10 best Apps For Instagram Stories to Keep Your Followers Engaged.

10 best Apps For Instagram Stories

Take your Instagram to the next level with these 10 best apps for Instagram stories. We all know they’re an important tool but they can easily start to take up way too much of your time and STILL look a little less than perfect. How many times have you started a Story and scrapped it to start over?

The best things about Stories – on Instagram and Facebook in fact – is that they’re featured right at the top of the home feed, so it’s much easier to get noticed. All you need to do in order to get to the font of the line is add another element to your story… it’s that easy!

But how to get them looking the part without wasting hours (!?) of your day…
There are literally tons of apps out there. And they all say they can help you create visual, enticing IG Stories. But with the sheer number of apps available it can get plenty overwhelming trying to find the perfect one for that post idea you have.

So to give you a helping hand, we’ve put together this list of some of our favourite apps that we use to keep our followers engaged.

Canva: Stories Editor & Maker – Developed by Canva

A simplified graphic-design tool, using a simple drag-and-drop format to provide ready-made templates, photographs, vector images, graphics, and fonts.

Cost of Canva (free/£10.99/£107.99)

While Canva is free, you can get a paid version of Canva Pro that gives you access to additional templates, graphic and photos which costs £10.99 a month or £107.99 for a yearly subscription. The paid version also makes it easier to share designs with your team and gives you access to a vast library of stock imagery.

What we love about it:

SO. MANY. GREAT. TEMPLATES. The best thing about Canva is simply the huge selection of brilliant and beautifully designed templates, all available with customisable animations and updated every two weeks. There’s  graphics, banners and anything else you can think of. Canva can be used on both desktop and phone so if you need to you can start a design on the desktop version and then edit it on the go on your smartphone, which is a really handy feature for those whose find their creative juices flow better when they’re on the move. Plus, you can also use Canva to create Instagram Highlight covers, which is a simplified way to add your branding to your IG profile.

VSCO: Photo & Video Editor – Developed by Visual Supply Company

So apparently VSCO is an acronym for Visual Supply Company [but we’re probably just going to pronounce it ‘Visco’. However you want to say it, VSCO is aphotography app for iOS and Android devices, launched in 2011. The VSCO app allows users to capture photos and edit them using pre-set filters and tools.

Cost of VSCO (free/£3.99/£19.99):

The bare bones of the VSCO app are free, but there’s a £19.99 yearly membership or £3.99 monthly membership which opens up over 130 presets. From film emulation filters like Fujifilm and Polaroid, to advanced photo editing tools such as video colouring, the VSCO community also host weekly challenges, sometimes even offering bonus content.

What we love about it:

The handy thing about VSCO is that the app’s layout is not all that different from Insta, which means it feels totally familiar to use. It has two primary functions: photo editing and photo sharing. You can either import images from your camera roll into the ‘studio’ section of app, or you can take photos directly through the app using the VCSO camera. Once you’ve chosen an image to edit there’s a great selection of pre-set filters and editing tools to use, as well as the option to easily add text to your image. VSCO is a great alternative for people who like the simplicity of in-Insta editing but want a wider selection of tools.

Afterlight – Photo Editor – Developed by Afterlight Collective, Inc.

A photo editing app with a whole host of creative options, the Afterlight was created by photographers, making it a high calibre editing app that allows you to enhance your photos with adjustment tools and filters to very professional standard. Available on iOS and Android.

Cost of Afterlight (free/£2.99/£17.99):

Free to download but you can subscribe for full access to all features for £2.99 for a monthly membership or £17.99 for a yearly membership.

What we love about it:

Afterlight has dozens of filters that offer a different aesthetic appeal compared to the standard 11 filters available on IG stories. Plus, features like Revert, Adjustment Tools, Dust & Light Leak Overlays, Crop & Transform, and Frames & Text really help it stand out in a crowded market. The app also includes 59 filters – including 27 fully adjustable Original Filters, 14 Guest Filters by various Instagram users, and the new Seasons filter pack including 18 filters. There’s nothing we hate more than over-edited imagery, but it’s easy to get carried away with editing when there’s so many options available. No need to worry here though to be fair. Afterlight’s subtle filters enhance photos ever so slightly, so they won’t look overedited.

