Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

9 FREE apps that will help you step up your Instagram game

Apps for editing, stories, and everything in between, for the creative in you.

Whether we like it or not, social media is a big part of our lives. And if you are like me, you are always searching for new ways in which you can upgrade your personal or your clients’ social media accounts. Instagram is one of the best platforms to do this on. Between stories, feed and IGTV there are plenty of things to do, not to mention that you can let your creativity and imagination go wild (as much as the client allows it).

The good news is that there are a lot of ways in which you can do that. The bad news is there a lot of ways in which you can do that. Meaning that there always is something new coming out and you have to constantly test out apps and see what works best for you or your clients.

And since I love doing this, but I know people who dread testing out apps, I’ve decided to do some of the hard work for you. Below you can find the apps I use the most when it comes to creating the best feeds and Instagram stories for myself and my clients.

1. Lightroom

First thing’s first: Lightroom. This is an editing app that will help you edit your photos and help you give your Instagram a cohesive theme. You can find free presets all over the internet, or you can buy some if you’d like. I usually use the ones from Creativetacos, that offer quite a few awesome presets that you can use if you’re just starting. Alternatively, you can also use Snapseed (about which we’ll talk later).

The download from the app store is free, but you can also use a paid version if you want more features.

Photo edited with Lightroom

2. Unfold

Yes, this is a classic. Everyone knows about it, and it’s for a reason. But in case you don’t, here’s the gist of it. This an app perfect for your stories. It offers a variety of templates that you can use for your stories. They normally have a more minimalist approach, but I’m sure you’ll find something you like.

The app is free, but there are quite a few packs that you can buy if you want to use them. They are all free with Unfold+, but you can also buy them individually at a decent price.

Story Created with Unfold

3. Mojo

This one might be one of my ALL-TIME favorites. Created to help you design the best stories, it offers both static and dynamic templates. You can use both photos and videos to create cool videos with effects, animations, and even sounds.

You can download it for free and there are a bunch of free templates you can use, but of course, there also other cool templates that you need to pay for if you want to use them. I still have the free version after more than a year of using it and I can still get creative with it.

Story created with Mojo

4. UNUM/Preview

You have probably heard about at least one of them, but these two are apps that will help you organize your photos before posting them on your feed. You’ll get a better view of how your feed will look like with certain pictures in a certain order. You can also move the photos around to see what works best for you. Basically, it will help you create a cohesive feed if you’re into that.

DISCLAIMER* You might experience a sense of losing your mind because you have too many photos in the app and don’t know how to organize them. (This usually happens to me.)

They are both free to download, but all apps have a pro version to it.

Now you may wonder why I didn’t pick only one to add to this list. The answer is simple: because although they both do the same thing, they both have pros and cons.

UNUM

  • Pro: Offers you the possibility to add your already existing Instagram feed to the app to see how the photos you want to add will look with the already uploaded ones.
  • Pro: You can also use it to create stories.
  • Con: If you decide to go for the free version you have a limited number of photos you can add to the app at a time.

I am currently using this one.

Feed designed with UNUM

Preview

  • Pro: Let’s you add an unlimited amount of photos to the feed even on the free version
  • Con: You can’t connect your Instagram feed to the app.
  • Con: Can only be used by a business account.

BONUS: Both apps offer you insights on your audience if you have a business account.

5. StoryArt

StoryArt is another stories-app that I’ve discovered recently and I completely love. It is slowly, but surely becoming one of my favorites. Not only does it offer a wide selection of free and premium templates for stories, both static and animated, but you can also create highlight covers. All in one cool app.

Whether you want a more minimalist approach to your stories or a more colorful one, I’m sure you’ll find a template you’ll like.

BONUS: You can also add some filters to your photos, which are pretty good.

Story created with StoryArt

6. Foodie

This is another app that I’ve recently discovered which I normally use when I want to take a quick shot of my food with a cool filter on it. And filters it has plenty of! It takes a while to go through all of them, but once you pick a couple of them to use, you are good to go. You can also edit your photos on it after you take them.

The best thing about it? It’s FREE!

Photos were taken with Foodie

7. Filmm

We talked about photos, but what about videos? Well, I have an app for that too. Filmm lets you edit your videos, add filters to it, and create a montage with transitions if you have time for that. I’m still discovering a lot of the features myself, but I learned enough to want to tell you about it.

You can download the app for free, but as most of them, you can also purchase a premium version with more filters and editing options.

The best thing about it? You can create longer videos than the standard 60 seconds.

Below you can find a video I created with it.

Video edited with the Filmm app for my IGTV

8. Prequel

Want something that does both? Introducing: Prequel! It offers a variety of filters and effects that you can use both on your photos and videos. So if you want something more on the fun/experimental side, check Prequel out.

One downside? You can only edit a 60 seconds video. But it’s perfect for stories!

Just like most of the apps, you can download it for free, but if you want all the effects and filters, you can also opt for the premium version.

Photos edited with Prequel

9. Snapseed

Almost forgot about Snapseed. This is another photo-editing app, that has a lot of features that you can take advantage of, all for free. I would call it a simpler, more user-friendly version of Photoshop, with the basic features. You can correct your photo, remove unwanted things from it (if you do it carefully), add filters, texts and so much more.

The coolest thing about it? It’s free!

Photo edited using Snapseed

That’s it! Now that you have all the apps you need, it’s time to go and create awesome content for you or your audience. I’m sure you’ll find at least one of these interesting enough to try it out.

I would also like to hear about your go-to app when it comes to Instagram. Do you have a favorite? Is it on this list? If not, I’d love to hear about it.

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