CD Recommends: Top Instagram Apps

As we all know, it’s far more beneficial to build an online community from your blog than have a passive audience of lurkers. However, that doesn’t come without hard work and dedication!

The more active you are on social media platforms like Instagram, and the more you engage with your followers, the greater chance you stand of building an online community from your blog. Taming Instagram is no biggie as long as you have the right tools at hand. Our team has lined up the best picks.


Wonder no more how your favorite publishers create those perfect moody snaps and creative identity collateral.

Freebies + Freemium Apps

VSCO is the darling app of any Instagrammer. It comes with a bunch of stylish editing presets to give your account that special feel and a lot of additional functionality to tweak the lighting, contrast, and clarity of your photos.

VSCO is available for iOS and Android. It’s free, but charges apply if you wish to have additional presets.

Snapseed is an easy-to-use app, packed up with powerful editing features comparable to Photoshop. Use it to fine-tune your pictures before publishing – enhance colors, fix the perspective, improve lighting, remove objects that you don’t like or add stylish effects such as old film grain.   

Snapseed is available for iOS and Android.

Canva is an excellent tool to create marketing and identity collateral for your profile. It comes with a bunch of pre-made templates and elements that you can mix and match. Design stylish quote-styled photos, custom images for Story Highlights and pretty much any other type of visual creative.

Canva is available for iOS and Android, and you can use it on the web as well.

Photoshop Express lets you use the essential Photoshop features for free. A must-have app for those feeling intimidated by Photoshop’s advanced functionalities.  

Photoshop Express is available for iOS and Android.

Repost for Instagram does just what it says – helps you curate beautiful images from others in a few quick taps with proper attribution.

Repost is available for iOS and Android.

PicFlow allows you to create alluring slideshows. Combine your favorite tune with your photo series; spice it up with a few neat effects and post it to your Stories.

PicFlow is free to use for iOS and Android, but if you want to remove the watermark, or unlock extra transitions, you can upgrade within the app.

Charges Apply

Afterlight 2 is a combo app. First, it upgrades your phone camera with additional functionality – you can improve the focus; split white balance and take advantage of a few other nifty settings to capture that perfect shot.

You can then process your photos using the standard tools; make creative edits with advanced features by adding shadows, improving mid-tones etc. Or choose among different filters and effects, pre-packed in your library.

Afterlight 2 is available for iOS, while the previous version (Afterlight) is available for Android. Price: $2.99.


Having a hashtag strategy is essential for organically growing your Instagram, and getting discovered by new followers and brands.

Freebies + Freemium Apps

Upload your photo to Autohash and the app’s smart algorithm will suggest the best hashtags to use. You can also discover trending hashtags based on your location and mark the best ones as your favorites for later use.

Autohash is available on Android.

Display Purposes is a web-based hashtag search engine. Type some general hashtags and the app will suggest additional ones to include. It will also filter out banned or spammy hashtags that will hurt, rather than help your post.

Focalmark comes pre-packed with a set of suggested hashtags for different niches e.g. portrait, landscape, minimal etc. and a bunch of locations. Mix and match the best options and automatically post your list to Instagram.

Focalmark is available for iOS and Android. Price: Free, with in-app purchases


…because posting consistently is important, yet time-consuming. Pre-plan your account look using the next tools. All of the choices are available both as mobile and web apps.

Freebies + Freemium Apps

Later is among the best tools for visually planning your profile aesthetic. Bulk upload all your photos; label and organize them; add captions and schedule them for publishing at the perfect time.

Price: Free, with premium plans starting at $9/mo.

HootSuite is another scheduling tool worth considering. It comes with great analytics functionality and automatically posts all your scheduled content to Instagram.

Price: Free, with Pro Plans starting at $19/mo

Buffer works similarly to Hootsuite and allows you to schedule and publish single-image and video posts to Instagram (and also Facebook and Twitter).

Price: Free, with paid plans starting at $10/mo

Charges Apply

While other tools support direct posting to Instagram from business accounts only, Schedugram will post content to personal accounts as well. The app also has a host of other great features including a drag & drop calendar; visual post planner; editing tools; multi-account management and more.

Price: $20 – $100/mo (depending on follower count)


Know your numbers beyond your follower count. The next tools will help you create a data-driven Instagram strategy.


Websta is a basic web tool that lets you browse through Instagram profiles and users on desktop. Use it to find popular accounts in your niche, and analyze their hashtags and following.

Charges Apply

Sprout Social is a comprehensive platform for managing your account(s) from A to Z. You can create editorial calendars for multiple accounts; pre-schedule content for publishing; track selected hashtags, and set up a variety of reports to know exactly how your content performs.

Price: $99 – $249/mo per user

Iconosquare is a great tool to help you learn more about your community and craft your content strategy accordingly. It’s a bit less advanced then Sprout Social, yet equally handy!

Price: $7-$59/mo (billed annually)


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