The 10 best social media photo editing apps - expert guide

The 10 Best Social Media Photo Editing Apps

October 10, 2023
David Olsen

We’ve pulled together the 10 best social media photo editing apps. What do you think of this list?

In this day and age, anyone can be an awesome photographer. But to get the best ‘gram-worthy content, it helps to have great social media photo editing tools at the tips of your fingers. That’s even more important if you are using your images for social or producing social media posts on behalf of another brand’s social media channels.

Anyone can use social media editing apps, from all the amateur photographers out there to aspiring artists and professional social media managers. After all, not everyone has a graphic designer on call or has mastered Adobe Photoshop.

The good news is that new smartphones have an increasingly greater capacity to let you take photographs and edit them while you’re on the go. This is ideal if you’re covering an event or launch on social and posting real-time updates.

Even if your content is planned, having social media editing tools on hand can be super helpful in making your images stand out and achieve higher engagement rates. Super-smart artificially intelligent photo editing apps can even automatically edit your photo for you. These apps can give you a distinct competitive advantage when it comes to cutting down your content creation time and boosting your social media post performance.

That means it’s critical to find out which apps work best for you before your competitors do.

But how can you discover which social media photo editing tools are the best for you and your needs? Stick around to find out.

Why Should I Use Social Media Photo Editing Tools?

Social media photo editing tools can help you edit your images and post them quicker than ever before, straight from your iPhone or Android phone. They can dramatically reduce the amount of time you spend producing content and can be super helpful if you’re posting from live events or creating infographics, which can get a bit fiddly.

You can take the best photos in the world, but if you don’t edit your photos correctly, you won’t capture user attention on social media. For instance, if your image is dark, dull, off-center, or cropped in the wrong way, it will look unprofessional. Thankfully, you can address these issues quickly using photo editing tools. In some cases, you can even “save” a bad image with photo editing, if you know what you’re doing.

Editing your images for social media helps them appear more polished. Overall, it projects a more professional digital presence to your audience.

This might sound like a bit of a hassle, but the good news is that, most of the time, it only takes a few small edits to enhance your images drastically. If anything, photo editing is about making small changes instead of tweaking your image for hours on end. Over-editing your images can make them look too fake, which isn’t a good look for anyone.

Social media photo editing has come a long way in the last few years. Today, you can use a range of photo editing apps to perform advanced editing functions such as masking, fixing blemishes, and color correction with just a few strategic swipes.

How To Choose Your Social Media Photo Editing Tools

Now that you know why social media editing tools are so important, how do you go about choosing the right tools for you? Well, first of all, think about how you’ll be using your social media images. Which channels will you be posting on and how will you be using your images?

If you want to create images that you can use on social media as well as on your email newsletters, you might need to create multiple picture formats and spend more time editing your images. On the other hand, if your strategy is more focused solely on TikTok or Instagram Stories, you won’t need as many high-resolution images.

The best photo editing tools are typically the ones that are intuitive and easy to use. Let’s face it; you don’t want to spend hours fiddling around just to fix one image. That said, most of us need to find powerful editing apps that can enable us to edit our images in detail. We need apps with intuitive features to help us save time, especially when we’re creating social media content for multiple channels.

You also want to think about your existing social media content creation process. What kind of resources do you already have, and how can you make this process more streamlined? Almost every brand can probably identify some way to make their content creation process easier. Luckily, we compiled a comprehensive list of the best social media photo editing tools and listed the pros and cons so you can understand which tools might be best for you.

What Are The Best Social Media Photo Editing Tools?

So, which are the best tools to edit your photos on social media? We’ve compiled a list of the very best social media photo editing tools so you can assess their strengths and weaknesses and decide which ones to start testing.  

Ready? Let’s dive in.

1.  Sked Social’s Image Editor

Did you know that Sked Social has an in-built photo editor? Our advanced photo image editor allows you to ensure your images are picture-perfect before you post. So, why is Sked Social’s photo editor so good? Well, because Sked is an all-inclusive social media management platform, you can save hours every week by editing and scheduling your posts all at once.

It’s also super easy to collaborate on the platform. Once your photo has been edited your team members, managers, or clients can view and approve them, then you can slot them straight into your schedule.

