We compare the best apps for creating animated posts and Instagram stories

Snackable content and Instagram story consumption is on the rise. Animated images allow you more storytelling power and the ability to better catch your audience's eye with moving elements. 

A whole new guard of smartphone apps have entered the market designed to help everyday users create professional looking video clips. There’s apps that have sleek design templates with moving elements, ones that animate text and those that overlay fun video effects. 

With so many new entrants to try out it can be hard to know where to start when you want to put your images in motion. We’ve reviewed the top performers and compiled a handy list for you to compare and contrast to discover which is right for you.

1. Adobe Spark 

App Store Editors’ Choice. #1 Best New App. There’s not much that Adobe can’t do. With Spark there is no need to be a designer with their free graphic templates, stock photos, filters, fonts and more. Animated posts and stories are created quickly and easily with customisable options and basic editing.

Why we like it

  • The platform is designed with a user-friendly interface that makes it simple to use.

  • It is easy to create and share attractive web and social content.

  • It is fast and fun to use

  • Responsive resizing is excellent

  • Platform is accessible both on mobile and desktop

What could be better

  • Each design contains a watermark. Although this can be removed by upgrading to a premium user, it is yet a drawback for users who intend to use the free version only.

  • The webpage builder does not support embedding HTML elements.

  • Video formatting is limited

  • Animation effects are limited to text

  • Some social media outputs are not available

Avaliable on Android and iOS

2. Hype Type 

Hype Type enables you to add stylish animated text to your photos. The application is simple to use with basic functionality. Snap a new photo or select from your gallery, choose the font and color, add text and put in position.

Why we like it

  • Easy to use

  • Multiple color combinations and fonts

  • Blur effects

  • A range of gradient backgrounds available

What could be better

  • Free version has limited functionality

  • Could be undone by a future Instagram feature update

  • The options can be a tad confusing

Available on iOS

3. Life Lapse 

In Life Lapse, you can create Stop-Motion animations for free. They look original and stylish and the app stitches all the clips together for you. All you have to do is select a filter, song, video ratio and you're good to go!

Life Lapse Pro subscription provides access to the entire collection of songs, ability to add your own music, save videos with imported photos, in-camera square and vertical crop guidelines, 4K Video and watermark free videos. 

Why we like it:

  • Best app for creating stop motion videos

  • Ghosting tool for easily aligning image sequence

  • Camera Timer

  • Re-arrange clips in a project by holding down the clip and dragging to a new spot

  • Customizable Sizing

What could be better

  • Being able to pre-load edited images into the app on the free version

Available on iOS

4. 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. The pro version enables the user to access individual frames, stitch clips together and customise text animation effects.

Why we like it

  • Simple interface and resizing

  • Add layers of text and stickers

  • You can easily convert Live photos into a video file

  • Customisable file export options

  • Pro version is affordable (outright purchase not subscription) and has some powerful features

What could be better

  • It got confusing fast once we explored some of the Pro features. 

Avalable on Android and iOS

5. Storybeat

Storybeat is designed to easily bring stories to life with music and add a simple zoom effect for photos or videos. The application allows you to add built-in sound effects, download your favorite tracks, record your voice and make slide shows for moving images.

Why we like it

  • Super easy to create a video or slideshow with music

  • Convert your Live Photos into a video and add music to it

  • You can add your fave music from Spotify

What could be better

  • Could have more configuration options

Available on Android and iOS

6. Mojo

Mojo allows you to make animated instagram stories and turns any picture and text into animation. Templates are divided into categories: Fashion, Travel, Photography, News, Pop, Marketing and Classic. There are more than 100 text effects to pick from. All of them are beautifully animated and fully adaptable to your content. You can customize fonts, colors, sizes, positions, alignments, etc. In Mojo, only some of the templates is free, the rest is available after subscription to Mojo Pro. New Templates and New Text Styles are added every Month.

