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All the apps you need to make the perfect story «Smartphones :: Gadget Hacks



Stories can be found everywhere on social media today, but that's not always the case. In 2013, Snapchat introduced the world to our daily lives with these temporary windows. Since then, stories have infiltrated other popular apps. To get noticed, however, you can not just rely on the app where the story is published. Instead, you need a bunch of apps that can make your story something special.

The big names in stories are "The O.G." Snapchat and "we did not steal this" Instagram, but many other social apps now have the function. After the successful Instagram stories, Facebook has added the native Facebook app, Messenger and even WhatsApp. Even Google has added stories from both YouTube and AMP stories that allow content-driven sites to create story-like content for the Web.

Although these apps have their own tools, nobody has a monopoly on features that can really transform your stories. To truly master stories, you need to filter your content through multiple apps, each with its own benefits.

We divided the apps into features in this post. If you are looking for great stickers and text effects, scroll to this section. If you need to crop or edit your video, check out this section for specific apps that stand out or have unique editing features. However, many of these apps have significant overlapping features. We recommend selecting some features that you know you want to use, and try these apps first to see if they're right for you.

Switch to a section:

Next-level Camera Apps

1. Later, take raw photos for more detailed editing.

You can always use the native camera in your favorite social media app, but you can present your audience with high-quality images using RAW photos. [19659003] Unformatted images are different from normal images because they are unprocessed, mostly uncompressed files from the camera sensor. This adds up to more details in the picture, allowing you, the storyteller, to edit your photos more dramatically than you normally would.

Many Android phones with Android 5.0 or higher support image processing. Unfortunately, some phone manufacturers do not record photos in Raw mode. If you have a Sony, Xiaomi, or ZTE-made phone, the unprocessed capture mode does not appear in the camera or in a third-party camera app.

If you are using a Pixel or Galaxy device, you should not do so, check your native camera app for an unformatted setting, which may be present without needing to download another app.

Any other Android phone should be able to access raw mode with a third-party app. Camera FV-5 is a great app for shooting in raw mode. You will also get several additional shooting modes to get a perfect picture, even though only photos are taken, not videos. If your goal is not spending, try Open Camera. You can enable RAW recording in Settings (see below), shoot photos in pure mode, or capture JPG and RAW files at the same time. It also shoots video.

  • Install Open Camera: Android (free)

Neither Camera FV 5 Open Camera also supports the editing of your raw images. However, there are numerous apps, such as Snapseed, Lightroom and Google Photos (for free!). With a preprocessing app, you can make edits such as adjusting exposure, shadows, highlights, contrast, texture, color temperature, and hue more precisely than you would when editing a regular, non-raw file.

Unlike some Android devices, there is currently no iPhone model that lets you capture unformatted images using the Standard Camera app. Apple supports editing raw data in its Stock Photos app. However, if you want to film in raw format, only third-party apps have access to it.

If you do not want to break your digital wallet, VSCO is a free app that supports capturing raw images and editing images. However, one of the best options in the App Store is Halide (see below), which costs $ 5.99. Not only can you take your photos in raw format, you also get full manual control of the camera. You can change the ISO value, shutter speed, white balance, and focus with improved tools to make sure your photos look good. However, the app only takes photos, so you need to back up the video with another app.

To edit Halide is just a camera, so you can not adjust anything like exposure, shadows, highlights, contrast, contrast. Structure, color temperature and color tone. This is VSCO or Apple's own app for photos. Other apps that give you detailed control over RAW images are Darkroom, Lightroom, RAW Power, Afterlight, and Snapseed, just to name a few.

. 2 Brighten Your Food Stories

America has set itself the goal of presenting meals on social media, and that will never change. What can change is to take better pictures of these foods and drinks when you share them.

Try to inspire your content with Foodie who need them to work with Foodie, an app designed specifically for each theme. The app has dozens of custom filters to help you make the most of your food. However, it also includes manual controls for each filter. Filters work with both videos and photos you take in the app, and there's a handy helper that lets you align your shot when shooting food from the top.

Quick Tip: Use the Camera's Secret Camera Layer the native camera app, to make sure your food is centered just right when you shoot there instead of Foodie.

