How To Use Video On Social Media.
- Have some fun. Social media is the platform where your brand’s personality should shine the most. While analytics and engagement are both critical, don’t forget to have a little fun along the way.