17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out

Apps for Instagram Stories are being added to your Smartphone options every day. In this post, we’ve listed 17 mobile apps for Instagram Stories that will help you create awesome Instagram Story images.

This gives you more choice for creating engaging Instagram Stories with wow factor that catch attention. Get ready to post directly to your Instagram account from your phone, and level up your Instagram Story game!

17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out!
Mobile phone by Romsvetnik, Shutterstock

DONNA MORITZ | PUBLISHED JULY 3rd, 2019

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Instagram is becoming more and more popular everyday. And so is Instagram Stories. In fact, over 1/2 of Instagram’s users (1 billion) use Instagram Stories. That’s 500 million!

So, it’s likely that you came to this post because you’re looking for better ways to engage and get noticed on the platform. And, that most likely includes finding cool apps for Instagram Stories – so you can take YOUR Instagram Stories to the next level.

And by taking your Instagram Story posts to the next level, I mean not only getting more engagement but also more visits to your profile, traffic to your website and overall more reach for your brand.

There are a lot of features in Instagram alone to create awesome stories. I wrote about them in this post. You can create awesome Instagram Stories “IN” Instagram, even without using any external apps. Instagram has some awesome features ready for you to use.

But if you do want to take it further, then this is the post for you! With 17 awesome apps in this post, you’ll be able to do just that… and have fun doing it.

All of these apps have been handpicked to share with you because they allow you to create pro-quality Instagram Stories that stand out.

How this Post helps you find great Instagram Story Apps:

Each of these Apps for Instagram Stories has a different feature set to check out. But instead of regurgitating the entire list of features, I’ve pulled out the “3 key features” of each stories app.

This way you can quickly see which features stand out for that particular app. This will help you to narrow down which Instagram Story Apps to try first.

Also, please note: Although there are many desktop tools that allow you to create awesome Instagram Stories, we are focusing just on apps in this post. By this, I mean bonafide mobile phone apps that allow you to create the content on your phone – ready to post to Instagram.

Ready to jump in? Let’s do this thing!

17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories (that you’ll love!)

Here’s the list of Apps for Instagram Stories that we’ll cover in this post:

1. Unfold

Unfold - 17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out!

Unfold calls themselves a Toolkit for Storytellers, and I have to agree. This app is made for Instagram Stories. You can create ready-to-post Instagram Stories or even create a story that includes video and images. With 3 million monthly active users, it’s also one of the most popular Apps for Instagram Stories.

Available: on iOS and Android with in-app purchases or membership. Unfold have joined the Netflix era and have a membership called Unfold+ that allows you to have access to all of the templates and features. No more in-app purchases! It’s $19.99 per year which is reasonable, if you use it a lot!

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. Minimal and elegant, modern template sets. If you like understated, sleek, modern and clean, Unfold has the templates for you.
  2. You can add images AND video to the same template, creating a cool effect that brings your stories to life with video, images or both!
  3. Unfold releases on-trend, event based template series, like their series of #BBMA (Billboard Music Awards) with neon frames – like the ones featured below.

2. Hype Type

Hype Type literally brings hype to your type on Instagram Stories – with cool animated or “moving” text that you can add over your videos or images.

Hype Type app for Instagram Stories that Stand Out!

Available: on iOS with an annual in-app purchase to upgrade to remove the Hype Type watermark. You can remove the watermark for $1.99, get more graphics and animations for another $1.99 or just bypass all the in-app purchases and unlock all features for $19.99 if you love it. You can do a free 7 day trial to see if that’s the case! Sorry Android users, no app on the Google Play store as yet.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. You can add fun animated text to video or images.
  2. It’s easy to change color and choose a range of different fonts and styles.
  3. It’s designed for Instagram Stories so the length of the animation is short, catchy and sweet

Hype Type is one of the apps for Instagram Stories that has people asking “how did you do that?” – I’m referring to those stories you see where there is animated text that appears on the screen. That’s likely Hype Type.

Hot Tip: Keep reading for a few other fun options for adding animated text to your Stories.

3. Over

Over is one of my favourite apps for Instagram Stories (and probably the app that I use the most for Instagram). I create a lot of my images straight on desktop but if I am creating something on the run, then this is the tool I generally use on my mobile, especially for still images.

Over App - 17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out! #InstagramTips
Over has a great range of Images and Video templates for Instagram Stories.