Why we like it

  • Beautiful animation effects

  • Gorgeous free templates

  • Customisable file export options

  • The result will look as if a whole team of designers worked on it.

What could be better

  • Hope, with time we will get more customization such as an undo/redo button

  • Pro subscription could be more affordable

Available on Android and iOS

8. Impresso - Video Story Maker

Impresso allows you to create high-quality video content with no previous experience. Impresso has ready-made video templates that allow you to create videos that are designed for posting on all social networks. With over 100 professionally designed custom templates, Impresso also lets you use any video or photo to create content.  You can unlock all of the eye-catching video styles and remove watermark from videos with Impresso Pro.

Why we like it

  • Make eye-catching videos in minutes

  • Simple interface is incredible easy to use 

  • All design elements are individually customisable

  • Customisable file export options

  • Responsive resize feature

What could be better

  • Pro subscription could be more affordable

Available on iOS

9. VIMAGE

VIMAGE is a program for adding video overlays onto your image to create a cinemagraph effect. With this application you can spice up your pictures with 3D effects: a fluttering butterfly, flying soap bubbles, steam from a mug, colored smoke and others. VIMAGE has over 100 options available, some of which are free.

Why we like it

  • Very easy to use

  • Quick sharing options for social media

  • More than 100 effects available

What could be better

  • Full version comes with a subscription fee

  • Results often have a rather generic feel

  • Few customisation options

  • Editing tools not very accurate

Available on Android and iOS

How these apps stack up at a glance

Spark

✔️Customisable designs 
✔️Good quality free templates 
✔️Adjustable canvas sizes 
✔️Music/Sound effects 
❌Doesn’t work with video files
❌Visible watermark (Can be removed with subscription
❌In-app purchases (Spark Subscription - Monthly $9.99 / Yearly $99.99)


HypeType

✔️Customisable designs 
❌Few quality free templates 
❌Cannot adjust canvas sizes 
❌No Music or sound effects 
✔️Does work with original video files
❌Visible watermark (Can be removed for $1.99)
❌In-app purchases (Unlock all features $19.99)

Life lapse

✔️Customisable designs 
✔️Good quality free templates 
✔️Adjustable canvas sizes 
❌No Music or sound effects 
✔️Does work with original video files
❌Visible watermark (Can be removed with subscription)
❌In-app purchases (Life Lapse Pro Yearly $35.99, Monthly $7.99)

ImgPlay

✔️Customisable designs 
✔️Good quality free templates 
✔️Adjustable canvas sizes 
✔️Music/Sound effects 
✔️Does work with original video files
❌Visible watermark (Can be removed for $2.99)
❌In-app purchases (ImgPlay Pro $4.99, Unlock New Features $1.99)

Storybeat

✔️Customisable designs 
❌Few quality free templates 
❌Cannot adjust canvas sizes 
✔️Music/Sound effects 
✔️Does work with original video files
❌Visible watermark (watch an ad to remove it)
✔️No in-app purchases

Mojo

✔️Customisable designs (with Pro version)
✔️Good quality free templates 
✔️Adjustable canvas sizes (with Pro version)
✔️Music/Sound effects 
✔️Does work with original video files
✔️Removable watermark on free version
❌In-app purchases (Mojo Pro Free Trial, Monthly $9.99 / Yearly $39.99)

Impresso

✔️Customisable designs  (with Pro version)
✔️Good quality free templates 
✔️Adjustable canvas sizes (with Pro version)
✔️Music/Sound effects 
✔️Does work with original video files
❌Visible watermark (Can be removed with subscription)
❌In-app purchases (Monthly subscription $9.99 with 7 days free trial)

Vimage

❌Cannot customisable designs
✔️Good quality free gallery 
❌Cannot adjust canvas sizes 
❌No Music or sound effects 
❌Doesn’t work with video files
❌Visible watermark (Can be removed for $1.99)
❌In-app purchases (Premium: Month $2.99, Year $27.99)