But most importantly, Sked’s powerful photo editor is social-media friendly, featuring preset social media image templates and sizes, so you never need to worry about whether you’re using the correct size layout.

Sked also features an image library, where you can save all your creative assets and share and collaborate with your team, if needed.

WHO CAN USE IT: Sked Social is great for anyone who is scheduling their social media content – or should be scheduling! It’s great for agencies, brands, influences, and anyone else who wants to streamline their social media marketing processes.

AVAILABLE ON: Desktop and mobile; both iOS and Android.


  • Over 60 editing filters to customize your images according to your brand’s visual guidelines
  • A text editor to add social-friendly text in various fonts straight onto your images
  • Additional features such as cropping and resizing tools, stickers, and custom overlays
  • The ability to streamline your social media marketing processes by performing editing and scheduling all in the one tool. Instead of using different software to edit your images and schedule posts, you can save hours every week by doing everything in the one social media too
  • Streamlined collaboration and post approvals
  • Features a visual feed planner for Instagram so you can sample what your Instagram grid looks like with certain posts before you start scheduling


  • Photo editing won’t allow you to perform very advanced functions such as masking

Good news! Sked Social’s Advanced Photo Editor is available for all Sked users. Not a user? Give Sked a try by signing up for our 7-day trial today.

2.  Lightroom

Lightroom is one of the many software programs available in the Adobe suite. As well as a more comprehensive desktop version, it also has a purpose-built mobile app, which is great for when you’re on the go. This powerful app provides users with advanced photo editing functionality.

It’s pretty easy to learn how to use Lightroom, especially to make simple edits such as changing the saturation, contrast, exposure, and adding simple filters. The app allows you to create all kinds of wonderful effects, from light flares to double exposure and night leaks.

Lightroom Mobile comes in with a free version but also features a monthly subscription that enables you to access more advanced features.

Lightroom presets also enable you to save, copy, and paste the same editing features to a batch of content – this is a great way to achieve a streamlined, consistent look for all your content.

WHO CAN USE IT: Anyone who wants to perform advanced photo edits, yet wants a tool that is fairly easy to use. It’s especially simple if you have some existing knowledge of photo editing.

AVAILABLE ON: Desktop and mobile; both iOS and Android.


  • A wide range of photo editing tools, such as masking, cropping, color correction, and plenty of custom presets. Preset edits can also be purchased online and imported to your Lightroom app
  • Mobile and desktop versions of the application
  • The ability to easily export images
  • Offers RAW image support


  • It can take time to edit images in detail
  • Learning to use Lightroom might be confusing for some, especially if you have no prior experience with photo editing

3.  Canva

Canva is an online design tool and free photo editing app that can help you create high-quality social media assets, websites, e-books, presentations, invitations and more. It’s often described as a graphic design tool for people who don’t know anything about graphic design.

Canva is a free photo editing app, but it also has a subscription-based paid version, which allows you to upload your brand colors and logos. The app features an easy-to-use interface, and contains an array of social media templates to choose from. The app also has a wide selection of unique filters, gifs, and stickers, allowing you to customize your images and create compelling visual content.

The best part about Canva is that it integrates seamlessly with post creation on Sked Social. Here’s how to use it on Sked:

  1. Head to the scheduling section on Sked
  2. Instead of dragging and dropping your asset, or uploading a file from your existing Sked Library, hit the Canva button
  1. You’ll be automatically directed straight to Canva’s Image Editor where you’ll have access to a range of ready-made social media templates to use
  2. Create your social media post
  3. Once your design is complete, just hit the button that says “Export to Sked”. It’s that easy!

WHO CAN USE IT: Anyone from content creators to small businesses, or social media managers. Graphic designers probably wouldn’t use Canva, as they would have other more advanced photo editing apps they could use.

AVAILABLE ON: Desktop and mobile; both iOS and Android.

4.  Pixlr

Pixlr is another photo editing app with lots of social-friendly features. It’s a free photo editing app, but also has a subscription-based paid version with more features. It has an easy-to-use interface, making it perfect for performing quick, easy photo edits. The app also has a wide selection of filters, gifs, and stickers, allowing you to customize your images and create compelling visual content.

