There are hundreds, if not thousands of Instagram story enhancement apps floating around that claim they can ‘take your Instagram Stories to the next level’, which in principle sounds great, but how do you know which ones to try or which ones would best suit your needs? And how do you know if they’re going to do what you want or even if they’ll be cost-effective to you?
I’m Danny Freeman, one of OST’s Community Managers, which means I spend a large part of my working day on Instagram. In recent weeks I’ve test-driven some of the most highly recommended and compiled my personal overview of what I now consider to be the top 5.
The Top 5
Best for: Easily creating content within your brand guidelines
Over is an Instagram Stories creation tool that provides you with everything from backgrounds to professional-looking templates. Generally speaking, Over seems to be aimed at brands that want to keep within their style guidelines and maintain a cohesive presence. With its capabilities, you can easily upload company logos, fonts, and colour palettes so that everything will look as ‘on-brand’ as possible.
This app retails at £9.99 a month (or £84.99 a year) for the PRO version. There is a free version, but it is incredibly limited and although it isn’t cheap to upgrade by any means, as the saying goes, you get what you pay for.
Best for: Videos and animations
The Mojo package gives you access to more than 100 video templates, all of which are 100% editable, ideal for the more video content-focused brands. There are hundreds of different text variations to choose from on the platform, all of which are fully animated and customizable. The app also comes out with new templates and text styles every month so you can keep your feed fresh.
Mojo retails at £7.99 a month (or £29.99 a year) for the PRO version which I would highly recommend upgrading to, as the free version is, again, extremely limited.
Best for: Budgets
Unfold can be used to showcase a brand’s photos in their best light. The platform offers a wide selection of print-inspired editorials and gives a classic look and feel to stories with editing features such as templates, frames, and ripped photo edges. This app is clearly aimed towards artistic types, designers, and other creatives.
Retailing at £2.79 a month (or £18.49 a year) for the Plus/Pro version, it is one of the most affordable apps on the list and, in my opinion, is a must-have for any creative looking to up their IG photo game.
Best for: Creatives on the go and on tight deadlines
Impresso allows you to create visually stunning stories on the go. The app offers a huge variety of quick and easy templates, making it easy to find something that matches your brand. It allows you to edit templates and text easily and also includes a photo and music library, bringing together a whole range of useful and easily accessible features in one place.
Coming in at a retail price of £9.99 a month (or £49.99 a year), it is the ideal choice for any social media executive, especially those who need to turn around some quick content.
5. Adobe Spark
Best for: An Adobe-level of templates, and cross-device use
Adobe Spark offers thousands of free templates, eclipsing the amount of most platforms (which I expected from the Adobe brand). With this package, you don’t need to be a great artist or technically skilled to change up your design. If you start a masterpiece on your tablet and want to finish it up on your mobile device later, no problem. Adobe Spark works across a range of devices, so you can always pick up where you last left off, so your designs will always be to hand.
If you’re already a subscriber to the Adobe Creative Cloud, then Adobe Spark is completely free. For the remainder of the rest of us, this app retails at $9.99 a month (or $99.99 a year), making it on par in terms of cost with most of the other packages on this list. In terms of simplicity, you would be hard pushed to surpass it.
I can confidently say that all of the apps on this list are unquestionably good at what they do. Some are more tailored towards the everyday social media user, and some are catered towards long-time influencers and advanced content creators.
In order to pick the best platform for your brand, assess which type of content you’ll be producing most, and if you still can’t decide, try the free versions before you commit.
The app that stood out the most to me was Impresso. It offers the quickest and most versatile templates for short deadlines, with a huge variety of choices on offer. The addition of the incorporated music library makes it a fantastic choice for creatives across the board to use, easing the strain on your design team. It is an incredibly user-friendly app and is ideal for creating both photos and videos for your Instagram Stories.