3. Most Camera Options and Adjustments

If you want a variety of camera options and adjustments, VSCO is the place to go. Here you will find numerous manual camera controls, z. For example, settings for ISO, focus, shutter speed, and white balance. It also includes raw support (iOS only) and an alignment ruler. You can create a red border around the viewfinder to focus your eye on what is actually recorded in your shot. Another interesting feature called "DSCO" takes up to four frames and plays them back for a short but entertaining GIF-like looping video.

For editing, VSCO offers many preset filters, some free and some paid. There are also basic editing tools for contrast, grain, saturation, cropping, straightening, exposure, sharpening, highlighting, clarity, shadow, skin tone, and color temperature. You can also add transitions and vignettes, as well as slanted images (or warp images). Paid VSCO X members receive advanced tools for $ 19.99 per year (eg, Frame and "HSL"), which allow you to select a color in the frame and adjust its hue, saturation, and brightness.

Most of these features photos can be used for free. However, to use videos, you must subscribe to VSCO X.

4. Record 1-Second Video Loops

Like DSCO, boomerangs – in both the Instagram Story Camera and the Facebook Story Camera – provide a way to grind videos in your story. However, these loops are much smoother than DSCO – Boomerang needs a full second of video rather than just a few frames. The result is a fun, quick snapshot of an activity on your day.

5. Enlarge a Scene Dramatically

You can use Instagram's built-in Superzoom Capture mode to represent a person, pet, or object in a unique way. Choose a superzoom filter (there are 10 choices, so get to know them all before shooting!) And if you hold down the shot, Instagram zooms in on the theme with effects, sounds, and more.

. 6 Take Inverted Videos

Another of Instagram camera modes. With Rewind you can record videos as usual. Subsequently, they are reversed. It's fun to play around with it – you can just show it in reverse order, or you can be smart and make the impossible possible. Who does not want his friend to jump out of the pool and land on the diving board again?

7. Portrait on any phone – even in video

You do not have a portrait phone? Think again Instagram includes a universal portrait mode under the name "Focus" which phone you have, if you can run the latest Instagram versions, you can shoot for both the front and rear view camera in portrait orientation – even when capturing videos, few camera apps can duplicate.

8. Adding Music to Your Stories During Shooting

Let's talk about the music sticker on Instagram . With this sticker you no longer have to play a song in the background to include it in your story. With the Instagram music sticker, you can play a high-quality version of your song, either while filming your story or after your story has been recorded. Although Instagram's music library is not that big, you can use this sticker to find a better alternative to playing your music on your phone.

If you do not want to use the Instagram camera, you can add music anytime by playing them while you're filming from another app or device, or by adding them later with a video editor.

. 9 Get an old movie look for your stories

When it was introduced, Instagram was known for turning modern photos into retro masterpieces with filters. In 2019, the retro aesthetic of most social media apps is less important, but that does not mean that there is no room in your stories.

Under iOS Filmborn manages to capture the appearance of some of the most famous film cameras. With the free filters you can take pictures with Fujicolor, Ilford (black and white) or Kodak "film". Photos look awesome, unlike some kitschy retro filters that you would get on Instagram and other filtering apps. Filmborn brings the style to the point here. The app also has numerous manual recording controls that allow you to customize presets to your liking and taste. Unfortunately, it only takes pictures and no videos.

If you want to give your photos an Android look, Hypocam has it with you. The app turns your Android photos into black and white artworks and includes multiple filters to make each photo different from the last one. Of course, you can buy more filters for a fee (some packs cost $ 2.99), but for most people, the free filters should work well.

Effects do not end with the filters alone. You can adjust the exposure level to make the image brighter or darker, and you can also select a specific color to highlight in the image. The color is not displayed, but objects in the frame that match this color are highlighted in black and white.

If you want to view black-and-white videos, check the VSCO X and Instagram filters. They will give your videos a long way to give Filmborn and Hypocam similar aesthetics.

If you want to shoot in black and white, you can turn your videos into classic 8mm film reels with the appropriately titled 8mm movies App for iOS. It has 13 retro filters, including some black and white options. You can also select other margins, turn on the flash, and change the frame rate among other effects and settings. By default, the app records in 4: 3, but you can change that to 16: 9 before you shoot.

While the app is being used for landscape photography, you can still tilt your iPhone in portrait orientation to get the 9:16 ratio. When you save your videos, they are exported in the correct orientation.

  • App Store Link: 8mm ($ 1.99)

While 8mm is only available for iOS, you can find similar tools with the Vintage Retro Camera + VHS from Android. With this app, in addition to VHS camcorders for iOS, you can also record videos with VHS effects. Unfortunately, you can not film in a 9:16 portrait. If you're already using these apps, read the cropping section below.