Available: on iOS and Android. There’s a free plan and although a lot of the templates, art packs and icons are locked, you can still access a decent number of designs and templates. However, for best value, you can sign up for an annual plan. It’s at the upper end of app purchases at $14.99 per month, or you can wrap up all the features for $99.99 per year. Given that you used to have to purchase lots of separate packs “in-app”, this is good value.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. Some of the best designed templates you’ll see on any mobile apps for Instagram are in this app. If there’s one thing the Over team invest in, it’s great designers. Over also gives you the ability to add multiple images to a design using features like masking and layers. It’s quite intuitive and fun to use on a mobile – Over is made for pinching and swiping with your fingers.
  2. Over has a growing number of video templates which I love, including Instagram stories. Hopefully they grow this!
  3. Over is one of the only (as far as I know) apps to have an “Over Teams” plan for $59.9 – where you can add as many team members as you want, so it’s affordable at scale. You can invite in team members, chat and add notes, and upload your brand assets too.
Over for teams - 17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out!
Find out more about Over Teams here.

4. Stories Edit

Stories Edit is the new baby of Instagram Scheduling App, Planoly – and it’s shaping up to be a worthy addition to this list of Apps for Instagram Stories.

Stories Edit for Instagram Stories - app
Stories Edit is an app by Planoly.

Available: on iOS and Android. There’s even a web version too. Stories Edit is free to everyone (even if you are not a Planoly user). However, Planoly users do get access to more exclusive templates, with new templates being added monthly. The style reminds me a little of Unfold, perhaps with a more feminine vibe.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. Stories Edit is especially suited to the fashion and beauty genres – as well as any brand with products (Planoly’s target audiences). But it can be used for all sorts of Instagram Stories.
  2. It’s a simple editor that includes the following editing tools: Text, Shapes and Background color. So, although it’s not as feature-filled as other apps on this list, it’s simplicity is not such a bad thing. You’ll be less overwhelmed by choice!
  3. You can save your designs straight to your Camera roll or into Planoly ready to schedule – all on your phone.

5. LifeLapse

LifeLapse is the BEST Stop Motion app available for mobile phones. I’ve featured it before on this blog.

LifeLapse is the best app available for creating Stop Motion Videos.

Here’s an example of a stop motion video shot on a phone using LifeLapse (from their website):

Avocado toast anyone? What about this cool packing video, also created on a mobile phone using the LifeLapse app:

Available: on iOS and Android. LifeLapse is free to get started, with a 7 day trial and then you can upgrade to Lifelapse Pro for $35.99 USD per year. My suggestion is that you check it out, play with it and then upgrade when you love it (because you will).

LifeLapse Pro offers you a bunch of features including access to songs and tools, ability to add your own music, save videos with imported videos, in-camera square and vertical crop guidelines, 4k video and watermark free videos and more.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. LifeLapse is one of my fave apps for Instagram Stories right now, because it has a pre-set Instagram Story size. Size dimensions include: 9×16, 1×1, 4×5, 10×16, 5×4, 16×10, 16×9.
  2. It includes a cool ghosted image/opacity slider that helps you see the previous photo when you are creating a project with multiple still images. This is so that you can align your subjects from clip to clip. Trust me, I’ve tried this without a guide, and your end result is… a bit crappy! With this feature you don’t need a tripod!
  3. There are cool timer features in LifeLapse, including a camera timer and a interval timer to help you take multiple images.

LifeLapse helps you be a better stop motion artist – even if you have no idea what you are doing. A key feature is the tutorials offered on the app. They help you create stop motion videos like a pro. That’s been the problem with other apps that I have used – there’s little guidance and so it all seems too hard. With LifeLapse you can actually create great stop motion videos.

Oh, and they claim to help you create videos 10x faster than with expensive camera equipment… which is pretty cool!

6. InShot

If you like creating video for Instagram, then InShot app will soon become one of your go-to apps for Instagram Stories. It allows you to add effects, music, voice-overs, text and emojis, and most of all… it allows you to easily convert your video to Instagram Story size!

InShot App for Instagram Story Creation

Available: on iOS and Android. InShot is free to use with most features requiring an in-app purhase. For example, you can buy additional filter packs or effects like Glitch and Cinematic features, transitions, or remove watermarks by paying for in-app purchases ranging from $2.99 to $5.99. However, if you like InShot, the best way is to upgrade to InShot Pro (1 month for $4.99) or InShot Pro (1 year for $19.49).

