I recently caught up with co-owner and marketing mastermind behind Boston co-retail space For Now, Kaity Cimo. She runs the space with friend and business partner Katharine ReQua. They opened a year ago and have played home to over 80 brands in that time.
Top 11 Instagram Edit Apps for Posts and Stories in 2019
Yes, we hear your pain. Keeping track of the latest and most effective editing apps for Instagram posts and stories can be tiring. On the Apple app store alone, there are thousands of Instagram edit apps.
Polished and professional-looking Instagram posts and stories can not only boost your credibility, but also increase the likelihood visitors follow your page and eventually convert. On top of creating stunning images and videos, the best Instagram edit apps for posts and stories in 2019 are simple to use, feature rich, and gives you more bang for your buck. Most insta edit apps also have a free version that allows you to use basic features before you subscribe.
We wrote these recommendations keeping in mind you will only need to master a maximum of three edit apps for posts and stories. We intentionally kept this list short so you only need to try out the best of the best, and see what works for you. These apps have already been tried and tested, and some are currently used by the Ampjar team.
Pricing: Free or US$4.99 per month
Use case: Quick and easy photo/video editing
Instasize is for content creators who want fast, powerful, and easy editing for IG posts and stories. We rarely see an insta edit app that offers all the essential editing features AND beautifying tools AND text editor. Instasize packs all these features into a simple-to-use, intuitively designed app–which is used by a whopping 500,000 social media content creators around the world.
For Instagram posts or stories, you can start off your editing process with one of 80 photographer inspired filters–enough for every aesthetic you’re going for. You’ll never have to worry about dimensions or weird cropping again. Instasize easily formats your post for insta posts, stories, Facebook, Pinterest and more.
Their collage maker is also the most intuitive one we’ve seen. No more awkward fiddling around with layouts: just select how many photos you want to include and choose from the more popular collage layouts.
What Instasize really impressed us with, though, is the amazing selection of backgrounds that allow your creativity to shine through. Besides the usual color selection and custom photo option, the app is pre-built with stunning patterns and gradients for every mood. Patterns are sorted into trendy themes such as summer, granite, and vibes for easy selection and exploration. Gradients and patterns are not only useful for framing photos–they can also serve as a consistent background for your text.
Pricing: US$19.99 for a lifetime subscription, monthly and yearly options available)
Use case: Photo editing for experts
Quickshot is a great Instagram photo editor for posts that don’t require accompanying text. It is unique in offering camera modes on top of being an editing app. You can use the ‘strobe mode’ to capture action, the ‘quickshot mode’ for the perfect angle and enhancement, and the ‘HDR mode’ for lighting adjustment. If you’re running a product-based business or are an influencer, this is perfect for you. (Psst.. we also have this goodie for you on setting up your Instagram shop)
For editing, there are quick features like ‘Magic’, which automatically improves your image. ‘Magic’ can make a dull photo appear much better and Insta-ready. Quickshot also has interesting and unique features like ‘Sky’ selection, which allows you to alter the skies convincingly. You can easily make gloomy, cloudy skies seem blue and clear.
The filters on Quickshot are grouped by categories such as ‘essentials’, ‘vibrant’, and ‘portrait’. There truly is a filter for every occasion. Overlays help you produce effects such as bokeh, rainbows, and lens flare for those who like giving their photos that extra dose of interestingness. Adjustments allow you to edit the basics such as light, contrast, vibrance, and shadows–which you could do on Instagram too. Primers are similar to filters but dramatically set the mood depending on the photo. Additionally, Quickshot’s portrait mode allows you to add depth to the image and mimick the portrait mood on the iPhone X and XS series.
While the price point is on the high side for Instagram edit apps, it’s worth it for brands who use lots of product images for Instagram.