10th Brightening up stories in low light conditions

The Faint Light button is a unique feature on Facebook's Story Camera that other social apps simply do not have. The function adjusts exposure and other aspects to make images visible in the dark. In low light the symbol appears. Just click on it to see the difference! It's not as advanced as the Pixel 3 night vision mode, but it adds an instant wow factor to your stories when you take pictures at night. Just know, followers will probably wonder how your stories look so good when it's so dark. Do not say we did not warn you.

You can take photos and videos in the dark on Facebook, then download and upload to Instagram stories, Messenger stories, Snapchat stories, and more.

. 11 Enhanced Manual Control over Your Video

Many manual camera apps that excel in their own right focus on photos. Videos are as important to stories as pictures. To gain an advantage over the competition, you film like the pros. Meet Filmic Pro.

Filmic Pro gives you advanced manual control over your video camera. This means, as with the apps above, you can control ISO, shutter speed, and white balance. However, you can also adjust the frame rate, auto focus, and more. You can also shoot vertically for the perfect frame of the story.

The 2015 film Tangerine was filmed with Filmic Pro as well as with the most recent project by Steven Soderbergh Unsane . With this app you can make your stories look the same on Snapchat, Instagram, Messenger or other places. It even integrates with third-party movie tools such as stabilizers and gimbals, making video professionals feel at home.

  • Install Filmic Pro: Android ($ 14.99) | iOS ($ 14.99)

12. Let Your Video Speak

The subtitling of your story is a lot of work. Would not it be better to get someone to do it for you? How about you do it with your phone while you record your story? Here comes Clipomatic – Clipomatic automatically adds subtitles to your videos when you record. It's going to be magical, but it's really just a smart technology.

You just have to speak clearly, the rest is done by Clipomatic. You can even customize your subtitles with emojis and filters and select from different subtitles to make your video unique. The app costs $ 4.99, but it may be worth it.

13. Never break eye contact with the camera

Taking pictures yourself is a tricky business, especially if you have lines to read. Try a teleprompter app instead of wasting time memorizing or unprofessionally breaking eye contact. These apps scroll slowly through the script on the screen so you can read everything without having to stay away from your phone. Unlike Clipomatic, the text from these apps will not appear in your video, so your audience will not be smarter.

On iOS we have Video Teleprompter Lite. This free app gives you a lot of control over how your script should look on the screen. Fonts, sizes, and styles are fine-tuned. Better yet, you can control how fast the script runs, what color the background has, and much more.

On the other hand, Android users have Selvi. This app is very similar to Video Teleprompter Lite. You can edit your script with different fonts and styles, how quickly it should be moved, where the script is displayed on the screen, and much more. Simply touching the capture button will fire both the camera and the script. Just tap the record button again and your video is complete.

  • Play Store Link: Selvi (free)

14. With Unique, Powerful Filters for Video

If you want to apply great, high-performance filters to your photos and videos before uploading to your stories, look no further than VSCO, which we've already mentioned. While the big social apps that take photos all provide filters to some extent, VSCO takes them to the next level. On the surface, the VSCO filters look dramatic, expressive and can instantly add color and depth to your image.

With VSCO, you can go further than just adding one of the preset filters by adjusting the intensity of each filter with a handy slider, in addition to some of the best color editing in the business. With this combo, your stories stand out from the competition. Unfortunately, neither the free filter presets nor the paid presets work with video, unless you upgrade to VSCO X for $ 19.99 a year. The upgrade will give you the entire preset library, make these filters suitable for video, and add some video editing tools.

15th Update Your Stories with Augmented Reality Filters

While VSCO is exploiting the market for general color filters, augmented reality filters are a different story. Replace your face with a dog, a cat, a friend or even an alien. Watch firecrackers explode next to your face, or go beyond selfie filters and look at the world from a different perspective with your reversing camera. Augmented reality (AR) filters turn photos and videos into something that's just fun.

For each of these apps you can continue and record in one, then download the video without posting it, and upload it to any service you want! 19659021] "Snapchat" is best for AR face filters

Snapchat was the first social media app to make augmented reality filters popular. While others have caught up, Snapchat still creates fun filters that regularly update the selection. The quality of their face-mapping is first-rate and usually works better than that of their competitors.