Over: Edit Photos & Add Text – Developed by Over, Inc.

An Android and iOS design app that allows you to customize your Instagram stories with templates, text, tools and effects.

Cost of Over (free/£13.99/£87.99/£55.99)

There’s a basic version of Over that is free but you can subscribe for ‘Over Pro’ which costs £13.49 a month or £87.99 per year and gives you full access to all features including additional templates, graphics packs and fonts. There’s also an ‘Over Teams’ option for £55.99 per month, specifically for team collaborations, where you can share your projects and assets for group edits or approvals.

What we love about it:

It’s no secret that the fonts available on Instagram Stories is limited. This is why one of our favourite features from the Over app is that it allows you to add any text you like, as well as change the font size and type, and colour. Cleverly it also lets you import your own fonts which is a particularly useful feature for those who want to use their unique brand font across various elements of their Instagram feed. For example: your profile photo, story highlights, etc.

Font Candy: Cool Photo Editor – Developed by Easy Tiger Apps, LLC.

An iOS editing app that lets you produce custom designs in seconds. Font Candy comes with a great selection of fonts and adjustments like text curving, opacity adjuster, and shadow control. Plus, you can add quotes, artwork, filters, colours, and even layers of multiple images to your Instagram Story designs.

Cost of Font Candy (free/£1.79):

Font Candy is a free app but you can subscribe for a weekly fee of £1.79 for access to all the Pro features – which is heavier on the photo-editing features including additional fonts, artwork, photo fill, bend and import tool.

What we love about it:

While some editing apps out there are quite technical, and if we’re honest, a bit daunting to use, Font Candy is really simple. So if you just need to do something straight forward like add text overlays to your videos or captions it’s the perfect tool! The other handy thing about Font Candy is that it has a number of crop presets, which can help ensure that your final design has the correct dimensions.

Unfold: Create Stories – Developed by Unfold Creative

Another great editing app, this one with over 150 templates to choose from as well as advanced text tools, curated fonts and unique stickers. Available on iOS and Android.

Cost of Unfold (free/£2.79/£18.49):

A basic version of Unfold with limited collections is free to download. But if you wantthe full Unfold+ experience including 100+ story templates & fonts, it’ll cost £18.49 for a yearly membership or £2.79 for  monthly membership. That will also get you access to all existing collections, plus early access to new collections and unique stickers.

What we love about it:

Unfold is perfect for creating sleek and minimal collages.TheUnfold app makes it possible to share two or more images to an Instagram Story at one time. You can easily create a slick collage with multiple images or videos within seconds, something you’re not even able to do manually through Instagram. One of the great features of Unfold is that you can create a collage that combines static imagery with video which results in a very professional looking story. On top of that, you can add beautiful text overlays to take your IG Stories to the next level, which is awesome if you’re sick of using the same old Instagram fonts.

cutStory for Instagram Stories – developed by LLC Sport Star Management

An iOS video editing app that lets you divide long videos into a series of shorter clips, so you end up with a continuous stream of videos that you can post as Instagram Stories.

Cost of cutStory (free/£199/39.99):

While cutStory is a free app, there are three one-off payment options to better improve the quality of your edits. You can pay a one-off payment of £1.99 to hide the cutStory logo, or £1.99 to add background music to videos, and finally £9.99 for the My logo extension which allows you to upload your own logo, stickers and create your own sticker collections. All of the above options are one-off payments rather than monthly subscriptions.

