Stories are now a strong favorite when it comes to Instagram features. They’re a simple way to share less-polished moments with your followers, only to be deleted from the public sphere 24 hours later.
For some of us, though, this just isn’t enough. To really make your Instagram Stories stand out, you’ll need to look to third-party apps to help you design and create striking, stunning Stories that really catch the eye.
Hype Type is an iOS app that’s all about animated text, so you can share your message with style.
Grab an existing image or video from your camera roll, or take one directly from within Hype Type. Type your message, and select an animation style. You can then customize the size, position, and color of the text. Choose from millions of tracks to add some backing music (if you like), and set the speed of your video and text.
Once finished, you can save this newly animated video to your camera roll ready to upload straight to your Instagram Story.
Hype Type is available for free on iOS. Removing the watermark costs $1.99, and unlocking additional animations costs $1.99. If you’re looking for something similar on Android, check out the Legend app.
Easil’s Instagram Story Templates
Easil’s story templates make life so much easier when creating branded or episodic content for Instagram stories. Here is just a small selection of them:
Easil has a huge range of Instagram Story Templates with more being added every day. They are super easy to edit to fit your brand.
Here’s just one of their Top Tips Templates:
Easil has a large range of template types to choose from including:
- Top Tips – ie share the top things about any subject, including tourism destinations, tips, local secrets or tech hacks.
- Fan Photos – if you want to run a Fan Photo Friday Instagram Story, Easil has you covered.
- Instagram Live Announcements – ramp up some interest in your Instagram Live by announcing it beforehand using some eye-catching images.
- Instagram Story Takeover – announce an Instagram Story Takeover using the image and information about the person doing the takeover. Add it to the template and Boom – you’ll get noticed!
- Behind the Scenes – Take us behind the scenes with Easil’s Behind the Scenes templates – create an intro image to introduce the theme of your story.
One of the big problems with Instagram Stories is that your videos and images will be cropped to fit the vertical aspect ratio of Stories. Luckily, there’s a fix: InShot. This is a free app available on iOS and Android (though you’ll need to pay a couple dollars to remove the watermark) that allows you to customize the aspect ratio of any image or video you want to include in your Stories.
The app essentially creates a new video (for Instagram Stories select the 9:16 option), into which you import your original video. You can either preserve its original aspect ratio or adjust this to whatever you like. The excess space can be filled with a solid color, gradient, or just blur out parts of the video that you don’t need.
From there, you can add text, animated emojis, stickers, filters, music, voice-overs, effects, and adjust video speed, before sharing.
In effect, this is a genuine, albeit relatively basic, video-editing app (that’s not just for Instagram Stories), which offers far more options than you’d find on Instagram itself.
If you want one of your Instagram Stories to contain more than just a single vertical image or video, use PicPlayPost. This is a free app available on both iOS and Android that’s perfect for creating photo and video collages that are ready to share.
For Stories, you should start a new project that’s a 9:16 ratio, but there are plenty of other sizes available for other purposes. Pick your preferred layout, and add images and videos to each of the available spaces within the collage. You can include some music if you want, too.
To remove the watermark, you’ll need to upgrade for $4.99. Other in-app purchases are also available.