It can be argued that the Snapchat filters – especially the games – are a bit bloated to bring people back to the foreground platform. Still, launch the app, select your face to see available filters, and swipe to be your pet face in Augmented Reality. They prove that Snapchat still has much to offer. There are also hidden filters that you can unlock for even more options.

& # 39; # 39 & Instagram; Perfect for Unique Filter Effects

Instagram has a habit of stealing features from Snapchat – and getting away with it. Stories are the best example, as the feature on Instagram's platform has really taken off.

Instagram filters have fun and unique effects and are not just there to look prettier (though they do). Many will change the look of the entire setting – turning the scene into pixels, coloring them, or adding effects like glitter or rainbow.

& # 39; Messenger & # 39; Surprisingly, from all social media apps that offer AR filters, Messenger is one of the best options if not of . While its range is not nearly as big as Snapchat's, the quality of the AR filters is not impressive – with many cute, creative and entertaining offerings.

Messenger offers far more than good tracking software and cool graphics that appear on the screen screen. The overall presentation is excellent. Charge a disco filter and suddenly it seems like blue, red and green lights are bouncing off your face. Use one of these filters to post a video of your story, and perhaps convince yourself that you pulled out your friends last night instead of enjoying a phone call.

"Facebook" is an endless bounty

Facebook filters are not present Not "bad" by any means. They're fine. It even seems that Facebook keeps most, if not all, of its existing filters still available. For most apps, filters, especially sponsored, are replaced by fresh ideas. Facebook adds new filters, but retains everything – you can now play with Ninja Lego Movie and Venom filters. Scroll through your options, you may never reach the end.

16. Get Animated Title Cards & Text

Although stickers and text seem negligible, they are surprisingly appealing. Unique GIFs, polls, questions, animated text, and more can instantly grab the attention of a passive viewer as they browse through stories.

Let me ask you: what makes you feel better than exercise? If you want your audience included in your stories, use animated text. Hype-Type can help with this and offers fun, varied fonts that dance through your pictures and videos.

You can capture a single video or a single image, or merge a set of videos and / or images into specific boundaries. If you are satisfied with your content, you can add animated text with up to four separate "slides". It's a nice effect that you can keep fresh with multiple fonts. Although you can purchase fonts with an annual subscription to Hype-Type, it is not essential to use many features.

17th Go Font Crazy with Unique or Custom Font Options

If you're ready to put your money where your mouth is, Over is one of the best text solutions you can use. It contains a seemingly endless selection of fonts. New font packages are added all the time, by unique creators who add their own style to their text. You can even upload your own custom fonts.

If you have selected a font, you can use Over to edit the style, color, size, shadow, opacity, and so on. Fonts, such as manual camera apps, are photos and videos. All your friends will ask how you can find these cool fonts in your stories. It also offers powerful graphic design tools to create great backgrounds (more on that later).

Not all fonts are free. Although you have access to a decent number of font packs from the beginning, Over has a $ 29.99 annual subscription for Android and $ 99.99 for iOS. These subscriptions include access to the extensive library of font packs, as well as uploading fonts, images, and templates.

Subscribing to one platform gives you access to the Pro features of the other platform. Sign in to Android, if you can.

If you're looking for an Android alternative to Over, try 500 fonts. It comes exactly as advertised – 500 fonts that the creator can make use of. While the app is technically delivered with 50 fonts, it's enough to unlock the other 450 by rating 500 five-star fonts. As skeptical as the tactics may be, 500 fonts enhance users' choices to 100% free. You can add these fonts in the app to the built-in color fonts of the 500 fonts or to a photo of your choice.

18th Take Full Control of Your Text

If you are looking for complete and complete control over the text of your story, look no further than Adobe Spark Post. The app offers probably the most extensive design options on this list, and as we go into more features later, the text editor is by far one of the best you can find.

Post has a decent library of fonts, it does not handle the volume of fonts that have over 500 fonts. However, what you can do with Post's typefaces is almost unlimited. With Spark Post, you can select effects for each word you type, change color, add shape backgrounds, and adjust size, rotation, scaling, spacing, and opacity. You can also fine-tune the position in your image and immediately browse through different styles.

  • Install Adobe Spark Post: Android (free) | iOS (free)

19. Creating Rainbow Text That Will Burst

While this is not a true "feature," you can use this hack to write in rainbow text on Instagram, without hard, time-consuming work. It gives your text a colorful, unique look, and if you already use Instagram for your story, you do not even have to leave the app.