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. Great video editing tools including the ability to trim video, cut/delete the middle part of a video, or merge videos. You can even adjust the speed – all from your mobile device!
  2. Instagram-specific features such as the ability to make your video fit perfectly for Instagram Stories (or any other video size). You can easily choose the right Canvas size for your project (including 9:16 for Instagram Stories). InShot chooses an intuitive gradient background effect that matches your video for you, or you can choose a colored background using the Canvas feature.
  3. Ability to add music, sound effects and voiceovers. You can also add emojis to images and video, and control at which point they appear.

7. Jumprope – how to videos

Next on our list of apps for Instagram Stories is Jumprope. Jumprope is an app that’s perfect for creating how-to videos and sharing awesome tutorials.

Jumprope for Creating How-to Instagram Stories
Need to make a tutorial? Jumprope is the perfect app for that!

Available: on iOS only (sorry Android peeps). But the good news is that it’s free, so I had to add it to my list of apps for Instagram Stories.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. You can create tutorials (from recipes to beauty tutorials to fitness routines) in a step-by-step way, even if you have no video editing skills. The app includes cool tools like time-lapse, filters and voiceover, as well as the ability to change the branding or look of your videos by using themes, colors, patterns. You can even add background music.
  2. Jumprope includes the added bonus of a built-in community of Jumprope-users in the app. It’s a bonus social platform for people who love that type of tutorial content.
  3. You can add your products in a “shoppable” format so that viewers can browse and follow a link to find the actual product you are sharing in the video… and purchase it.

And of course, you can export your videos ready for many sizes (not just Instagram Stories) including YouTube, Pinterest, IGTV and Facebook. Get Jumprope for iTunes here.

8. Panoram Stories App

If you’re like me and love Panoramic photos (but struggle to work out how to share them on Instagram Stories) then you’ll love this. Panoram Stories App is an app made for panoramas! It lets you create unique panoramic stories for Instagam, using your panoramic pictures. How cool is that!

Panoram app - 17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out!

Available: on iOS (again, sorry Android users). It’s free with the option for in-app purchases.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. It’s easy to use – you simply select a panoramic photo, choose your format (ie Instagram Stories) and then choose from 2, 3, 4 or 5 cutouts. Panoram will divide the picture up, automatically. Then you can share it to your story in sections!
  2. The app also gives you the ability to fine-tune your editing a little. You can move pictures up or down, left or right and also zoom in on them. Once you’re ready to share, your image is saved to your camera roll without ruining your original image.
  3. It’s not just useful for Instagram Stories – you can also use it on Facebook Stories, Snapchat Stories and Whatsapp stories. Winning!

You can grab the app here.

9. Adobe Spark Post

The day that Adobe released Adobe Spark Post, non-Photoshop users cried out in unison “Hallelujah!” Finally, we had an Adobe product that was easy to use for non-designers. Lucky for us, they also released it on mobile. And they have (of course) created Instagram Story Templates in Adobe Spark that are pretty handy for upping your story game.

Adobe Spark Post App - 17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out!
Adobe Spark Post has plenty of Instagram Story Inspiration.

Available: on iOS and Android. It’s free to get started with the ability to create from scratch or use range of free templates. Then, if you like the app, you can upgrade to a Spark Subscription for $14.49 per month or $144.99 yearly. Spark also (like Over, above) has a teams functionality that allows you to add multiple team members. Each team member needs their own Spark Subscription in order for your whole team to edit designs (unlike Over, which includes as many team members as you wish).

Note: If you have an Adobe Creative Cloud subscription (or you pay $9.99 per month) you can add your brand features like logos, colors, fonts. This allows you to add your brand elements to a design with one tap – or create your own branded templates.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. Adobe Spark Post has always had a solid range of well-designed templates, including Instagram Story Templates. They continue to add new designs all the time. As an app on a phone, it’s quite easy to edit the templates ready to post. And there are loads of fonts and patterns to choose from if you get a monthly or annual subscription.
  2. An added feature of this app is that you can create simple animations on your phone (ie animated text). It’s similar to Hype Type in that way.
  3. Adobe Spark has a whole range of neat features, including auto-resize, auto-recolor (to easily change the color palette), magic text (which resizes your text with simple drag and drop on your phone), and text cutouts to bring your background image into your text.

You can try out Adobe Spark Post here.

10. Clipomatic

Clipomatic is one of the few mobile apps for Instagram Stories that focuses on captions. It uses Artificial Intelligence to turn all that you say into live captions on your video. Just hit record, speak clearly and then check the caption that is produced to edit it.

Clipomatic app
Add captions to your Instagram Stories with Clipomatic.