Pricing: Free or US$12.95 per month per team member
Use case: Professional graphics
While Canva is a versatile graphic design tool–akin to a mobile-first, minimalist version of Adobe Photoshop–it made our top 10 Instagram edit apps for posts and stories. It uses a drag-and-drop format and provides access to over a million photographs, graphics, and fonts. Besides web graphics, Canva also allows you to create print graphics. What we love about Canva is our ability to create custom templates for all sorts of social media content, and to easily optimize them for each platform. We’ve had an amazing experience with Canva on both the web and app platform.
At Ampjar, our design process starts off with Jodi–our talented designer–crafting templates for various social media platforms. She uploads the templates to Canva, so that anyone in the marketing team can use the template, edit the images and post them straight to Instagram. We obsess about staying on-brand, and this workflow allows us to do so. Learn more about how we stay productive on social media here.
You can start off a new design by selecting your use case: Instagram Post, Instagram Story, Logo, Facebook Post, Flyer, etc. All you have to do next is pick a default template or upload your custom template, add in your images, videos, text, and custom colors, and you’re good to go. You could even filter images and videos within the app and adjust their transparency. All your designs are automatically saved in one place.
Besides having templates for various industries and use cases, Canva regularly adds new templates for special occasions like Mother’s Day, Christmas, and Easter. Using Canva is a no brainer for creating stunning Instagram posts or stories that are image-based but require text and additional elements.
Pricing: Free or US$10.90 per month for the Adobe Spark suite
Use case: Professional graphics
Spark Post is part of Adobe Spark, a series of web and mobile tools for creating social graphics, web pages, and short videos. It is a simple tool that allows you to edit photos based on default templates or templates you’ve added in.
The Spark Post app is Adobe’s answer to Canva, and serves as a great alternative as an Instagram photo editor. Even under the free plan, you would have access to a wide array of templates. Categories include: collages, seasonal, and travel. For marketers who do not use custom templates and like getting creative with default templates, having both apps help diversify your template options.
What we love about the Adobe Spark app is that it allows you to pull not only solid colors or your photo library to create your graphics, but also patterns, free/paid stock photos, lightroom, and creative cloud. If you’re a fan and avid user of other Adobe products, using Spark Post as your Instagram edit app makes the most sense. We see photographers, influencers, and designers preferring Spark Post over other apps for their Instagram editing needs.
Pricing: Free or US$6.83 per month for a one year plan
Use case: Professional stories
Ever wondered how a certain brand you follow creates amazing stories with special effects, text overlays, and groovy music? Well, they’re probably using Swish.
Swish is an effortless yet feature-rich editing app focused on creating beautiful Instagram stories. Unlike other video editing apps where you start off with a blank canvas, Swish allows you to select a template as a starting point. The templates are well-designed. There’s something for every industry: sports & fitness, real estate & travel, business & finance, etc.
If you want to up your Insta stories game, Swish is for you. All you need to do is to start adding your own clips or stock clips into the mix. You can edit your story based on ‘scenes’, which are basically pages of your Instagram story. Editing is ultra-intuitive, and the videos that come out of the app look professional. The free plan is pretty limited so you’ll likely have to sign on to the paid plan, which gives you unlimited access to all templates and 50% off all stock videos and images.
This is fantastic for any marketer who focuses heavily on stories and enjoys mixing their own footage with stock videos.
Pricing: Free or US$1.46 per month for a one year plan
Use case: Photo & video editing
InShot is your quintessential insta edit app for photos, videos, and collages. If there was one basic app you had to pick out of these ten, it would be InShot. It offers video editing features such as trim, cut, and split, on top of filters, music, and speed customization.
We love using InShot as a quick solution for: 1) splitting videos based on its natural flow for stories, rather than having Instagram split it at every 15 seconds; 2) addressing the Instagram bug where videos uploaded to stories lose their sound. The photo editing features are basic compared to Quickshot, but should suffice for those who use natural looking photos with minimal editing. Edit features include canvas size, filters, adjustments, background, stickers, and text. We like how easy it is to make collages–there are 16 layouts that will meet every need.