20th Rounded app that does a little bit of everything

For a rounded app that's all about something tut, sollten Sie A Design Kit verwenden. Diese App hat eine Unmenge an Sticker-Packs zur Auswahl, um jede und jede Ihrer Fotostorys mit Pop zu versehen. Während viele dieser Pakete bezahlt werden, gibt es auch kostenlose, so dass Sie nicht das Gefühl haben, Bargeld ausgeben zu müssen, wenn Sie nicht wollen.

Dasselbe gilt für Text. Ein Design-Kit bietet 12 verschiedene Schriftarten, aus denen Sie den Text Ihrer Geschichten abwechslungsreich gestalten können. Mit jeder dieser Schriftarten können Sie Größe , Farbe (einschließlich mehrerer Regenbogen- und Verlaufsoptionen), Durchsichtigkeit und sogar Hintergründe steuern. Wenn Sie mehr wollen, verkauft die App Font-Packs, aber möglicherweise finden Sie die Standard-Pakete, die Ihrem Stil entsprechen, oder versuchen Sie es mit einer anderen App (sehen Sie sich unsere Auswahl unten an), um weitere neue Fonts kostenlos zu finden.

Die App funktioniert nicht mit Video, aber es ist eine großartige Lösung für alle Fotos oder Folien, die Sie zu Ihrer Story hinzufügen.

21. Aus realen Objekten einzigartige Aufkleber herstellen

Die Suche nach dem perfekten Aufkleber kann schwierig sein. Anstatt sich auf jemanden zu verlassen, der Sie zu einem Aufkleber macht, warum machen Sie es nicht selbst? Das ist, wo Snapchat praktisch ist. Das Umrisswerkzeug ist der perfekte Sticker-Hersteller, da Sie alles, was Sie im Schnappschuss haben, in einen eigenen Aufkleber verwandeln kann.

Wenn Sie einen Schnappschuss machen, tippen Sie auf das Scherensymbol, um das Gliederungswerkzeug zu aktivieren. Zeichnen Sie einfach um jedes Gesicht, jede Person oder jeden Gegenstand und lassen Sie dann los. Snapchat speichert den umrissenen Aufkleber automatisch, auch wenn Sie ihn nicht in Ihrem Foto verwenden möchten. Wenn Sie Ihre Umrandungsaufkleber durchsuchen möchten, tippen Sie einfach auf die Aufkleber-Schaltfläche im Fotoeditor und dann auf das Scherensymbol.

Diese Aufkleber sind nur in Snapchat selbst verfügbar, sodass Sie sie zu Ihrem Foto oder Video hinzufügen müssen Verschieben Sie dann den Inhalt zu anderen Apps, die Sie verwenden möchten.

22. Fügen Sie personalisierte Bitmoji-Aufkleber

hinzu. Bitmojis eroberte Social Media, nicht zuletzt aufgrund der hervorragenden Integration von Snapchat. Snap ist zwar die beste App für die Verwendung von Bitmojis, Sie können sie jedoch auf jede Story anwenden, sofern die von Ihnen verwendete App Bitmoji unterstützt.

Um zu beginnen, müssen Sie die Bitmoji-App herunterladen. Sie können entweder ein originales Bitmoji oder ein Bitmoji Deluxe einrichten, je nach Ihrem Stil.

Snapchat-Leute haben es am einfachsten. Bitmojis – einschließlich Bitmoji-GIFs – sind im Sticker-Menü integriert, sodass das Hinzufügen von Bitmojis ein Kinderspiel ist.

Das Hinzufügen von Bitmojis zu anderen Apps variiert je nach Plattform. Unter iOS können Sie in der Bitmoji-App auf den gewünschten Aufkleber tippen und anschließend auf "Kopieren" tippen. Bequemer können Sie dies über die Bitmoji-Tastatur tun. Um die Tastatur einzurichten, gehen Sie zu "Einstellungen"> "Allgemein"> "Tastatur"> "Tastaturen"> "Neue Tastatur hinzufügen …" und tippen Sie auf "Bitmoji". Tippen Sie erneut auf "Bitmoji" und anschließend auf "Erlauben Sie vollen Zugriff". Stimmen Sie dem Popup zu.

