If you use your phone to create social media content, I’ve got 10 amazing apps for you! I’ve created content with all 10 apps, so I know how good they are. I’ve tested out hundreds of apps, but these are the ones I keep coming back to. All 10 apps are free, have great features and are super easy to use. All but one of them can be downloaded for iOS and Android phones.
Use your phone to batch up photos, videos, graphics, Stories, posts, GIFs and cinemagraphs in minutes. Create awesome, engaging content that your audience will love! What are you waiting for? Pick out a few apps and get creating! 🤳🏻
- Create: GIFs, memes, photo slideshows
- Cost: Free / £7.99
- Upgrade for: no ads or watermark, text & sticker animations, extra effects/filters/stickers, add a logo
- See also: GifLab
ImgPlay is so much more than a GIF maker. Of course you can use the app to create, convert and edit GIFs. But you can also save your creations as mov or mp4 videos and use them for Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. ImgPlay creates ‘moments’ automatically from similar photos on your camera roll, which is such a time-saver. Or select photos to put together a slideshow in seconds. Use text, borders, filters and stickers to finish off your design. I’ve kept this app on my phone for years because it’s so quick and easy to use. You can even use the app to create Stop Motions – but sadly only for iOS at present.
- Create: Videos using video and/or photographs
- Cost: Free / £11.99 p/a
- Upgrade for: no ads or watermark, extra effects/filters/stickers
- See also: VLLO, CapCut, Premiere Rush
InShot has often been voted one of the best video editor apps. It’s ideal for beginners as it’s so easy to use. But that doesn’t mean it’s short on features. There’s quite a number of effects such as Glitch to play around with. InShot allows you to detach audio from clips, add text animations and overlay images on video. Unlike some other video editing apps, InShot has a full range of filters, transitions and audio so you only need one app to complete your video. And if you’re a sticker fan, as I am – you’re in luck. 😄
- Create: Perfectly edited photos, double exposures
- Cost: Free
- See also: PicTapGo, VSCO
Snapseed is a free photo editor app from Google that has premium features like masking. But it’s straightforward enough for beginners to use. One of the best things about it is that you can layer your edits – so it’s easy to go back and tweak the first change you made to your photo without affecting anything else. That means the filters (Looks) are also super flexible too. I used one of the Looks to edit the photo shown. Tip: Watch the built-in tutorials to get started. 👍🏻
- Create: Beautifully designed Instagram Stories
- Cost: Free / £18.49 p/a
- Upgrade for: 400+ templates inc Instagram posts, extra fonts/stickers/effects
- See also: Made, StoryLuxe
Unfold was the very first app with templates for Instagram Stories. It has a LOT of competition now, but I still turn to it because the templates are so well-designed and the app is simple to use. It’s still primarily a Stories app with 400+ templates, but has added photo and video editing, Giphy GIF search and an Instagram feed planner. The free version has no watermark and a good number of free templates. And I love that you can favourite templates, organise into folders and save one or all Stories to your phone. That’s why it remains my favourite app to create good-looking stories.
5. Spark Post
- Create: Stylish graphics
- Cost: Free / £91.99 p/a / Included in any Adobe Creative Cloud plan
- Upgrade for: All templates, branding, upload fonts
- See also: PicMonkey, Crello
Spark Post is a Canva competitor and I personally think the app is much better than Canva’s main app. Like Canva, it also has a desktop version. You can ‘remix’ one of the stylish templates available or you can create a graphic from scratch. Spark Post has features you’d expect – you can remove the background from photos, add some basic animation and resize graphics. But it’s the free resources that stand out for me which make it easier to create great-looking graphics. There’s stock photo, stock video, GIPHY search, icons, background, illustrations and fab fonts. Spark Post is part of a trio of tools by Adobe and free with any Creative Cloud plan.
6. Hyperlapse / Microsoft Hyperlapse
- Create: Sped-up tours & events, maker videos
- Cost: Free
- See also: Lapse It
A hyperlapse is sped-up, stabilised video – a form of timelapse. It’s a great format to use for events, for building tours and especially for makers. You can use Hyperlapse (iOS) or Microsoft Hyperlapse (Android) to film any drawn-out process. Because when you speed it up, it’s magical. Boring scenes become engaging when you speed them up. People love hyperlapses. Film with Hyperlapse and you can alter the speed from 1x to 12x. Microsoft Hyperlapse can go up to 32x the speed. Tip: Try recording a hyperlapse from high up so people look like ants. 😄
7. Life Lapse
- Create: Stop Motion videos
- Cost: Free / £48.99 p/a
- Upgrade for: No ads or watermark, advanced editing, bluetooth remote
- See also: Stop Motion Studio
Life Lapse makes getting started with stop motion easy and stop motion is a very popular type of content. It’s definitely worth getting started. The integrated tutorials are fantastic, and the app is really straightforward to use. Take the photos inside the app using the ghosted image feature (onion skinning) to ensure smooth movement. Or import photos and use the app to edit, add effects and a soundtrack. I find being able to lock the exposure and white balance helps hugely and Life Lapse also lets you colour correct. These are the things that make stop motions look much more professional.
- Create: Cinemagraphs
- Cost: Free / £15.49 p/a
- Upgrade for: no ads or watermark, HD resolution downloads, multiple effects
- See also: Motionleap
A cinemagraph is a photograph with an animated section – the sky might be moving, or coffee swirling in a mug. They’re relatively new, and they definitely stop the scroll. Vimage has a wide range of effects, and some of them might make you raise an eyebrow so stick to the subtle ones. Vimage has fog, glitter, birds, fireworks and 4 snow effects. It’s very easy to use and a great starter app if you want to try creating cinemagraphs. Access to Unsplash stock photos is built-in – another time-saver.