Available: on iOS only. It’s $4.99 for the app.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. Clipomatic is super easy to use. You just choose your “accent” ie for English you can choose between British English, American English, Australian English or choose between 40+ other languages. The app is surprisingly accurate in transcribing what you say correctly.
  2. Editing is simple and involves just clicking on any text to change it – then save to your camera roll or direct to Instagram Stories.
  3. You can also add some simple filters to change up your video before posting.

One thing to note is that this mobile app has not been updated for a while, so I am not sure how long it will be reliable for, but for now it works fine. I use a combination of Clipomatic (when I want something super fast directly on mobile) and my other fave desktop caption tool for social video – Quicc. Quicc is also pretty rapid in their turnaround (using AI) – you get your finished video in just a couple of minutes. But you have to submit the video by desktop (for now).

11. Canva

If you’ve been living under a rock then you may not have heard of Canva yet. But it’s likely you have. Undoubtedly, Canva is the most popular DIY design tool for creating visual content with millions of users worldwide, and of course they have an app to go with it, which I wrote about here.

Canva mobile app - 17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out! #InstagramTips #InstagramStories #Apps

Personally, I am a desktop user. So when I use primary tools like Canva or Easil, I like to work on desktop – it’s just easier than fumbling around with my phone. However, there are times when your phone is useful when you are out and about – or maybe you are someone that likes to use your phone for everything. If so, then Canva’s app is super useful.

Available: on iOS and Android. The app is free but has in-app purchases for image packs or Canva credits for paid images. Or you can access the full set of features if you are a subscriber to Canva Pro for $12.95 USD per month or $119.40 per year.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. Canva literally has millions of templates in the system and you can access them (including a substantial free image library) on a Canva pro account. Including Instagram Stories of course! Use your Brand Kit in Canva for fonts, logos and colors and create a template you can use again and again for Stories. (note: Brand Kit is only available for Canva Pro users).
  2. The best part about this app, for Canva users, is not only the ability to start a design from scratch or use a template – but you can “finish” off designs you have already started in the main desktop tool. That’s the main way I have used it!
  3. Many of the main features of Canva work in the mobile app, like Magic Resize.

12. Mojo Stories Editor

Speaking of apps for Instagram Stories that let you add animation, Mojo – Stories Editor is a great one to try! It allows you to add eye-catching animations from templates.

Mojo Stories Editor - 17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out!
Love animated stories? You’ll love Mojo app!

Available: on iOS only. The app is free to download and you can choose from 100+ templates, all completely editable. Or upgrade to Mojo Pro for $39.99 annually to unlock all features (including all templates, text styles, change video size, add your own fonts and logos and duplicate stories).

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. This app is all about animated text effects and includes a lot more of them, compared to some of the other apps featured in this post.
  2. It’s easy to customize fonts, colors, sizes, positions and alignment.
  3. You don’t need an account to get started – just download the app and start creating stories. Upgrade if you need to, but you can definitely create some cool story effects for free.

Download Mojo and get started here on iOS.

13. Storyluxe

Storyluxe will appeal to many die-hard Instagram Story creators. And it’s been featured in the “New Apps we love” by the App Store.. so that’s definitely a hat tip to this app!

What does it do? It lets you use awesome templates that feature cool filters like “film”, “love”, “collage” and “neon”. You get the picture… it makes your stories look cool.

Storyluxe App for Instagram Story Creation
Choose from cool templates or filters…

… and here’s more:

Select backdrops, create cool collages or even go Neon!

Available: on iOS only. The app is free to download and you can access a lot of templates for free, or you can pay $2.99 USD per month to upgrade for access to premium templates, backdrops, and filters. Apparently they are adding fresh content each month, so if that’s true then it’s possibly worth upgrading if you like the app.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. You can use this app to create a consistent look and “feel” in your stories around your photos and videos.
  2. The Neon effects are pretty cool – and one of the features I like the most! But there are loads of on-trend effects including floral effects, polaroid images and cool textures and layers.
  3. You can easily export your creations to Instagram (Stories!), Snapchat, Facebook, Pinterest, email and more.

You can check out what other people are creating on their Instagram Account here. And you can download the app and get started here.

14. Foodie

Are you a foodie? Got a taste for food photography + love Instagram Stories? Then you’ll love Foodie.

Foodie App - Apps for Creating Instagram Story Posts that Stand Out!
Foodie? There’s an app for that!