What we love about it:

cutStory has no subscriptions – once you buy a feature it’s available for you to use forever, which is an absolute bargain in comparison to many of the other editing apps out there. The app allows you to import a long video of any length and cutStory will cut it for you and export it as 15-second-long clips in chronological order. Videos are exported without compression which is always a handy feature. cutStory has a great selection of templates to choose from such as camera: a selection of templates that create the effect of a camera film roll, paper: a range of templates that resemble a piece of paper or collage as well as many more including old, focus, window, quote, birthday, basic, magazine, fashion, poster and stencil.

A Design Kit – developed by A Color Story LLC.

An Instagram Story app helps you bring colour and vibrance to your images. Showcase your artistic flare using the brush tool, a feature that allows you to draw directly onto your image – pick from tons of available colours from solid colours to a gradient, pastel and many more.

Cost of A Design Kit (free/£2.49/£23.49):

A Design Kit is a free editing app, however, the features of the free version are very limited. All the brush features are available for users that have the free version but you can unlock a few additional brushes by signing up to the newsletter. The text, design, stickers and collage options aren’t as extensive in the free version of the app with much of the features requiring a subscription.

What we love about it:

One of the cool things about A Design Kit is the variety of different brush effects available. The brushes are much more realistic that any options available on Instagram. A Design Kit has brushes which help you draw in colour or textures, perfect for adding professional looking design elements over your photos and text. Once you’ve drawn a design on the app you’re not stuck with the original colour or size – you can change the fill and the size at any time, which is something you can’t do during in-app editing on Instagram stories.

Adobe Spark Post – Developed by Adobe Inc.

Easily turn your designs into animations, auto resize, text effects, design filters, multi-style text, magic layout

Cost of Adobe Spark Post (free/£8.99/£91.99):

The Adobe Spark Post but you can upgrade for £8.99 a month or £91.99 a year to unlock premium templates, Adobe fonts, to change any brand element, add your own logo, colours and fonts  and remove the Adobe Spark watermark from all your designs.

What we love about it:

The professionally designed templates are easily tweaked and personalised in a matter of seconds.  Adobe Spark has a selection of animated templates to choose from, to really bring your Insta story to life. These animated overlays are similar to the GIF’s that are available with the in-app editing on Instagram, however, with Adobe Spark you can change the colour, font, size, spacing etc of your chosen overlay, to really customise your design and make it consistent to your brand. 

Snapseed – Developed by Google LLC

Snapseed is a complete and professional photo editor developed by google.Some of the key features of Snapseed include: 29 tools and filters such as a healing brush, structure, HDRperspective and more. Snapseed boasts some impressive Photoshop-like tools, such as ambiance, selective adjust, and brush tool—which can be done directly on the phone instead of having to transfer photos to and from a computer.

Cost of Snapseed (free):

Snapseed is the only app in our list that is completely free, there’s no hidden subscription charges to unlock additional features.

What we love about it:

The incredibly handy tutorial cards with tips and tricks about Snapseed and general photography. These detailed tutorial cards offer essential editing tips for using Snapseed complete with screenshots and videos. There is an extensive list of tutorial cards that include key information on how to achieve certain filters, such as mastering vignettes, correcting haze, mastering the brush tool and many more. Each tutorial that covers editing tips includes a ‘try it’ button that applies the discussed effect to your chosen image – this is a great tool for when you’re in a rush and don’t have the time to spend ages editing an image.


The Social Media Marketer

The Social Media Marketer is a marketing blog for social media professionals and the marketing industry, covering a range of social media and marketing topics. In addition to the latest news updates, The Social Media Marketer offers tips and tricks relating to social media marketing, advertising and content as well as a more in depth look at industry issues and developments.


Tik Tok app: What is TikTok and who uses it?

Tik Tok app

If you still haven’t heard of the Tik Tok app, then you’ve got to be living under a rock! The short-video social media platform has become a viral phenomenon over the last year, especially amongst young people. With a whopping 800 million+ global downloads, it has surpassed all other major social media apps.