Wechseln Sie nun vom Tastaturumschalter zur Bitmoji-Tastatur und wählen Sie Ihr Bitmoji aus. Sobald Sie Ihr Bitmoji kopiert haben, fügen Sie es einfach in ein Textfeld ein. Wenn die App Bitmoji nicht unterstützt, wird keine Option zum Einfügen angezeigt. Wenn dies der Fall ist, wird Ihr Bitmoji als Aufkleber angezeigt.

Android-Benutzer haben eine bessere Option – Gboard hat jetzt die Bitmoji-Integration. Tippen Sie einfach auf die Emoji-Taste (oder drücken Sie das Komma lange, wenn Sie diese Option deaktiviert haben), wählen Sie die Registerkarte Bitmoji, und tippen Sie dann auf das gewünschte Bitmoji. Wenn die App dies unterstützt, wird das Bitmoji Ihrer Geschichte als Aufkleber hinzugefügt.

Momentan ist Instagram die einzige App, die diese Methode auf beiden Plattformen zu unterstützen scheint.

  • Installieren Sie Bitmoji – Your Personal Emoji: Android (kostenlos) | iOS (kostenlos)

23. Teilen Sie Standorte mit Geotag-Aufklebern

Möchten Sie allen Ihren Anhängern ein schnelles Update zu Ihrem Standort geben? Verwenden Sie einen Ortsaufkleber. Keine App macht das besser als Instagram. Die App bietet ein paar verschiedene Stile für den Geo-Tag des Standorts, und es muss nicht nur Ihr aktueller Standort sein – es kann ein beliebiger Standort sein. Wenn Sie ein Foto aus Ihrem Urlaub im letzten Sommer oder aus dem Café, das Sie heute morgen besucht haben, veröffentlichen, können Sie diese Orte jederzeit hinzufügen.

Natürlich haben andere Apps Ortsaufkleber und Filter, die Sie verwenden können. Facebook verwendet eine ähnliche Funktion wie Instagram, während Snapchat speziell für Ihre Region bestimmte Filter anbietet. Ortsbezogene Funktionen, z. B. das Durchsuchen anderer Storys von Ihrem markierten Standort, sind jedoch nur für diese Aufkleber und Filter verfügbar, wenn Sie Ihre Story in der App veröffentlichen, in der sie erstellt wurde. Wenn Sie Facebook verwenden, um ein Standort-Tag zu erstellen, aber auf Instagram hochladen, Benutzer können nicht auf Ihr Tag klicken.

Verpassen Sie nicht: Der ultimative Leitfaden für die Verwendung von Instagram-Aufklebern

24. Fragen mit Abstimmungsaufträgen stellen (nur Instagram)

Ebenso wie Geotags werden die Umfrageaufkleber von Instagram von keinem übertroffen. Schnell und einfach können Sie mit den beiden Umfrage-Aufklebern von Instagram Ihren Followern eine Frage stellen. Sie erhalten eine Rückmeldung entweder als eine von zwei voreingestellten Antworten oder über den "Emoji-Schieberegler". Sie können auch offene Fragen mit dem Q & A-Aufkleber stellen. However, keep in mind that you'll only be able to interact with these polls in Instagram Stories — they'll only appear as stickers in other story platforms.

Image by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks

25. Lock Your Stickers in Place in a Video

You may have noticed Snapchat stories where stickers and GIFs stay locked to a location in the "real world." A user pans the camera to reveal a sticker resting on the kitchen table, which stays there and disappears with the table as the camera pans out of view.

Snapchat is currently the only platform supporting the feature, but, like other platform-exclusive features, you can always download your pinned-sticker Snapchat story, and share it to any other app of your choosing.

26. Create Photo-Focused Collages

If you're looking for a collage app with a considerable amount of control to help you show off multiple pictures at once, fire up Adobe Spark Post, mentioned previously for its text-making abilities. The app has a collage-making section, which features a library of templates to choose from, many of which are sized perfectly for a full-screen story. Just find one that suits your needs and tap "Remix."

  • Install Adobe Spark Post: Android (free) | iOS (free)

Start by simply replacing the template's photos with your own, then go ahead and play around — you can edit almost anything you see here. Text, font, borders, styles — it's all fair game. Our advice? Tap on anything you want to change. Spark Post will probably have a feature or two (or more) for you to tweak.

