Can you believe that when Instagram was acquired by Facebook in 2012, people were wondering what the future held for the photo-sharing app? As 2013 demonstrated, the pricey buyout hasn’t put a damper on Instagram’s performance or success.
As we begin a new year, Instagram has now accumulated over 150 million active users. With the recently launched video feature, and the private photo-messaging option, it doesn’t appear as if momentum is going to slow down anytime soon for Instagram.
But, what it you’re an Instagram fiend that is looking to get something more out of the service? Despite being the most-used and subscribed-to, photo-sharing platform, there are some limitations with filters, effects, etc. That’s when creative third-party developers come in and accomplish what Instagram can’t. For example, check out the following 12 apps. They’ll definitely enhance your Instagram experience so much that you’ll actually believe you’re a professional photographer. And, sorry, Snapseed isn’t included because you probably already have it.
Is your creativity limited by Instagram’s settings? Thankfully, Photo Editor by Aviary resolves that issue. The app features a complete range of effects and color correcters including frames, filters, and stickers. The smart “one-tap auto enhance” is a major perk if you want to share the perfect photo.
Another plus for Aviary is that it allows users to easily crop images in a matter of seconds—a feature that Instagram does not currently have. Available for both Android and iPhone users.
Screenshot of Gramgrab 1/19/14
We really like Gramgrab because it’s a simple web application that will display an Instagram photo collection with a little hover-action. The display will provide details of a photo, such as the number of likes, the it was time uploaded and which filter was used. With just one click, you can also download the photo directly to your computer in case Instagram ever crashes. Best of all, you have access just by logging in with your Instagram account.
If you ever wanted to add text to your photos, than Over has resolved that quandary. This Instagram powerhouse is an all-around favorite because it includes more than 225 fonts, numerous stock backgrounds and an endless amount of customization options so that you can add some appropriate words to your pictures.
Price: $1.99 on iTunes (there is a free version, Overgram, but it’s not as powerful)
Looking to do some Photoshop-level editing via your phone? Check-out this app from Pankaj Goswami. Superimpose gives users the ability to blend photos together with seamless, professional quality. The app includes more than 10 different masking tools and 18 blending modes. Furthermore, Superimpose has the ability to remove all that extra work you’ve been doing while attempting to erase part of a photo, which you can choose to use as a background image.
Price: $0.99 on iTunes
Equipped with 27 fully adjustable filters (including real and natural light leaks),75 unique frames and the ability to easily share your art on not only Instagram, but also Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and email, this is hands down one of the more useful apps for Instagram users.
Price: $0.99 on iTunes
6. Pic Stitch
Have you noticed all the really cool collages your friends are posting on Facebook? We have too, and we’re so jealous that we didn’t think of it first. But, we digress. Chances are your clever friend used an app like Pic Stitch.
Pic Stitch allows users to create collages using one of the 232 different layouts, customizable border widths, and easy fix filter. Images are easily exported to Instagram and a hard copy can be sent to Walgreens. It’s available for download for iPhone and Android users.
7. Slow Shutter Cam
One major complaint that many people have with their smart phone camera is the inability to take long-exposure photography. This is no longer a concern if you download the Slow Shutter Cam app. Basically, it allows you to lengthen your iPhone’s shutter speed, which will blur and blend images together.
Also included in the app are the Automatic and Manual capture modes, which is probably the closest your phone can be to a real, high-quality camera.
Screenshot of Instarchive 1/19/14
Chances are that all of your images are safe and sound on Instagram, but a backup plan never hurt anyone. If you want to store your images on your computer, you can do that with Instarchive. It’s an easy-to-use web tool where all of your Instagram photos are downloaded as a convenient zip file to your PC.
Price: Free (just login into your Instagram account)
If you’re looking to add some originality to your Instagram feed, Tiny Planet has got you covered. The app lets you easily and quickly transform your photos into a sphere, that well, converts them into a tiny planet. The fisheye–looking effect is available for both iPhone and Android users.
Statigram is an absolute-must if your brand is on Instagram. The app gives you access to vital analytics ranging from the total number of likes received, your most liked photos, your average number of likes and comments per photo, and your follower growth charts. Other useful features include setting up and monitoring contests, promoting your Instagram feed across other social media accounts and managing conversions.
Price: Free (sign in with your Instagram account)
If you’ve been waiting for an app that allows you to generate abstract and creative photos, look no further. The pxl app allows you to pixellate images in a variety of ways so that they resemble anything from dots, brush strokes and more. If you’re stuck on your composition, you can just shake your device for a random masterpiece.
Price: $0.99 on iTunes
Why would an app that converts your photos into circles be called Percolator? Because, after It analyzes all the colors within a captured picture, it “brews” your image into a multicolored-mosaic. By utilizing a circle-packing algorithm, the app allows you to choose one of five animated effects.
With the release of Percolator 2.0, you can now control your “perc” when it combines with the original image with the “blend dials” feature.
Price: $2.99 on iTunes
Which app do you find most useful for an Instagram experience?
Featured Image Credit: Percolator App/Facebook
All screenshots via applications’ respective information and download pages.