What it is:

TikTok is a social media app that focuses solely on short snappy videos. Developed in China back in 2016, TikTok is ultimately used for sharing short videos. Lip-syncing and dancing videos are the most popular formats on the platform. These videos are mostly 15-seconds long, but if you’re after something with a little more substance, you can string clips together to make stories that are up to 60 seconds long. According to TikTok.com, the platform is the “world’s leading destination for short-form mobile videos.”

So what’s so special about it:

TikTok is one of the most popular social media apps on the planet. The short-video platform now more popular in app stores than Facebook, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat. For a bit of context, it took Instagram six years from its launch to gain the same amount of monthly active users that TikTok managed to achieve in under three years. And for Facebook to hit the same monthly active users mark, it took over four years – so in other words TikTok is a pretty big deal in the world of social media.

History of TikTok:

Tiktok has a somewhat complicated history.

  • We can thank the birth and worldwide success of TikTok to its creator: a Chinese Internet technology company called ByteDance.
  • Musical.ly was developed in 2014 in Shanghai, by long-time friends Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang. It was a generation-Z-heavy social media platform that enabled users to create lip-synching videos.
  • ByteDance bought Musical.ly Inc in 2017 and combined the two apps into a single app named TikTok in 2018.
  • Meanwhile in China, TikTok has a sister app called Douyin – which was previously launched by ByteDance for the China market in September 2016. The two apps run on different servers to comply with Chinese censorship restrictions.

Is TikTok and Douyin the same thing?

While at first glance you may think that TikTok and Douyin are the same thing, (partly due to the fact they have the exact same logos) they are in fact two completely separate entities. although Tiktok and Douyin have the same functions, layout, and logos, the users for both platforms are kept completely separate and are not able to interact with one another.

Is TikTok the new Vine?

TikTok is the ultimate successor to Vine, the birthplace of influencers such as Holly H, who is currently followed by more than 15.9 million people, and Vicky Banham who has 1.3 million followers. These guys are among the UK’s top influencers on TikTok and somewhat predictably began their journey to superstardom on Vine, before moving to Musical.ly and then TikTok.

Many of the features of TikTok are similar to that of Vine, such as being a short-form video app that was heavily dominated by content of comedy sketches, popular dances, music shorts and lip syncing. However since TikTok has with Musical.ly the videos can now be longer and users are able to use a wide variety of in-app editing tools, allowing for effects, filters and the ability to sync your videos to virtually any audio clip out there, in a much more advanced way than Vine ever allowed.

What can you actually do on TikTok?

  • You can watch and create videos, all of which will auto-play in your feed.
  • Users can create collaboration videos by replying to someone’s post or by uploading videos of themselves involved in challenges and memes.
  • Thanks to it’s Musical.ly roots and a more recent integration with Apple Music, TikTok has an extensive music library, free to use with any user generated video. .
  • Video editing allows users to apply visual filters that can be added either before or after recording. These include face filters, such as face-aging or beauty-enhancing filters, background filters and even interactive animations.
  • Other video editing options include, split screens, transitions, stickers, GIFs, emojis, and loads of other effects.
  • TikTok is friendly community where users can interact with one another. Each user is able to follow accounts, comment, give hearts and share videos.
  • The app also uses hashtags for visibility and content collation.
  • People have commonly edited together ‘best-of’ compilation videos and share them on other social media platforms – giving TikTok a unique cut-through to users beyond its own platform.
  • TikTok are monetizing the platform by allowing in-app purchases of ‘coins’ which can then be used to buy Emojis to gift to others in appreciation of their work or to say thank you.

TikTok and the music industry:

TikTok has a particular affinity with the music industry, able to surf daily trends in music, not only making it more attractive to users that are into the latest tracks but also making it useful for artists to help broaden their listener base.

The Lil Nas X song”Old Town Road” is a perfect example of this and can even go as far as to thank TikTok for its massive viral success. Lil Nas X uploaded the song to TikTok himself. While there are hundreds of thousands of videos using “Old Town Road” on TikTok, the song’s initial boost came from a popular meme where users can be seen drinking “yee yee juice,” which then transforms them into a cowboy. According to TikTok itself, Lil Nas X’s success shows exactly how talented artists can grow a fanbase and promote their music.