Available:on iOS and Android.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. Foodie app gives you over 30 professional quality, live filters that you can use to take your photos in the moment (or at the restaurant!). And I must give a shout out to the person that named the filters. We’re talking Picnic, Sweet, BBQ, Romantic, Yum and Chewy, to name a few. Drool.
  2. A smart guide feature to help you take the perfect top-down photos of food as only Instagrammers can do! It shows you how to take your photos from above if you’re new to this food porn thing!
  3. Features to help you take a bland image (shall we say tasteless..?) to something spicy. This includes live video filters, editing features and even a timer for taking your images and selfies. You can also use a mute options so you don’t entice too much eyebrow-raising in quiet restaurants.

Hungry? Grab Foodie here on iOS and here on Android.

15. Instasize

Instasize is a popular and powerful editing tool for mobile and has always been a favorite among Instagram Story users… so it warrants a mention in our list of apps for Instagram Stories.

Instasize - 17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out!

Available: on iOS and Android. You can use a lot of the free features like the original filters, color editing tools and basic video editing. Or you can upgrade to Instasize Premium for $4.99 USD per month. This gives you access to 100+ premium filters, over 80 unique borders, advanced beauty tools and exclusive content (ie tutorials).

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. You can use Instasize to create visually engaging photos AND videos with dozens of professional filters and free editing tools like saturation, tilt and sharpening. Premium subscribers get access to more filters.
  2. As a design tool for Instagram Stories, Instasize is solid (which is why it has 500,000 users). You can use the easy-to-use collage maker that lets you combine photos into a variety of layouts. You can also choose between different social media formats and add over 50 pro-fonts.
  3. If you work in the beauty industry then the features of this tool might appeal to you – like whitening, blemish removal and retouching tools.

16. Made

I spotted Made in my search for apps for Instagram Stories, so it’s new to me. It’s a little similar to Unfold and Stories Edit in terms of aesthetic but if you are looking for urban, modern templates, this app might be a good fit for you!

Made App for Instagram Stories

Available: on iOS only. You can download it for free for 7 days to trial, or upgrade to Premium to access all features for $4.99 USD per month or $19.99 per year.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. Made is another tool that runs on a series of modern on-trend templates for Instagram Stories.
  2. You can alter the backgrounds, fonts, filters of your story in the app.
  3. It has a storyboard feature that allows you to map out complete stories from start to finish before posting.

Personally, I think that any paid app should provide a lot more templates so hopefully they bump up their template library a little. But it’s still worth checking out Made, in case it’s a perfect fit for templates and styles you love.

17. Prisma

Mix things up a bit in your Instagram Stories with the Prisma app. This app turns any image into a work of art, and when not over-used (let’s face it, there was a period of time where every second image had been prisma-d), it can be really eye-catching.

17 Apps for Creating Instagram Stories that Stand Out - Prisma App

Available: on iOS and Android. You can download Prisma for free and upgrade to the Premium Monthly or Annual versions (for more features and filters) for $9.99 per month or $47.99 per year.

3 Key Features of this Instagram Stories App:

  1. It’s easy to transform your images by choosing one of the art filters to turn it into Picasso or Dali style and more.
  2. There are more than 300 art styles and more being added on a regular basis. This app has had recent updates and although it was popular for a while – and you may have moved away from it to take a break – it may be worth revisiting to create something eye-popping.
  3. You can fine-tune the resulting image once you’ve applied an art filter. This includes tools for adjusting exposure, sharpness, contrast, brightness and more.

Prisma is an oldie but a goodie… whip it out to change things up when you can’t think of what to post on your Instagram Story!

Love these Apps for Instagram Stories?

Check out one or two on the app store and start playing with them on your phone. Once you find you are using an app on a regular basis – on the free version – that’s a good indication that it might be a worthwhile investing in the upgraded version.

Just be careful, as many apps are now moving towards subscription models vs in-app purchases. And your subscriptions can add up!

I recommend you check your app store occasionally to see what you’ve subscribed too. And then delete the apps you’re not using!

And besides, it can’t hurt to mix it up from time to time, using some new features or tools in a new app can really bring your Instagram Stories to life.

Lucky for you, you now have plenty to choose from {wink}.

Over to You

What apps for Instagram Stories do you have on your phone right now that you’re loving for creating engaging content? Share them in the comments below!

Mobile phone by Romsvetnik, Shutterstock
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Donna Moritz

Visual Social Media Strategist at Socially Sorted
Donna is the founder of Socially Sorted, listed by Forbes as a "Top 5 Social Media Blog You Need to Know About in 2019". She helps brands leverage the power of visual storytelling and content strategy in their business. Donna's 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.