17 Easy-to-Use Mobile Apps for Visual Storytelling

If you are looking for some great Mobile Apps for Visual Storytelling then look no more.

I’ve compiled a list of visual content apps that will enable you to create awesome visual content from your mobile device no matter where you are. Let’s get started!  

17 Easy-to-Use Mobile Apps for Visual Storytelling
Image by Shutterstock

Creating social media and marketing content has never been easier with the visual content apps we have available to us.  Mobile apps for visual storytelling can help you create everything from images to GIFs to video… there’s an app for just about everything. Though of course you don’t have to use them all at once!

I often get asked online, on podcast interviews or when speaking at conferences about my favourite mobile apps for visual storytelling.  So here are the apps that have pole position on my mobile phone that I am loving right now…all wrapped up for you:

These apps let you DIY your visual content creation in a snap, on the move, without using a designer. How cool is that?  It’s literally like having a design team and a video editor in your pocket.

The List

This list will change with time, as I may update it, replace or add different mobile apps for visual storytelling – depending on what I am using right now.

Instead of showing you the tool and all the functions, I am going to take the Steve Jobs approach and show you the benefits.  I’ve included an image from the Instagram Account of some of the tools (the smart tools have Instagram accounts to showcase their tool).

Then you can see first hand what you can ACHIEVE with the tool.  Click on the images to check out the Instagram account for some of the featured tools, and see more images and examples:

NOTE:  If you use any of these mobile apps for visual storytelling, be sure to check the terms of use (most are available for business/commercial use but it’s best to check the latest licencing for the app). Also, make sure you are licenced to use any music you include, especially if it’s for business or commercial use.  

17 Mobile Apps for Visual Storytelling (that You’ll Love)

Let’s jump in by starting with Visual Storytelling Tools using Still Images.

I should note that just because an image is a single image doesn’t mean it can’t be part of an overarching visual storytelling process.  Every image you layer is part of telling your brand story – even if it is a funny photo or quote – it’s all about your brand voice and sharing valuable content with your community:

Image Tools for Visual Storytelling

#1.  Over

Over is one of the few visual content creation apps that has stood the test of time. And it keeps getting better.

This app has an awesome layer tool and very funky fonts.  Here’s an example of how you can mask elements of your image:

I wrote about Over here. and in that post I featured this cool video showing how you can easily create layered effects with the masking tool in Over. It warrants sharing again:

I should note that Over Pro is the premium level of membership for the app.  Instead of doing a bunch of in-app purchases you can pay $9.99 per month on subscription (you can trial it for 7 days).

Pro gives you access to all of Over’s creative tools:  100,000+ ready made graphics, fonts and images… including every template that is currently available on Over.  Their library has been around for years, so it’s a huge library. If you love Over, it’s worth it. It’s on Android and iOS.

#2.  Enlight PhotoFox

The tag line for the PhotoFox app is “You’ll never believe what you can create on iPhone”.  Wow. Bold statement. And actually… it’s kinda true.

This app is a little whacky in a fun way. You can create some other-worldly crazy effects or just stick to the general more subtle effects… either way, the use of layers and blend tools in PhotoFox are pretty cool.

I can’t explain it well, so I suggest you head to Instagram to get the full “picture”. Here you go:

#3.  Picmonkey App

PicMonkey app is the offspring of Picmonkey.  It’s the godfather of DIY visual content apps and I have a soft spot for Picmonkey. It was the first visual tool I used outside of the big guns like Adobe. They’ve been going strong every since and now they have a cool app.

Picmonkey has taken the best parts of their main desktop tool and added them in a “tappable” way to the app.  They’ve stripped out the kitchen sink and kept the cool bits.  It’s about easy, beautiful photo editing with fun parts like text, stickers, filters and effects.

Here’s an example of the app being used for filters and effects:

Get on our Level🍩 two brand spankin’ new features: Levels & Clarity ✨ on PicMonkey mobile app!

A post shared by PicMonkey (@picmonkey) on

Animation Tools for Visual Storytelling

These mobile apps for visual storytelling allow you to create short video snippets. Visual content that is short and engaging catches attention on the newsfeed and will loop on Instagram and Facebook.

These tools are best for creating short 3-10 second video snippets:

#4.  Lively

You know all those live photos that sit on your phone? It’s time to use them!

