While Instagram is the go-to platform for those who want to share their images online, it’s definitely not the be-all and end-all when it comes to photo editing. Instagram already has some simple photo editing capabilities. But if you are reading this article, you are probably looking for an Instagram photo editor to jazz up your images beyond the basics.
Instagram hit the one billion user mark in June 2018. That is out of a total world population of just over seven billion. And 60% of Instagram users say they discover new products on Instagram.
So Instagram is a key channel for attracting and retaining customers. But there are already 25 million business accounts on the app. And this number’s only going up.
This means you have got some tough competition. So your images need to be up to scratch if you want to cut through the noise.
Here’s some things a photo editor can help you with:
- Resizing. Apps that resize photos to fit Instagram’s square spec without losing picture quality.
- Design and display. If you want to get more creative with your pictures, you can turn them into infographics, create flipbooks, or add text, overlays, and captions.
- Editing and effects. These apps let you add effects and filters, which range from basic cropping and background scaling, to changing color, hue, and saturation.
Some apps fall into one category, some into many. Some are free, some cost an arm and a leg. Let’s find one that works for you!
Why to Use Instagram Photo Editor Apps?
Instagram is a great app, but when it comes to really making your photos stand out, dedicated photo editing apps usually surpass the platform’s native capabilities. You can attract your audience by your special photos in this way. It also gives you the opportunity to get more real followers on Instagram.
What Are Instagram Photo Editor Apps?
The main difference between regular photo editing apps and Instagram photo editors is that the latter has built-in sharing capabilities that let you to send your picture to your Instagram feed.
Since sharing has become an integral part of many apps, most photo editing apps will include this feature. This means that you won’t have to physically save your picture to your device before trying to post it on Instagram. Furthermore, many apps with no affiliation to Instagram include this feature, so you’re not just limited to Instagram-affiliated apps.
These apps open Instagram upon sharing, allowing you to apply any additional Instagram filters and a caption (if desired). This is incredibly useful since Instagram often lacks the fine editing capabilities many smartphone photographers are looking for.
Instagram photo editors are different than Instagram repost apps, which let you publish other Instagram users’ pictures on your own feed.
1. “VSCO” One of Instagram Photo Editor Apps
Our designers love this program for quick pic editing. Here’s a few reasons why:
- The built-in camera with advanced controls lets you work your magic without leaving the app.
- Download the same filters in Adobe Lightroom, so you can edit pictures on desktop and get the same results on mobile.
- Connect to a creative community of photographers by searching the hashtag #VSCO on Instagram.
Snapseed is a favorite choice for smartphone photographers thanks to its simple-yet-nuanced tools. In fact, we ranked Snapseed as the best photo editing app on Android.
The major advantage of Snapseed is its selective and brush editing tools. These allow you to edit specific sections within your picture, rather than simply applying adjustments to an entire image. This means that if a specific object is overexposed, you can edit that object and leave the brightness and exposure for the rest of the image unaffected.
Snapseed also includes a variety of filters and other advanced tools.
When you are done with your image, you can choose to export it or share it to your Instagram feed. This opens the Instagram app so that you can publish it directly to the platform.
3. “Layout” Another Instagram Photo Editor
Layout is Instagram’s own photo app. It is both a photo taking and a photo editing app, with the ultimate aim of creating collages.
You can start with your existing images, or by taking a new photo with the app.
Here is a summary of Layout’s features:
- Create collages from up to nine photos—so people can see your whole week of lunches in one place.
- Personalize layouts and collages.
- Instantly share to Instagram.
- Edit using Instagram’s filter tools.
4. Adobe Lightroom CC
Adobe Lightroom is considered to be one of the best photo editing programs ever created, and there is no reason to assume that the iOS or Android version of this photo editor is any less powerful. The all in one app lets you record videos or take photos, while it also gives you access to the HDR mode that automatically extends the exposure scope. Even though Photoshop Lightroom provides professional photo editing tools, the app is easy to use and it takes very little time to learn your way around this remarkable app that allows its users to create brilliant Instagram posts.
Pixlr combines many of the best features of photo editing apps into one central editor that can share to Instagram. Not only can you create collages and use interesting filters, but there are also fun tools like stickers and frames. Another nifty feature is the superimposition and double exposure feature.
The app also includes traditional tools such as smoothing, adjustments, auto-fixing, sharpening, and more. This very robust picture editing app even includes brush editing features like Snapseed, though with more limited adjustment options.
When you are done with your image, Pixlr offers you a range of sharing options that includes publishing it to Instagram.
Another perk of Pixlr is that it has a website that allows you to edit photos on your computer.
5. Square Sized
Your photos need to be square if you’re going to share them on Instagram. It may be annoying, but there’s no way around it. That’s why this app specifically resizes for Instagram sharing.
Square Sized imports rectangular photos or videos from Facebook or your phone and makes them an Instagram-ready square size. So it’s not just a clever name.
Aside from its resizing feature and the ability to take photos from within the app, Square Sized also lets you:
- Add borders to photos.
- Layer filters, typography, shapes, and overlays.
- Add backgrounds.
- Share on social with a single tap.
Square Sized is free for basic features on iOS.
6. A Color Story
Despite not being owned by or affiliated with Instagram, A Color Story integrates the platform heavily.
A Color Story includes a variety of tools, including filters and photography adjustments. Many are available for free, but the photo editing app also includes a number of paid filters.
A Color Story allows you to create your caption and schedule a reminder to post your image to Instagram, similar to other scheduling apps such as Buffer and Crowdfire. You can also connect your Instagram app directly to A Color Story with your Instagram login.
This heavy integration means that A Color Story really embodies the concept of an Instagram photo editor. When publishing your images, A Color Story copies your caption to your clipboard and opens the Instagram app.
Afterlight is a classic photo editor with basic tools such as brightness, clarity, contrast, exposure, saturation, toning, temperature, grain, vignette, shadows and highlight.The app also possesses a wide arrange of filters to choose from. Afterlight’s Fusion tool is one of its greatest strengths. Fusion allows the user to combine their favorite filters into one blended filter, which means an endless game of mix and match.
Get Aviary. The app has all the tools you could want to begin learning how to edit photos. Aviary has a wide assortment of frames and stickers to choose from.The app also contains overlay, effect, exposure, vignette, focus, blur and text tools to choose from which is why it ranks a spot in our list of the most essential editing tools.
The Bottom Line
You might be thinking “Well thanks for providing that list, but when are you going to tell me which app my business needs?”
True, a lot of these apps have similar features. But they all work a bit differently—and they are all free to download. So your best bet is to try a few out to see what works for you.
And if you are looking for some more Instagram insights to apply, then head on over to our ultimate guide to Instagram tips you probably didn’t know.