Jay Sean has recently even re-entered the UK charts thanks to exposure via TikTok. Sean’s hit song ‘Ride It’ was first released in 2008, but Kosovo-based ‘DJ Regard’ has given the song a new lease of life with a 20-second remix. Since DJ Regard’s version of Ride It was uploaded there have been more than 4.1 million videos created by users, using the song as a backing track. The exposure of Ride It was further helped by the apps #rideit challenge – where TikTok users uploaded videos of themselves dancing to the song.

Brands on TikTok

Formula E and Rugby World Cup are the latest UK sports brands to get on board. Prior to these, tennis championship, Wimbledon and Premier League football team, Liverpool, joined the platform to capture fans’ attention through their entertaining videos. With sports being a popular and beloved category on TikTok, it makes sense that sports’ brands are keen to use the platform to attract a younger audience.

UK media brands are also getting in on the act, including Kiss Radio, LadBible, PopBuzz, Daily Mirror, Capital FM, Buzzfeed, Hello Magazine, Wales Online, the Sole Trader and more. There’s a wide variety of TikTok content coming from these UK media brands, from the fails and memes shared by LadBible to the royal and celebrity news-bite videos shared by Hello Magazine. With these significant brand partnerships in mind, it’s safe to say we can expect to see TikTok continue to grow in the UK. 

A number of significant American brands also use TikTok, most notably NFL have partnered with TikTok in multi-year partnership in 2019. TikTok celebrated the kick-off of NFL’s 100th season by allowing attendees to create their own unique TikTok videos showing their love for their favourite teams and players in an NFL-themed experience.

TikTok Summary:

  • In October 2018, TikTok had 500 million monthly users (SCMP, 2018).
  • When it merged with Musical.ly in August 2018, Musical.ly alone had over 100 million monthly active users.
  • TikTok was downloaded 68 million times in October 2018, making it the world’s third most downloaded application. (Business of Apps, 2019).
  • The app is now available in 150 global markets (Business of Apps, 2019).
  • TikTok is available in 75 different languages (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2019).
  • 60% of TikTok’s monthly app users are 16-24 years old (Mediakix, 2019).
  • 66% of all TikTok users are under the age of 30 (Mediakix, 2019).
  • In China, the Douyin app reports an average of 400 million monthly active users, 50% of which use the app daily.  (Technode, 2018)

Here are some of our favourites:

The happiest goat we’ve ever seen #lifegoals

A little cheeky humour from Wimbledon:

Classic LadBible

The #rideit challenge

TikTok users – Top 10 countries across the world

Despite being relatively new to the British market, the TikTok app is fast growing in the UK with 3.7 million users [as of April 2019].

Here’s how other countries stack up when it comes to number of users [as of February 2019]:


The Social Media Marketer

The Social Media Marketer is a marketing blog for social media professionals and the marketing industry, covering a range of social media and marketing topics. In addition to the latest news updates, The Social Media Marketer offers tips and tricks relating to social media marketing, advertising and content as well as a more in depth look at industry issues and developments.


Social Media and Marketing Automation

Marketing automation


Could social media and marketing automation be the perfect partnership?
Social media has revolutionised marketing. It’s revolutionised the world, actually, but marketing has experienced perhaps some of the most wide-ranging changes. Social media allows unprecedented access to consumer data and provides us with actionable insight in to their habits, interests, likes and dislikes, like never before.

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The 12 Best Social Media Tools For Teams

Best social media tools for teams


From social sharing to metric measuring.
Social media has fast become one of the most essential marketing channels available today but with so many platforms to manage, trying to create, launch and tailor a social media strategy can really get your head in a spin. How can you make sure your team of social specialists are all pulling in the same direction, let alone making efficient use of their time? Well fear not, because here we are with a run-down of some of the best social media tools for teams at your disposal for social media management.

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