While the app is not template-based and falls under the more traditional camp of Instagram edit apps for posts and stories, it has all the necessary features for a great Instagram editing app.
Pricing: Free but with paid templates
Use case: Scrapbook-y stories
Noticed your favorite travel or food bloggers posting stories reminiscent of scrapbooks or diaries? They’re probably using Unfold–which is basically VSCO for stories. It’s an easy way to give a scrapbook-y feel to your photos and videos, and make your brand’s photos look effortlessly chic. While the 25 basic templates should work for most use cases, Unfold has a store where you can buy more templates. The aesthetic from this Instagram edit app can fit a wide variety of brands including bloggers, influencers, service-based and product-based businesses.
While you can select various layouts, add text, add stickers, and customize the background color, you won’t be able to do basic editing for your photos and videos. You might need to supplement your use of Unfold with other Instagram edit apps, or simply bring your stories to Instagram for some quick filters.
Pricing: Free but with a paid version from US$8.33 per month for a one year plan
Use case: Easy, chic graphics and videos
Over is an all-in-one Instagram edit app that allows you to create posts and stories across Facebook and Instagram, as well as marketing materials for print and web. Over is pretty similar to Canva, so we would recommend picking either one for use. We like the timely, seasonal templates that Over offers. If you work in a team, simply create a team and start collaborating.
We love the ‘layout collections’ which Over offers. You can select a theme: essentials, be bold, or all that glitters, each containing a set of similarly designed templates. By selecting one theme, you’ll be able to stay on brand and keep things interesting for your followers.
With its diversity of templates and intuitive interface, Over is one of the Instagram edit apps that makes editing a lot less of a chore, and a lot more fun.
Pricing: Free or US$2.83 per month for a one year plan
Use case: Comprehensive photo editing
Packed with downloadable filters and effects for photos of every occasion, this one’s for all the influencers and photo-heavy products and service businesses who want to make the perfect shot even more perfect. Filters are designed by top photographers and are comparable to VSCO, and include themes such as island, blush, and lost stories. Effects include flare and bokeh, texture, and dark room. Many of these gorgeous filters and effects, however, come under the paid plan.
ColorStory’s adjustment and color editing features are the most comprehensive out of all the apps in this list. Apart from the usual adjustments such as contrast and brightness, you can even edit curves (for red, green, and blue), hues, and high/midtone/shadow colors. These are adjustments typically seen on heavy weight softwares like Adobe Photoshop.
You can also plan and schedule your Instagram posts within the ColorStory app, so you’ll never have to leave it.
Use case: Customized stories
Backed by Instagram planning and scheduling app Planoly, StoriesEdit is an Instagram edit app that focuses solely on Stories. As with Unfold, the templates tend to have a scrapbook-y feel. Editing is centered on three features: text, shapes, and colors. Stories are built page by page, meaning you can use a different template and have a slightly different look for each page.
We love the unique templates ranging from ‘What’s in my bag’, quotes, cover photos for highlights, and favorite accounts. If you run a female-focused brand, this one’s for you! The template designs are very suitable for brands in the fashion, wedding, beauty, and accessories space.
Pricing: Free or US$2.98 to remove watermark/add sounds
Use case: Hassle-free stories editing
CutStory is a no frills Instagram edit app for stories. This is great for those who want basic video editing features (music, voiceovers, stickers, and text). You have the option to start off from a video or from photos. Photos can be combined to make an Instagram story–the frame rate for each photo is customizable. Basic templates are available for those who need some design inspiration.
While the video editing features are pretty standard and comparable to Instagram, we like how easy it is to make professional-looking stories from photos within CutStory.
Want more? Check out our guide to editing vertical videos for Instagram and IGTV!
We hope you manage to give these editing apps a try! If there’s anything else you’d like us to blog about, drop us a line at email@example.com.
Last updated: June 2019
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