Tools to Up Your Insta Game

Instagram is a visual platform. If you are like me, words are easier to create than images. Well, here are a few tools that can help.

Start by exploring the functionality within Instagram. Then layer in extra apps.

  • Photo editing: Edit and resize your photography.
  • Layout and design: Create collages, creative layouts, and graphics.
  • Video tools: Capture, design, and edit videos.

Photo Editing


VSCO is one of the original and most popular mobile photo-editing apps. The free version comes with 10 presets that make your phone-shot photos look like they were captured on film, along with photo-editing tools like contrast and grain.


Works on both JPG and RAW files, making it a powerful tool for professional photographers. Beyond filtering your photos, you can perform serious photo-editing tasks like removing elements (or even people) from the photo, adjusting the geometry of buildings, and using curves to control the brightness of your image.

A Color Story

Offers filters and presets designed by professional photographers. There are also some advanced editing tools, and you can create and save custom filters to develop a unique brand look. Grid planning tools help you ensure your entire Instagram grid is unified and cohesive.

Layout and Design

Layout from Instagram

Layout is a feature-rich, super-simple photo mixer that instantly “lays out” up to nine photos in various combinations to form a collage. You can pick photos from your camera roll or shoot as you go with the built-in photo booth. Then it’s a matter of adjusting the dimensions of each box, adding filters, and uploading.

Adobe Spark Post

Combine your photos with Adobe’s layouts and fonts to create creative graphics perfect for sharing on Instagram. You can also select from thousands of free images directly within the app.

A Design Kit

From the makers of A Color Story, this design Instagram app is packed with fonts to customize your posts. It’s also got loads of unique stickers and has a ton of brushes, from markers to pencils, so you can get on trend by drawing on your Instagram photos.

Video tools

Boomerang from Instagram

A simple video capture app. Open the app, press the button, and you’re done. Boomerang takes a burst of 10 photos and uses them to create a mini video that loops forward and back, like a GIF.


LifeLapse uses ghosted image overlay tools so you can line up a series of photos to create a perfect sense of motion. Once you’ve added and adjusted your photos, the app stitches them into a video, with the option to add royalty-free music.


A comprehensive app for video editing. You can trim, cut, split, merge, and crop video clips; adjust settings like brightness and saturation; add music; adjust video speed; flip and rotate; and add text and stickers. If you regularly edit videos on your phone, this is a great option with plenty of features.