The Best InstaStory Apps


In August of 2016 Instagram launched their “insta-stories” feature and I can honestly say it completely transformed the way I approached social media. Almost overnight Snapchat became obsolete and Instagram Stories became one of the most important tools in my social media arsenal. The feature has taken my brand to the next level and given me a priceless opportunity to interact with my audience in a more organic way.

These days creating fun, engaging Instagram stories shouldn’t be just an afterthought or “something-nice-to-do” to help grow your business. Instagram stories should be one of the most-used tools in your marketing toolbox. They enhance the personality and character behind the smile of your brand. Using the same filter, special effect, or complimentary effect on all your IG stories and photos will create a more cohesive brand. You want to have consistency across the board because it serves as an identifier to your audience.

Now, maybe you feel intimidated and overwhelmed with the hundreds of apps out there or maybe you feel like you aren’t skilled enough to use them? Stop right there! EVERYONE starts somewhere. There are apps out there that anyone can use and you will see a difference in the quality and the attraction of your IG stories. Whether you’re a novice or an expert in all things IG, we’ve got a few apps we think you’ll love! These will help take your IG stories to the next level.

So, in no particular order, let’s dive right into it.

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Unfold has a user-friendly interface and offers a good selection of templates. It’s an app that has all the goodies of a more expensive app but at a fraction of the cost. The app itself is $0.99 with extra graphics, font packages, etc. costing anywhere between $0.99-$1.99.

According to the reviews on Google Play, there have been several users unhappy with load time, but the creators of Unfold have said that they are currently working on updates to resolve this issue. For being the new kid on the block, Unfold has made its presence known. Take a look at their website! It stands out from the crowd with its jaw-dropping, modern, gorgeous, fresh aesthetic. It’s beyond brilliant. We are looking forward to seeing what else Unfold has up its sleeves…

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Over is one of my team’s favorite apps for quick, clean Instastory design. You can use templates or literally create a design from scratch. It’s like Illustrator Light. Over’s simple, clean aesthetic is captivating. The font selection is outstanding. The templates aren’t cookie cutter. However, if cost is something you’re trying to keep down, Over might not be for you. As you add more templates and design features, the prices can really start to add up.

Also, it’s worth noting that the Over app seems to be 100x better on the iPhone than Android. The Over developers have acknowledged this problem and are in the process of getting it fixed.

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Canva is easily one of the most popular graphic design apps out there, and there’s a reason for that—it’s an all-in-one app that doesn’t just talk the talk—it walks the walk. There is an extensive graphics database, an abundance of font options, and dozens of tutorials. The educational component of Canva is what transforms Canva from being a great app to an app you can’t live without.

As far as design, Canva seems to offer more customization options than any of the other apps we’ve tried. Where other apps tend to have a weakness, Canva appears to have filled that gap. Canva has some fantastic frame options and logos with clean, modern lines. There are tools that make your ho-hum photos pop. We especially like the ability to control the blur and focus in an image.

Canva runs $12.95/month, and there are other pricing options for businesses/teams with more than 30 users. It’s a fun app to play around with, but when you start finding all these cool graphics and icons you want to use—and trust us, you’ll want to use them—all those extras cost money. Try the 30-day trial to scope it out.

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Storyluxe is an incredibly versatile photo editing app. It’s been included in many “Best of…” lists as well as Apple iTunes “New Apps We Love.”

Unlike many other apps, there is an extensive catalog of free templates and filters. But, if you decide you want access to it all, it’s only $2.99/month for access to all the premium templates and filters. Also, brand new templates, filters, and graphics are added every week. The team behind Storyluxe are very responsive to any questions, comments, or suggestions you might have via their Instagram @storyluxe.

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VSCO is a favorite for photo editing, but it also has lesser known video editing capabilities that are right up there with Canva and Unfold. To access video editing, you’ll need to upgrade to a premium membership which is $19.99/year.

VSCO has built a community that some people find appealing, and others could care less. There are weekly photo challenges, hubs to communicate with one another and offer tips and advice, and more. Becoming a part of a “community” is one-way VSCO has stood out from the crowd. Is it worth the $19.99/year? That’s ultimately up to you and what you’re looking for. Sign up for the free trial, play around with it, see if it fits your needs.


Before you download every app we mentioned, take a minute to write down what you are looking for. What about your IG stories do you want to improve? What can you afford to spend a month? Make sure to read reviews and check out the websites. If you sign up for an app that has a free trial, make sure to make a note of when that free trial is up—otherwise life happens, we most DEFINITELY forget, and then get charged for an app we might have no use for.

Do you have a favorite app that you use to create your Instagram stories? Have you tried any of the ones mentioned?

We’d love to hear from you.