27. Build Your Collage Look from the Bottom Up

Pixlr is a great cross-platform collage app with a built-in camera set up to take photos and directly insert them into your collage, which gives you access to a wide variety of unique filters before even snapping your shots. Pixlr also has a seemingly endless supply of layouts, which you can tweak to adjust for size, color, border size, and more. Pixlr might just be the most "open source" collage app on this list.

28. Turn Collages into Polaroids

StoryStar is an excellent collage app for Android. What makes it unique is that all collage-making templates are made to look like polaroids. However, instead of making your photos look retro, the app gives you space at the bottom of each collage to write a caption. It's a cool look, one you can use no matter how many photos you want in your collage.

On iOS, we have the reverse. Instead of turning a collage into a polaroid, InstaLab makes a collage out of polaroids. The app allows you to design polaroids, as you'd expect, but then invites you to create a collage out of them. The free version includes a handful of borders, filters, and fonts for your polaroids, and only one background option for your collage, but it should be enough to get you on your way.

If you want the extra borders, fonts, filters, and collages for your story, InstaLab charges a one-time $8.99 fee.

Crop Your Stories to Perfection

29. Crop Horizontal Video to Fit a Story

Want to share that special memory with your followers, but the video you grabbed was shot horizontally? Kein Problem. We found three great tools to help you crop your video to perfectly fit a story.

InShot is a multi-faceted photo and video editor. While you can get lost in all the bells and whistles, what places it here on our list is a robust set of image-cropping tools. InShot makes it easy to get any photo or video to that 9:16 aspect ratio. There won't be any awkward dead space in your story after InShot.

  • Install InShot Video & Photo Editor: Android (free) | iOS (free)

CutStory is another feature-filled app for editing videos for your stories. However, one thing it does very well is cropping videos to fit the necessary aspect ratio of a vertical story. Like photo croppers, CutStory offers a variety of aspect ratios to choose from, and you can see how your chosen dimensions look in real time. CutStory is more than just a video cropping tool, however, since it's also good as a basic video editor (keep reading to find out more).

Video Crop is an alternative to CutStory, but we feel it's a bit too buggy.

A better alternative on Android is Crop & Trim Video which gives you some light editing tools to make sure your newly cropped video is exactly the length you want. You will need to sit through an ad as your video processes, and it does take some time to complete, but at the end, you'll have your video cropped and trimmed just the way you want it, without spending a dime.

30. Fit Photos to a Story Frame Without Cutting Down

Not only can you crop a photo or video, but you can also create a multi-layered version of it with the "Canvas" tool. Your original content will be in the center, with a frame around it containing a blurred version of the image. Basically, it's a small in-focus image overlayed on a big out-of-focus version of it. Of course, you can always crop to fit the 9:16 frame, with no background.

Another decent option for cropping photos to a story frame on the iPhone is Square Fit Photo Video Editor. It performs similarly, but instead of a blurred background image, it's a white canvas.

Edit Video Like the Pros Do

31. Trim & Organize Clips in 9:16

If you want to take your video-based stories to the next level, you'll want to edit like the pros do. Unfortunately, that may require shelling out a few bucks. But if you create a lot of video stories, it's probably well worth the cost.

Not all apps let you edit videos well for a story format. The iPhone's built-in video editor, iMovie, doesn't let you edit in 9:16 whatsoever, rendering the app useless for story creators. Here, we've highlighted two of our favorite video-editing apps — one for iOS and one for Android — that make working with this tricky format a lot easier.

On iOS, check out Filmmaker Pro. The free version includes all the basics you would need to trim and organize clips together into a 9:16 story. Unfortunately, the free version slaps a watermark on your projects, which might not look so professional in an Instagram or Snapchat story.

While removing that watermark does require some dough, it could be worth your while. Besides offering a clean video product, a $3.00 a month or $35.99 a year subscription also includes five music collections; sound effects; animated and non-animated text; movie, script, retro, and graffiti fonts; picture-in-picture GIFs; chroma key tools; and an in-app camera. The app comes with a three-day free trial, so if you aren't sure, you can give it a spin for 72 hours first.

You can't edit vertically, but the video will export in the correct aspect ratio.

Over on Android, check out PowerDirector. This app offers a surprising number of free tools for editing 9:16 video — it lets you trim and arrange your clips how you like, quickly add transition effects between clips, add music from your phone or an online source, and even apply video effects to your clips.