Lively is a cool app that allows you to convert live photos to GIFs and Video.   It’s an easy way to use the content you have to create short video for use across Facebook and Instagram.

#5.  Adobe Spark Post

Adobe Spark Post is one part of the Adobe Spark series (Post/Images, Web Pages and Video).

In addition to having cool responsive templates on the mobile app, you can also animate your images, to make short video snippets. These are perfect for Instagram or Facebook.

I love this pan effect – it’s great for creating eye-catching short videos:

You made it. Happy first day of Spring! 🌸🌸

A post shared by Adobe Spark (@adobespark) on

#6.  Canva Animations

Did you know you can create animated visuals with Canva? Just choose the animation feature (when you go to publish) and you can convert your design into a .gif or .mp4 format.

It works well for simple text over image animations.   You can choose from 6 styles of basic animation (only available in Canva for Work level of membership).

I say it works for “some” designs, as it works best with the simple canva templates – if your design is too complicated Canva will usually not offer the option to animate it. 

#7.  Ripl App

Ripl is an oldie but a goodie and a great app to get started with short video snippets. The fonts are basic but for many small businesses this is an easy place to start.

Ripl is constantly adding new templates and designs so it’s worth adding to your visual storytelling arsenal. It’s on Android and iOS.

Take control of your #marketing with today’s #free design! #MadeWithRipl

A post shared by Ripl (@riplapp) on

#8.  Apple Clips

Clips is an iOS app (funnily enough it’s not on Android haha) for making and sharing fun videos. You can add text, effects, graphics and more!

It’s a great tool for short video when you don’t want to learn how to do any editing or any fancy video stuff.  One of the best features is the ability for users to create animated captions on their videos, using just their voice.  It’s “live” captions and it’s pretty cool.

It also has photo and video filters and some cool text overlays. It’s a nice basic video tool if you are just starting to play and want to have some fun

Video Tools for Visual Storytelling

Now we’re moving into video itself.  Here are some great mobile apps for visual storytelling that focus on creating short video:

#9.  Quik

Quick is Go Pro’s super simple video creation tool. I first heard about it when I was travelling in India after speaking at a tourism conference. One of the bloggers I was travelling with published an amazing video at the end of a very busy day’s travel.

The rest of us were like…. “what?? How did you create such a cool video so quickly?”. Their answer:  Quik.

Quik is perfect for action and outdoors-y videos because… well.. it’s Go Pro:

 

But they also have awesome templates for fun and quirky videos too – perfect for social videos:

Merry Christmas!!! #christmas #love #santa #gift #joy #sweet #happy #quikapp #video

A post shared by Quik (@quik_app) on

#10.  Animoto

You mave have heard me rave about Animoto’s marketing video builder, which is amazing for creating business videos. I wrote about it here.

They also have a mobile app on iOS and Android.  Although the mobile app doesn’t allow you to use the functionality of the marketing video builder (and I think it’s better on desktop anyway), the app does give you access to their slideshow builder to create slideshow videos on the go. You can also share exisiting slideshows and marketing videos from within the iOS and Android Apps.

The desktop marketing video builder is amazing, and is my choice for working with Animoto, but this app is a handy tool for creating basic videos on the go!  And they have some cool styles like this fun “Instagram Style” slideshow called Impulse:

 

Festival weekends rock on with our new Instagram style, Impulse.

A post shared by Animoto (@animoto) on

#11.   Artisto

Artisto is something entirely different altogether. It allows you to turn your videos into living, breathing works of art.  Here’s an example:

#12.  Videorama

I’ve been playing with this app a little and I love it. Videorama’s tagline? The power of desktop quality video editing in the palm of your hand”.

It really is.  Videorama is all about making editing video easy … and on a tiny mobile phone!

You can add text, light leaks, special effects (from snow to explosions), edit the video length (cut, split, trim), add transitions, search and use stock images and video stock, add voiceovers and narration, reverse videos, speed them up, add music …. and more!

It’s a mind-blowing little app.  This next video uses three features:  animated text, music and an “old film” overlay

Again, be sure you have the rights to use music clips or use stock music that you have the licence to use:

Videorama also now offers single color text backgrounds to use between videos or images:

#13.  Spark Video

Again, Adobe have created a great tool in Adobe Spark Video – available on desktop and mobile.  You can combine video clips, photos and icons into a seamless video and add text overlay.

