Apps are a big part of creating digital content for social media. Let’s face it, us Instagrammers would be nowhere without our apps. Instagram is great, in itself, but creating content for Instagram takes a lot more finesse than those 10 basic filters they provide. Whether you’re a career instagrammer or someone who uses the app for fun, we can promise you that you need these apps. We’ve taken the hard work of a lot of trial-and-error, downloads and user experience off of your plate. Over time, we’ve combed through a ton of apps, covering everything from IG story templates to post planning and photo manipulation. We’re highlight our top 10 apps every Instagrammer needs in this article. We love these apps so much that we feel it’s appropriate to offer up a premature “you’re welcome”.
Apps Every Instagrammer Needs
This app is our saving grace when it comes to both feed planning and post planning and it’s why it’s on the top of our list of apps every Instagrammer needs. Planner has both free and paid features, but we personally feel like the free features are enough reason to download this app. Your previously posted photos are pre-loaded into the app and you have the ability to add future photos to the mix and change around the order. This has enabled us, and their thousands of other users, to strategically plan out an aesthetically pleasing feed. In addition to this feature, which to be honest, was the main reason we downloaded the app, Planner allows you to schedule posts (paid feature). If you’re running around all the time and don’t have time to post, but want to be generating content consistently on Instagram, this is a great option. It automates your posting for you, including pre-written captions.
A hidden feature of Planner that we find particularly helpful is the hashtags. Buried within the settings menu is a place to store hashtag groups. It’s amazing, we know. Not only does this app allow you to store hashtag groups for easy posting, but they also help you find the most popular hashtags by topic and category. For example, if you tap into their “find hashtags” tool, you’re able to type in “fashion blogger” and all of the most beneficial, popular hashtags for that category pop up for easy adding. There are tons of hashtags tools like this out there, but none that are free and as easy to use as this one. Well worth checking out.
We’re grouping these two equally awesome apps together because you need both of them equally and both are extremely similar in function and offering. Both of these apps are great for spicing up your Instagram stories or playing around with your posts. You’ve undoubtedly seen photos or stories on your feeds that have been edited with either of these apps. They offer a selection of really cool photo frames that resemble polaroids and old Kodak film. It seems like Instagram, in general, is heading towards a more artistic, vintage feel, which explains the popularity of these photo frames.
In addition to offering a cool selection of photo frames, Unfold also offers more graphic design and layout focused templates that are honestly really great. On both of these apps, there’s a selection of pre-loaded, free photo templates that are pretty good. They also offer the option to purchase other photo frame “packs.” We’ll be honest, they’re all pretty cool and we’ve bought a few of them, ourselves. These are no doubt apps every Instagrammer needs to step up their Instagram game.
This one is a given, and it’s for a good reason. If you haven’t heard of Snapseed, you should download this app immediately. It’s basically like a mini photoshop on your phone. This app gives you the unparalleled ability to alter specific sections of your photos in terms of clarity, saturation, contrast, exposure and brightness. There are so many useful, amazing tools within this app that it’s hard to give note to all of them. This app has its own set of photo filters, specific to different themes, like “Grainy Film” or “Double Exposure.” You can even alter perspective of your photos, which is a crazy advanced option for a mobile app to offer.
We’re still discovering new features to this app on a regular basis. Feel free to drop a note in the comments below if you discover something particularly awesome about this app! We’re curious to see what you guys can do with this app that we haven’t yet.
For us lucky people who own Adobe Lightroom on our desktops, there’s a great mobile version of this program that is unmatched in color and light manipulation. Lightroom Mobile is just as good as the desktop version if you’re doing minor changes and edits and offers nearly the same tools as the desktop software. Not much hype needs to be raised around Lightroom. The program and the sheer number of creatives who default to using the software speak to how great it is.
Unfortunate side note: If you haven’t paid for the Lightroom desktop software, the app is not available to you. Upon downloading the app, you’re asked to sign into your Adobe Creative account, after which, you’re allowed access to use Lightroom via your mobile device.
There’s really no getting around this one, and while we’re at it, there’s really no shame in it. People tip-toe around admitting that they use FaceTune because it has this assumption behind it that you’re severely altering the way you/your body look. FaceTune is so much more than a tool to change how big or small a part of your body is. The patch tool in FaceTune is great for getting rid of stray people/construction/other unsightly or undesired things in your photo. The detail tool is also a go-to for us. It essentially brings out all of the details in your photo and honestly makes it a lot more visually appealing and interesting to look at. There’s a number of other really useful tools like teeth or eye whitening, red eye removal and the ability to “paint” specific tones onto your photo (good for evening out skin tone, for example). The app is well worth the few dollars to download and has become one of our most-used apps when it comes to photo editing.
Another obvious fan-favorite, but it definitely has to be mentioned. VSCO is almost everyone’s go-to for photo filters. We have no shame in admitting that we’ve bought almost every single photo filter pack that the VSCO store has to offer, and honestly, we use most of them. The plain old color and light manipulation features are great, as well as their film grain which is classic and adjustable. Since everyone pretty much knows the deal when it comes to VSCO, we’ll give you a little extra info and share our favorite filters for purchase on the app so you have an idea of what’s worth the splurge and what isn’t.
Well-worth the purchase: J-filter pack, A-filter pack, C-filter pack, M5 filter
7. Huji Cam
If you’re into the vintage trend that’s happening all over Instagram, but aren’t that well versed in photo editing, Huji Cam is a great alternative. This app is super easy to use and doesn’t require a ton of post-process editing. It gives your photos a distinctly vintage/film aesthetic, instantly giving any color in the shot a nice boost and more visual interest. We know a ton of people who are non-bloggers and non-photographers that revert to using this app instead of spending 20 minutes navigating the tons of editing apps we’ve mentioned in this article.
Keeping with the vintage thing that’s happening not just on Instagram, but in society, in general, we introduce you to 8MM. 8MM gives you old film style videos, instantly. There’s a ton of little buttons and toggles on the 8MM app to give your videos a little extra spice, including little glitch-type edits. This app functions, essentially, like a different type of camera and gives any video content a really fun, old school, almost romantic element. If you’re a fan of mega-blogger (and mega-babe) @tezza, you’ve seen this app in action. She uses 8MM, exclusively, for most of her fun IG stories. Check it out if you’re curious to see what this app can do before purchasing.
FotoRus is the hidden gem of photo editing apps. Chances are, you haven’t heard of this app yet, and to be honest, we kind of found it by accident. We personally use this app exclusively to lengthen the body/legs in shots that were taken from a higher angle (which makes the subject of the photo appear shorter). That being said, if you’re really into post-process editing or if you need a little extra help on a specific photo, this app is a must. There’s even a beauty section of the app that will apply full-blown makeup onto your face and it’s all customizable. While we’d never suggest fully changing your appearance using apps like FotoRus, we’ve found it particularly helpful in a number of instances. For example, if you want to share your new favorite mascara, but the photo doesn’t do it justice, there’s a mascara option in the beauty section of FotoRus that will give your lashes an extra boost. Pretty cool, right? Just be careful not to over do it!
10. Canon Connect (and similar)
If you have a more professional camera, like a Canon or a Nikon, do yourself a favor and download the app. Most of these professional cameras these days have built-in WiFi systems. Such a blessing for us Instagrammers. Our Canon Connect app allows us to take photos using our phones as a remote control, allows us to download photos that are on our SD cards straight into our phones and gives you control over lighting, focus and location tracking on your camera. Pretty cool, right? These cameras are typically really expensive, so the apps really allow you to get the most out of your investment.
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