This app is similar to Canva in that it acts like a graphic design tool. It has a range of ready-made templates to help you quickly mock up infographics or social media tiles complete with text.

WHO CAN USE IT: Casual photographers, content creators, small businesses, or anyone who wants a free, easy-to-use social media-friendly photo editing app.

AVAILABLE ON: Desktop and mobile; both iOS and Android.


  • Quite easy to use
  • Can use it to add social-friendly effects and stickers to your images


  • Limited advanced editing features for more serious photographers or content creators

5.  Afterlight

This impressive photo editing app is quite easy to use, yet is packed with in-depth editing features. The free version is the perfect introduction to the app, while the paid subscription-based version contains a few more image editing tools.

Afterlight is simple to use for its basic photo editing functions. Yet, if you dig a little deeper, it also contains more complex editing functions like the ability to add layers, curves, and selective hues. These can be trickier to use, but are well worth getting to understand.

WHO CAN USE IT: Professional photographers, content creators, and social media managers.

AVAILABLE ON: Mobile; both iOS and Android.


  • A wide range of photo editing features, making it great for both simple edits and more complex changes
  • Offers RAW image support
  • Large collection of preset filters like the one below
  • Relatively easy to use


  • Most of the image editing tools, options, and filters are only available on the paid version
  • May be too complicated for casual photographers or content creators who are just starting out
  • Can be time-consuming to edit your images in detail

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6.  Polarr

Polarr is a free user-friendly community-based app. This means you can create and share filters with the community on the app. It incorporates complex software, yet makes editing straightforward, so it’s suitable for a wide array of users wanting a variety of editing options.

The app has a free version but also contains paid filters, so you can try it out without committing to a purchase. It also contains AI technology, which helps it to recognize faces in your images and perform automatic edits accordingly.

WHO CAN USE IT: Everyone from beginners to experienced social media managers.

AVAILABLE ON: Desktop and mobile; both iOS and Android.


  • A range of photo editing features, making it great for both simple edits and more complex changes
  • Very easy to use
  • AI facial recognition


  • Can be fiddly when it comes to downloading overlays or using filters

7.  Prequel

Looking for something a little different? Prequel is a photo and video editing tool with a little edge. This app has over 800 filters and effects, allowing you to customize your photos and videos to make them stand out.

Prequel’s editing tools are extremely social friendly, allowing you to add stickers, gifs, text in different fonts, and even music to your videos. It has a wide range of aesthetic effects and features both free and paid versions, with the subscription version getting additional editing features. It’s a great way of giving stock photos a unique touch, too.

Best of all, Prequel features intuitive AI technology. It can recognize faces in your images and can even help you create customized AI avatars from your photos.

WHO CAN USE IT: Everyone from the casual user to social media managers and content creators, especially those wanting to stand out or create content specifically for TikTok or Instagram.

AVAILABLE ON: Mobile; both iOS and Android.


  • A range of design tools that are fully compatible with social media
  • The ability to customize your content and make it stand out
  • Simple to use
  • Intuitive AI features


  • The subscription model can be confusing and most of the better features are only available in the paid version. The pricing model is also clunky; you need to pay for each set of avatars you create

8.  Lensa

Lensa is perfect for lightning-fast face editing. It allows you to touch up portraits quickly and easily, with the assistance of its intuitive AI facial recognition, which Lensa calls ‘Magic Correction’. It’s great for editing selfies and portraits, allowing you to correct dark circles and blemishes, and perform other enhancements on people.

But the app also has a lot of unique filters and special effects, allowing you to create distinctive creatives that will help you stand out on your social channels.

In the paid version, Lensa also uses AI technology to create a series of avatars from your images, making it perfect for those wanting to inject some creative imagery into their social media calendars.

Lensa Image Editor on Instagram

WHO CAN USE IT: Casual social media users, brands in the beauty or wellness industries, or anyone wanting to experiment with facial recognition or AI editing technology.

AVAILABLE ON: Mobile; both iOS and Android.


