My Favorite Apps for Instagram Stories

It's no secret that short-form video has taken over the social media world, but we're now seeing HUGE growth numbers on Instagram because of it. Tik Tok users are pushing out content and getting more eyes on their Instagram pages. It truly felt like Instagram's growth was moving very slow and steady. As Digital Marketers, we need to keep up with the trends because that's just a part of the job whether you know how to use a new tool or not. As a result of this incredible growth on Instagram, we are being told (in the world of social media) to create 10-15 Instagram stories PER DAY!! That's a lot! In order to keep up with the high demand for new content, you're going to need some apps to help, and I've gotcha covered ;) I've compiled a list of my favorite apps to use to help make your Tik Tok videos, Instagram stories, photos, or reels look WAYYY cooler in seconds!

Filmm: best for Instagram videos

I use this app to make cool Instagram videos although they do have an app called Template that is meant specifically for Instagram posts or stories. Sounds confusing but one is meant for videos, the other is meant for photos. All edits on both apps are somewhat similar but I find more options in the Filmm app. I did download both, but I noticed I can create Canva-style Instagram posts better than the "Template" app. I'm not great at editing videos so when I find an app to help me do that faster, I hopped on that bandwagon REAL QUICK! Also, short-form videos are definitely where it's at in the world of social media today.

Tezza: beautiful pre-sets for photos

Personally, I love using the Tezza app to edit my photos to have a cohesive aesthetic. Most people purchase Lightroom edits to copy and paste over their own photos. I love the presets that are available on this app better because I am so indecisive. These look so fresh and all you have to do is copy and paste a previous edit onto your new uploaded photo. I do have to say you should edit your photos one at a time. If you try to bulk edit your photos (10 photos or more), the app itself tends to closeout and you have to start again from scratch.

Unfold: cool photo template layouts

There are a million different Instagram story template apps out there but I truly love Unfold. I feel like so many people like to use Canva for Instagram stories (and I definitely do too) but for a quicker edit, Unfold can get the job done right from your phone. I don't like using the Canva stories app on my phone because it tends to be extremely slow. The Unfold app gives a cooler-sleeker look than any other.

PicsArt: add texture or change background

I will be the first to tell you that I don't have the patience for Photoshop. So when I found out PicsArt has a paid option for cooler edits, I (again) hopped up on that bandwagon. I know that a trend in 2021 is to have fewer filtered/edited photos but I do enjoy making my Instagram videos more engaging than ever. Instagram filters are a HUGE trend so why not try out cool graphics and designs for stories that only live on your profile for 24 hours?

mojo: create animated templates

Mojo app is veryyyyy similar to Unfold although I feel like it has more options for animated Instagram stories instead of still photos. I like to have a bunch of different options available on my phone for quick edits. If you upload a still photo in their app, they can create a short video from these photos.

over: fun fonts

The Over app has a lot of really cool fonts within their app. Definitely a different set of fonts than ALL of the other apps I mentioned above. If you are looking to use your OWN fonts, you can upload them within the app to keep everything branded. You can also share these edits with a team in order to keep working within one app instead of downloading each Instagram story edit and uploading it into another tool.

Canva Stories: branded stories & posts

EVERY digital marketer out there will tell you that the Canva app is a must-have! It's a user-friendly graphic design app with beautiful templates that you can use as inspiration to create perfectly branded creative posts for your business or brand. The one downfall to using Canva is that EVERYONE uses Canva so it's highly likely that you'll see a similar design if you don't edit it completely differently than the templates provided.

animoto: create branded videos

Unlike the Filmm app, you can edit your videos within the app AND include exact branded fonts and colors. If you want to keep everything branded. You can blend photos, video clips, and music together all in one space for Instagram or Facebook stories. Again, I love having a few different apps that can do the same exact thing because I've noticed that if one app has an update before another, I'm already used to using the interface instead of trying to learn how to use a new app out of the blue.

threads: create videos with text

"In a recent report by WHO, over 5% of the population - 466 million people - have disabling hearing loss (432 million adults and 34 million children). And as a brand or creator on Instagram, your Instagram content should be as inclusive as possible, and video and Instagram Stories captioning could help achieve that." - A great app to help create more inclusivity for those who experience a hearing loss is an app that can create subtitles on any video content created + posted. I love using the app threads because it is directly connected to Instagram. Instagram originally created this app as their version of a messaging app, similar to the Facebook Messenger app living separately from the Facebook app itself. Other apps that can create similar subtitles on videos include; subtitles app, trine,, mixcaptions.

VSCO: edit photos & videos with pre-set filters

If you're looking for a way to edit your photos in a more user-friendly way than opening Photoshop, I highly recommend using VSCO. It's similar to the Tezza app, although I feel like this has WAY more filtered options. A quick tip if it seems a little intimidating is to go on Pinterest and type in "VSCO theme" that resonates with your brand. You will find the exact presets and filters to use in the app which makes it a little less intimidating to use but you can play around with the color that best suits YOU. When I work with clients who want quick edited photos, I save a Pinterest Mood Board with a few VSCO filter options so I know what to refer back to.

Here's my quick round-up of apps that I use on a weekly basis for myself and for my clients to create branded and curated content for a specific audience. I'd love to hear your favorite apps for making AMAZING Instagram stories. There are SO many apps out there to enhance your social media to its greatest potential and I'd love to learn from you too!