Sadly, the free version comes with some downsides. PowerDirector will watermark your projects and won't let you export in Full HD or 4K. It allows you to export in HD, aka 720p. You can remove these restrictions with a premium subscription of either $4.99 a month, $3.33 a month for three months, or $34.99 a year (yearly subscription comes with a seven-day free trial).

32. Quickly Chop Up Story Videos

In the past, Instagram would stop you from uploading a story longer than 15 seconds. In these cases, you'd want to use an app like Story Cutter to splice your story into acceptable clips. Instagram has rendered these apps essentially obsolete, however, with an update that automatically splices your long stories upon uploading.

These spliced stories will be saved as individual videos with a max length of 15 seconds. You'll be able to download them and post them on other apps, however, to use on other apps, you will need to download each 15-second interval, then re-upload them elsewhere one at a time.

Images by Nelson Aguilar/Gadget Hacks

33. Not a Hotshot Editor? This Is the Easiest Way to Awesome Videos

For anyone new to the world of video editing, Quik is for you. Quik is clearly a "quick" editor. You choose from a library of templates, and Quik creates a video for you, complete with effects and audio. What you can adjust is the font, graphics colors and styles, and duration.

One of Quik's standout features is "HiLights." You add markers to specific points in your video, and Quik pulls the most interesting moments from that area of video automatically. If you know there's a fun moment 30 seconds in, you can place a marker there, and Quik will cut up a HiLight for it. HiLights can be either half a second, 2 seconds, or as long as four seconds. It's all up to how Quik's AI decides to chop up the moment.

This one isn't for anyone well-versed in video editing. Quik is better for those who aren't very familiar with editing and want a quick, professional-looking video with minimal customization.

34. Add Powerful Editing to Quik's HiLight Tool

If you've used Quik, you might notice a few similarities between it and Splice. That's because GoPro acquired both apps, and they now share the same importing system. You even have access to Quik's easy-to-use "HiLight" tool to give you a starting point for your video.

From here, the similarities end. As a video editor, Splice is arguably on par with iMovie (except it allows you to publish vertical video), but includes additional features that make it stand out from the competition. Splice pulls up a media browser, as all apps do, for you to choose photos and videos for your project. You can dive deeper into edits with basic tools — trimming, transitions, plus the ability to add and edit audio from a decent library of sounds. Der beste Teil? It's 100% free. No in-app purchases mean no ads, no watermarks, no hidden features — nada.

Create a Unique Story Style with Templates

35. Create Chic Photo-Focused Story Templates

Sometimes, our creativity just isn't cutting it, and we need a little boost to get started. That's where templates come in. Templates are easy to use — you find one you like, then replace its content for your own. That way, you don't need to worry about building a beautiful story from scratch. You can also keep using them over and over to build a personal style for your stories.

If you're looking for chic templates, Canva is your new best friend. The app is totally free and contains a large library of templates designed just for stories. Editing the templates is incredibly intuitive as well. Just tap on an image or text to swap it for your own. Of course, you can always add on top of what the template offers — Canva doesn't lock you into its layouts. The only thing it does lock you into is having to create a Canva account.

36. Text-Focused Story Templates That Pop

It's pretty much impossible to talk about templates and not include Adobe Spark Post. While it's an excellent resource for collages, Spark Post offers many more styles of templates that don't feature images you've taken. Whether you're a regular user or marketer trying to promote sales, your blog posts, or getting your followers to click through to other sites, you'll want to use Spark Post's many templates to create a cool, inviting, and intriguing story followers will be unable to tap past.

  • Install Adobe Spark Post: Android (free) | iOS (free)

37. Create Custom Layered Templates

Over, which we recommended already for text editing, is arguably as good for templates as Adobe Spark Post. It has a large variety of templates to choose from as well, but what makes it truly special is its depth. While anyone can use Over to make a great looking story, experts can tweak their creations using Photoshop-like layered elements.

Once you've begun editing a template, you can access its layers to see all components of the story. You can quickly delete layers or rearrange them to give it a different look. Of course, all the tools you'd expect are here, like additional graphics, text, colors, and shapes, as well as editing tools like shadows, opacity, rotation, blur, tints, masking, and blending.

This article was produced during Gadget Hacks' special coverage on becoming a social media expert on your phone. Check out the whole Social Media series.

Don't Miss: How to Zoom In & Out of Instagram Stories

Cover image, screenshots, and GIFs by Jake Peterson/Gadget Hacks, unless otherwise noted

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