Instagram Stories have become a powerful way to engage with your followers. While this started as a feature pinched from Snapchat, more time and energy is going into creating beautiful and engaging Stories. It follows a similar format to Snapchat, where you post images and videos that disappear after 24 hours. Honing in on the FOMO effect, users are inclined to catch up on Instagram Stories – before they disappear – and then take to scrolling through the feed. Using this feature regularly is a great way to stay top of mind with your followers. It will help you appear first – in the Stories section – at the very top of their Instagram pages once the app is opened. And it’s a good place to touch base with your followers on a regular basis, giving them access to content they wouldn’t usually see. Adding animation is an easy way to bring life to your Stories, helping them stand out, and to attract and keep attention. Animation draws the eye and keeps users interacting with your content for longer and as such, increases engagement. While animation may sound difficult and best left up to designers, we promise it really isn’t that hard. There are lots of apps on the market that can turn anyone into an Insta Story designer extraordinaire in seconds. We’ve compiled six of the best apps that help you bring that creative flair to your Instagram Stories. What You’ll Find in This Article: Adobe Spark Post InShot Over Mojo Instories Hype-Type Bonus: Instagram Story features Adobe Spark Post Adobe is well known when it comes to professional design and their free design app – Adobe Spark Post – brings easy and professional design to the palm of your hand. Adobe Spark Post is the app you need if you’re looking for animated text and effects for your photos and videos. It has heaps of templates ready to go, or you can create your own design from scratch. If you choose to create your own design, you’ll need to load in your media and you’ll then be prompted to resize it for Instagram Stories. You can add text, apply design filters and animations. If you want to take your design even further, you can use the paid service that will let you create branded content with your own logo, colours and fonts. After you have completed your masterpiece, Adobe Spark Post turns your photo into a 4-second video and just like that you’re ready to post on socials. It is that easy. Cost: The basic version is free, but if you want to add your own branding, Adobe Spark Post is included in every Adobe Creative Cloud Plan, or can be purchased as a stand-alone plan for $9.99 per month. InShot Inshot is another free app (you will need to pay to remove watermarks permanently), however this one works best for video content when it comes to animation. Once you’ve popped your video into the app, you’ll be able to resize it and add a bunch of animated emojis and stickers. Added bonus, it is also a pretty nifty video editing tool, so you can work your video magic start to finish in the one spot. Cost: Basic plans are free, pro features start from $0.99. Over Over is your one-stop shop when it comes to animated Instagram Stories. It is packed with tools, templates and animated graphics for you to play with. You can start with a template or create your own and add stickers, fonts and texts as you go. This one is more advanced so it may take some time to learn the ropes (it has tutorials to help you get started), and once you’ve got it down the possibilities are seemingly endless. It is great for professional work as you can upload your own logos and fonts, and create and save colour palettes for easy and quick access and consistent branding. Over is also the ideal choice if you’re working in a team as it has collaboration options in the paid version. Cost: You’ll get lots of free options with this app, or you can pay for a pro subscription starting at $9.99 to unlock all features, templates and stickers. Mojo Mojo can be used with photos and videos, and has hundreds of animated templates to help you build the perfect Instagram Story. These templates are highly customisable making it super easy to personalise your brand. Made for beginners, templates are grouped by themes that narrow down options based on your content type. However, don’t feel like you need to stay within these themes as you can make each template your own. Costs: You can access the basics for free, or sign up for a premium membership to unlock all of the features for $12.99 per month. Instories Instories, like the other tools mentioned, has pre-designed templates with more than 100 fonts (plus the option to add your own), and heaps of stickers, icons and effects to customise and amp up your Instagram Stories. You’ll need to start by selecting a template and then the customising begins. Choose from colours, fonts, animations and borders until you find your perfect style. You can jump right into designing your masterpiece, with no account required. Cost: The basic plan is free, or you can buy templates for $4.49 or sign up for a full access subscription for $10.99 per month. Hype-Type If you’re looking for something that lets you play around with text only, Hype-Type is the app you’re after. It lets you choose different fonts and styles and add animated typography to your photos and videos. Easy to use, this simple app is a good way to dip your toes into the animated world. Cost: While a free version is available, for full access and to remove the watermarks you’ll need to upgrade to the paid version starting at $2.99. Bonus: Instagram Story features Even though there are many apps on the market that let you up your Instagram Story game, don’t underestimate the features that are already available within the Instagram app. They may just be the easiest and most user-friendly way to bring animation to your Instagram Stories. With that being said, Instagram stickers are going to be your best friend and are the easiest way to add animations and GIFs. There are thousands of GIFs available within Instagram. Instagram displays GIFs that are trending, which helps you stay on top of what is relevant. Or you can search the GIF library if you’re looking for something more specific. While less customisable, this is a good option to use if you’re low on time or on the run. Cost: Free Each app is great to use by itself, or you can use them together if you really want to get creative. We suggest downloading and playing with a few to see which ones you like the best and what works most for your profile and what you want to create.