Visual Content Marketing

Top 5 apps to animate and bring your Instagram stories to life

Post by
Ruth Stephensen
Top 5 apps to animate and bring your Instagram stories to life

With all the constant changes happening on Instagram, finding creative ways to engage with your audience and share your message has become more important than ever before.

Instagram stories provides users with the opportunity to share photos and videos that disappear after 24 hours. With the new highlights feature, Instagram users also have the option to add their story to a highlights section under their bio, making it visible until the user decides to delete it.

There's no doubt that Instagram stories have become a powerful way to connect with your audience on a deeper level. Using Instagram stories helps you appear at the very top of the app providing you with additional ways to grow your business with on-brand images and video. With this big opportunity, it's important that you're using Instagram stories to your fullest abilities. This means not just using stories for a token 'new post' update but exploring how you can share an engaging story with your audience.

Instagram stories allow you to post more candidly and share a peek behind-the-scenes of your business. Users love this type of content as it helps them get to know the people and inner workings of your brand. Combining this behind-the-scenes content with some creative flair will have people tuning into your stories every day. So, how do you create captivating stories and stand out? We've listed 5 apps below that are making it easier than ever to make a splash with your Instagram stories.

1. Mojo

Mojo allows you to create polished animated instagram stories that look like commercially produced ads. It is simple to get results that look like a whole team of designers worked on it.

In Mojo you have access to a range of quality templates which are divided into categories: Fashion, Travel, Photography, News, Pop, Marketing and Classic.

The thing we love most about Mojo is the level of control you have over each aspect and animation effect in your design. While some of it's competitors rely on standard animation effects, in Mojo you can customise each unique aspect of your design.

There are more than 100 text effects to pick from. All of them are beautifully animated and fully customisable to suit your design. You can edit fonts, colors, sizes, positions, alignments and apply unique animation effects and timings.

Mojo makes it simple to go from design to publishing and you can open your file straight into Instagram without having to save or export any files.

If you want access to all the templates and custom canvas sizes you'll need to upgrade to Mojo Pro with a yearly subscription costing around AU$45 per year.

Available on Android and iOS

2. Canva Stories

Many people use Canva on their computers but they have since built a dedicated Canva Stories app for mobile which supports video content. Inside this custom app there are countless beautiful templates to use or you can design your own from scratch.

Once you've selected your design you can edit the image, add design elements like lines and shapes, and overlay text. One of the best things about using Canva to create Instagram stories is that you can save your designs to use them as a template for future posts.

The icing on the cake is the animated effects you can add which adds dynamic movement to your entire design in 6 different ways.

You can also create more than one image in each project which means you can create your entire story sequence to download at once and upload them to Instagram without going back and forth between the apps - a big win!

Canva available on Android and Canva Stories on iOS

3. Videoleap

Videoleap is one sophisticated video editor packed into a pocket sized mobile app. As it has many powerful features, using this app may require the average user to watch some online tutorials to find their way around but the professional looking results will be well worth it!

Creating basic designs for Instagram stories is simple and users will find it easy to join video clips together and add nifty transitions. This same technique can be used to join still images together creating a dynamic moving sequence or stop motion effect.

The interface gets a bit more complicated once you start adding layers and effects but the level of control you can have over each element is exceptional. Experienced creators will love being able to add masks and keyframe animations to produce incredible looking clips.

Although there are no templates, Videoleap is an absolute powerhouse for original Instagram story creation with animations and effects that rival professional video editing software.

Available on iOS

4. Adobe Spark Post

One of the first apps to combine ready-made templates with animated text effects. Adobe Spark documents are easily resized and have dimensions to suit Instagram stories. Select from one of their many templates or build your own design, you can even 'remix' the layout with one click to try a different variation of fonts and colours with your content.

Those with limited design experience should find it pretty simple to use and although the provided templates aren't as sexy as some of the other apps, customising them is simple. We liked the pre-made colour palettes which even added a consistent filter to our image.

If you wish to convert your design into a 4-second video you can animate either the image or the text of your design using their built-in effects with one click. While we like the simplicity of the app these animations felt a bit basic and so did the file export and sharing options.

Available on Android and iOS

5. ImgPlay

ImgPlay enables you to create a short clip or animation by converting videos and live photos into gif-format. It has sophisticated video editing abilities and you can adjust the speed, apply filters and easily create looping videos.

We liked that it would convert live photos into video and enables users to join images together to create stop motion sequences. If you want to remove the watermark, access the stickers or add animated text effects you'll need to upgrade to pro version of the app.

Unlike most of it's competitors, upgrading to pro is an affordable one-time  purchase (AU$7.99) and not a subscription. Although it's worth it for the extra features, we did feel like there was a sharp incline in the learning curve once we started exploring the pro capabilities!

ImgPlay is great for creating original content and users will love the range of saving and export options which covers most file formats and social networks.

Available on Android and iOS

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