Choose from a range of easy-to-use templates!  Your projects are also synced across web and mobile so you can work on the videos on your mobile device or easily share them to social platforms.

#14.  Enlight Videoleap

Remember Enlight PhotoFox above? Imagine if you could wrap all of those cool editing effects into a video app. Now you can!

Meet Videoleap.  I am only just starting to play with this cool app, but I love what I see so far.  It’s one to experiment with for sure.

Check out just one example below – adding light leaks and cool effects to a drone video takes it to another level.

 

Instagram Apps for Visual Storytelling

I love Instagram for Visual Storytelling. One of the great things about Instagram is that the are so many apps within the tool itself to help you tell you brand story.

With that, Instagram has produced a number of mobile apps for visual storytelling – some of them sitting right within Instagram Stories so you can use them in a snap:

Instagram Visual Apps for Visual Storytelling

#15.  Hyperlapse

Hyperlapse allows you to create timelapse videos and then import them into Instagram to post. It’s great for taking us on a tour, showing behind the scenes and adding some variety to your content.

#16.  Rewind

This is a fun app for flipping your video content to show it in reverse. With the right kind of content it can be really fun – useful in short video snippets.

The best part about Rewind is that it sits right within the Instagram Stories app, so you can easily take and post reverse video straight into Instagram Stories.

#17.  Boomerang

If you haven’t been living under a rock you would have seen Boomerang in action all over Instagram. It’s basically a short video snippet that repeats. It can be a lot of fun to use.

The app is available on the app store but also sits right within Instagram stories so you can use it there too.  It’s a great addition to your arsenal of mobile apps for visual storytelling.

That’s a wrap on our mobile apps for visual storytelling.  You can find out more tips about creating visual content here

Now, it’s over to you…

Your Turn

What are your favourite mobile apps for visual storytelling right now? 

7 Easy-to-Use Mobile Apps for Visual Storytelling (Some of these will blow your mind!)
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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, winner of Best Business Blog in Australia 2014 and a Top 10 Social Media Blog for Social Media Examiner, 2015-2017. She helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Her content has been featured in publications such as Forbes and Entrepreneur Online and she is a contributor to Social Media Examiner. Donna speaks about digital and visual content for the marketing and tourism industries internationally.
  • Love your blog, Donna, and especially the tools/apps you share. Thanks so much!!

    • Cheers Sarah – glad you found it useful. Obviously you don’t have to use them all at once but I’m sure you’ll find one or two in here that you’ll run with and love!

  • what an incredible article and so many tools and tips. We only started to use Instagram. Its becoming popular every day. And one of the great things are is that there are so many tools within that platform. Thanks for all the details with examples. We can’t wait to try over. Looks an amazing tool 🙂 Love your blog, Donna. An excellent job! 🙂

    • Glad you liked it and YES – I totally agree with you … Instagram is rocking it right now… I love how they have so many free tools within the app too. It makes it so easy for marketers to tell stories, for sure! PS give Dublin a hug for me!

      • Thank you, Donna. And if you’re ever in Dublin, visit our website for tips and advises to get the most of it 🙂

  • I use Videoshop almost everyday for Instagram Stories. It’s a fantastic app and very easy from a usability perspective. Videoshop and Adobe Spark Post are my go-to apps (as well as Hyperlapse).

    • Yes! Videoshop is another awesome tool for Instagram Stories – I had only just started playing with it but looks very handy. And yes, Adobe Spark Post and Hyperlapse are winners for sure.

  • Bincy Aliyar

    Is there any free video tool without branding on video???

    • Hi Bincy – most of the quality video tools and apps have watermarks for the free versions but you could try Quik from Go Pro – I believe that’s watermark free and also the Facebook Slideshow tool is free without branding (though it’s not an app and uses still photos there’s no charge). Most of the other apps will either have a watermark on the free version or you pay a small fee to get the full version of the app. I would play with them and see which one you like and then consider upgrading. It’s worth it if it is a tool that you like but test a few first.

  • Jennifer Ready

    Some great finds in here! Thank you for sharing!

    • You’re very welcome Jennifer – I’m having fun playing with them and I hope you will too!

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