9. Spark Camera
- Create: Highlight videos
- Cost: Free / £38.99 p/a
- Upgrade for: Ultra slow-motion, transitions, extra filters, import photos & video
- See also: Glimpse
The trend for 1 second video storytelling goes back a few years, but Spark Camera and apps like it continue the trend. Use the app to both record and edit video clips. Instead of multiple clips gathering dust on your camera roll, you can record snippets within the app. Just hold down your finger and record for a few seconds. When you’re done, move the clips around, add music and a filter – you’re done. It forces you to be more intentional about what you record, and what you want to create. It’s a fantastic way to pull together a video quickly.
- Create: Animated Stories
- Cost: Free / £59.99 p/a
- Upgrade for: branding, all the templates, resize for other social media formats
- See also: Instories, 500 stories
mojo is a premium app for animated social media posts. Many of the templates look as though they’ve been created by big brands. There is a huge range of designs and you can customise all of them. It’s not just the templates that are animated – there are also animations for titles, captions, social media icons, logos and stickers. Plus Giphy is integrated so you can include GIFs. If you create a design and change your mind, you can preview it used with any other template – great feature! You could also use many of the designs for social ads.
Instagram’s single link in the bio is immensely frustrating. ONE link! How do you link to your latest blog AND your newest product or service? What if you don’t even have a website yet? 😩
For many people, an Instagram link-in-bio tool is an ideal way to get around the limitations of the single link.
You get a custom URL which you put in your Instagram bio, and then use the tool to link to your other social media accounts, individual blog posts or events. Even link to specific products on your web page.
You might have heard of Linktree, which lets you point your single bio link to a list of many links.
A mini landing page, if you like. It’s the best-known link-in-bio tool. But it’s had a lot of negative attention because Instagram sometimes treated the links as spam. And as with anything, competitors have developed other, better features. But the best solution is the most obvious one. Do it yourself.
Your own landing page
Most people will tell you that if you have a website, the best solution is to create a landing page just for Instagram. Just as Jenna Kutcher has. You’re sending people to your website, and hopefully, they’ll stay there and take a look around. You don’t need to worry that a third party tool will go down. And Google Analytics won’t have any problems recognising where the visitors are coming from, which can be an issue with some of these tools. [Although you can get around that issue by adding UTM parameters to each link.]
Business coach Ruth Gilbey has an awesome Instagram landing page on her website. Ruth is awesome too! It’s elegantly simple, links can be easily updated and it has the same branding as the rest of her website. If you can do this for your business or for clients, it’s recommended. But if it’s not possible, one of the following link-in-bio tools could be right for you!
Campsite is an effective and customisable tool to add more links to your Instagram profile. It works best when you use it to showcase recent Instagram posts and provide links. For example, your most recent blog posts. It’s easy to drag links up and down, change the image and Fonts and colours are highly customisable, but you can only choose from images on your Insta account. Unless you upgrade. You can add icon links to your other social media accounts. Stats are very basic – you can only see how many times someone has clicked on a link.
Campsite is web only, and it’s much easier to set it up on desktop. After that, it’s pretty straightforward to edit and add links as you post more to Instagram. If you upgrade to Pro, you can also use it with MailChimp to get users signed up to your mailing list.
Price: Free | Pro £5.50 a month / £56 a year (prices approximate)
If you like Campsite, you might like Linktree.
Linkin.bio by Later
Linkin.bio is available as an add-on to Later‘s Instagram scheduling tool. You can add links to articles, videos or products – even multiple links per image if you pay for the Standard version. It works with the Shopify e-commerce platform so you can create a shoppable feed.
You can also work with Google Analytics to get more targeted information on how much each post generates for your business. Note that Later can also be used to schedule for Facebook, Twitter & Pinterest. You setup Linkin.bio on desktop, but you can then add links to posts via desktop or the Later app (iOS/Android).
Pricing: From £7 per month / £72 annually (prices approximate)
If you like Linkin.bio, you might like Tailwind‘s Smart.bio or Sked Social‘s Sked Link.
Milkshake is an app-only solution (iOS/Android) which turns your sole Insta link into a mini-website. The app and aesthetic are very slick indeed, and it’s easy to set up on your phone. Creators and creative businesses seem to be the main audience for the app. You can choose between 15 nicely-designed themes and I suggest browsing the Milkshake site Inspiration first to see if they will fit your business. Check out the free resources on the site whilst you’re there – School of Instagram looks fun. Note that whilst you can change the images used in each theme, you can’t edit fonts or colours.
If you like Milkshake, you might like Gimmme.
Omnilink by Iconosquare
Omnilink is the newest in the 3rd party landing page solutions, and produced by Iconosquare, known for their (awesome) Instagram analytics tool. It seems to be a stand-alone tool, although I might have expected some integration as you can also schedule for Insta with Iconosquare. It’s probably the most flexible design-wise for a free tool. You can choose your exact brand colours, logo and play around with styling.
Omnilink allows you to create an attractive, on-brand landing page for your business. You can add links to your other social accounts, latest blog or video and products too. There are basic statistics showing how many clicks each link gets and from where. It’s free, it’s stylish, it’s just a pity it’s not on your own website!
If you like Omnilink, you might like Bio.fm
sellit by Planoly
Sellit is brand new an add-on to Planoly‘s Instagram scheduling tool. You can only use sellit with one of their paid plans, which cost from £5.50 per month. You use it to create a shopping catalogue with your products, then mimic your Instagram feed with links to the products. Customers can checkout and pay for products directly from sellit. If you don’t have a Facebook catalogue or even a website, this could be a great solution. Find out more about it in this Planoly blog post. Planoly also introduced a Linktree-style tool called linkit at the same time as Sellit – it’s free to all Planoly users. Compare sellit with linkit.
I can help you with Instagram! Check out my Deep Purple Power Hour.