  • Easy to use
  • Intuitive AI features


  • Only suitable for images of people. The app is limited when it comes to editing other images

9.  TouchRetouch

Heard a lot about Google’s ‘Magic Eraser’ feature lately? The truth is that several features just like it have already been around for a while now. Take TouchRetouch, for example. This clever little app has been around for a few years now and is affordable and super easy to use. Its eraser acts as an instant object remover, helping you to edit out people, signs, or other clutter in the background of your images.

After you remove unwanted items from your images with just a few taps, you can also blend the background if you need to, so it looks more natural. It performs best when your image isn’t too cluttered, but it still does a great job with most images. TouchRetouch is available at a small download fee, but it’s well worth it.

WHO CAN USE IT: Anyone wanting to remove unwanted items from their images.

AVAILABLE ON: Mobile; both iOS and Android.


  • Very easy to use


  • Limited features. The app does have other editing features, but these are fairly limited, making it only really useful for one function

10.  Focos

Focos is an interesting photography app that allows you to elevate your images – particularly those taken by smartphone – making them look more professional. You can use it to change the aperture of your photos after they have been taken and focus on one subject. It’s particularly helpful for portrait-style images and helps you adjust the depth of field.

This app also features an automatic AI engine that helps to calculate the depth of field and provide the best possible effect. These features allow it to simulate the characteristics of a DSLR camera lens.

Focos is free to use but features a subscription-based model to access the full suite of editing features.

WHO CAN USE IT: Influencers, brands, and content creators wanting to easily elevate their existing images, or create high-quality visuals, especially those using smartphone images.

AVAILABLE ON: Mobile; both iOS and Android.


  • Easy to use
  • Perfect for improving portrait-style images
  • Great for “fixing” existing photos


  • Limited features available in the free version

Focos Image Editor Instagram

What Is The Best Image Editing Tool For Social Media Pros?

When you’re choosing a social media photo editing tool, there are several things to take into consideration. Firstly, think about how many social media accounts you need to manage. If you’re managing several social media accounts with different platforms, you need to consider the most efficient tool for your needs.

That might mean using a social media tool that can help you edit images, schedule posts, add hashtags, collaborate, and assist with reporting. Using just one tool also helps you to reduce your overall expenditure, which means more money can be spent on the things that matter, such as photographers and videographers to create amazing content.

Sked Social is an advanced social media management tool that allows you to schedule your posts, videos, Reels, and Instagram Stories in advance for set times during the week. It even allows you to add location tags, hashtags, and tags for products and people in your posts.

We might be biased, but we think Sked Social is the best all-round tool. Instead of having to use five different applications to conduct all your social media editing and scheduling, you can use just one platform.

Think about the time it takes to import your images into an editing tool, perform your edits and then export the image again. Then you need to transfer the image to your scheduling tool and schedule it to all the different platforms required. In the meantime, you also need to collaborate with your client, manager, or team members – presumably using yet another platform.

By condensing these costs, you’ll be saving money. But not only that; using one platform is far more efficient, and this efficiency can help you focus on creating better, higher-performing content.

Sked Social is an all-in-one social media photo editor and scheduler, as well as being a collaboration and reporting tool. By using one tool you and your team can save hours each week by collaborating, editing photos, scheduling, and reporting, all in one tool.

Want to get started? Give it a try by signing up to Sked’s 7-day trial today.

Take Your Visual Social Media Content To The Next Level

If you really want to optimize your engagement with thumb-stopping images, you need the right tools for the job. Social media photo editing tools can drastically enhance your images, transform your Insta grid, and boost your social media post performance. Over time, with any luck, you’ll start to see a strong upturn in your engagement rates.

Sked Social’s powerful in-built photo editing capabilities can drastically improve your social media posts. But not only that; when combined with Sked’s advanced scheduling capabilities, you’ll be able to streamline your social media management processes and cut hours out of your content creation process every month.

Sked Social’s social media scheduler allows you to automatically schedule Instagram Reels, Stories, and posts (without having to post after notifications!) for every major social media platform from Instagram to LinkedIn, and pretty much every platform in between. Your images will look better than ever. Best of all, you’ll never have to post on a weekend again!

Don’t believe us? Try it yourself by signing up to Sked’s 7-day trial today.


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