Impress your audience with 5 Instagram photo editing apps

Instagram is about looking good. And with the right Instagram photo editing app, you can instantly up your Insta-game. Learn what's best for Android and iOS.

New to all this? Start with our guide to social media marketing.

First, here’s the Instagram photo editing apps that appear in this article:

Now picture this: you’re taking a photo of that delicious brunch you’re about to eat—and post on Instagram. But then you notice that a random hand has snuck into the photo.

Or you’re at a company event, and you’ve just snapped a picture of your team to share on Instagram. But then you realize that sitting next to your colleague is a trash can with a banana peel peeking out of the top.

Photo ruined. But all is not lost.

With help from the best Instagram photo editors of 2019, you can cut out those annoying hands and trash cans. And you don’t have to hire a professional, or go start—and probably never finish—a Coursera class to do it.

How can I make this great photo even better? Photographer: Caleb Lucas

Why use an Instagram photo editor?

Instagram hit the one billion user mark in June 2018. That’s out of a total world population of just over seven billion. And 60% of Insta users say they discover new products on Instagram.

So Instagram is a key channel for attracting and retaining customers. But there are already 25 million business accounts on the app. And this number’s only going up.

source: Statistic at

This means you’ve got some tough competition. So your images need to be up to scratch if you want to cut through the noise.

Want more tips on standing out? Instagram is also a great tool to use for emotional marketing.

Instagram already has some simple photo editing capabilities. But if you’re reading this article, you’re probably looking for an Instagram photo editor to jazz up your images beyond the basics.

Here’s some things a photo editor can help you with:

  • Resizing. Apps that resize photos to fit Instagram’s square spec without losing picture quality.

  • Design and display. If you want to get more creative with your pictures, you can turn them into infographics, create flipbooks, or add text, overlays, and captions.

  • Editing and effects. These apps let you add effects and filters, which range from basic cropping and background scaling, to changing color, hue, and saturation.

Some apps fall into one category, some into many. Some are free, some cost an arm and a leg.

Let’s find one that works for you.

5 Instagram Photo Editors you should know about

All of these apps are free—at least for basic features—and all but one are available for both Android and iOS.


Our designers love this program for quick pic editing. Here’s a few reasons why:

  • The built-in camera with advanced controls lets you work your magic without leaving the app.

  • Download the same filters in Adobe Lightroom, so you can edit pictures on desktop and get the same results on mobile.

  • Connect to a creative community of photographers by searching the hashtag #VSCO on Instagram.

VSCO is available for iOS and Android.

2. Snapseed

Everyone seems to love Snapseed. Now owned by Google, the photo editing app gives you things like:

  • Filters and special effects, for when you need to make the CEO look less tired at the event where he’s speaking.

  • Social sharing, so you can send pics directly from the app to Instagram and other social networks.

  • Editing tools, including the basics like crop and rotate. Plus advanced features for white balance, double exposure, lens blur, and tonal contrast.

Snapseed is free for iOS and Android.


3. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC has a desktop version that’s popular among designers and photographers. And there’s a mobile app for when you’re on the go. Take and edit photos, then beam them straight to Instagram or other social networks.

Some extras include:

  • Advanced editing tools, like tone curve that changes color, exposure, and contrast.

  • Ability to bulk edit photos. Copy edits across different pics for a consistent style.

  • Edit a section of the photo with your finger or a stylus. Or any other appendage you want to try.

  • Share photos straight to Instagram using the hashtag #lightroom.

There’s also a Premium feature called Adobe Sensei. It uses artificial intelligence to auto-tag your photos based on what’s in them and where they were taken. Slightly creepy, but still pretty cool.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC is free for basic features on iOS and Android. Premium features include sync across all devices.


Struggling to build a following? Bots aren’t the way to go. Here’s why to say no to Instagram automation.

4. Layout

Layout is Instagram’s own photo app. It’s both a photo taking and a photo editing app, with the ultimate aim of creating collages.

You can start with your existing images, or by taking a new photo with the app.

Here’s a summary of Layout’s features:

  • Create collages from up to nine photos—so people can see your whole week of lunches in one place.

  • Personalize layouts and collages.

  • Instantly share to Instagram.

  • Edit using Instagram’s filter tools.

Layout is free for iOS and Android.


5. Square Sized

Your photos need to be square if you’re going to share them on Instagram. It may be annoying, but there’s no way around it. That’s why this app specifically resizes for Instagram sharing.

Square Sized imports rectangular photos or videos from Facebook or your phone and makes them an Instagram-ready square size. So it’s not just a clever name.

Aside from its resizing feature and the ability to take photos from within the app, Square Sized also lets you:

  • Add borders to photos.

  • Layer filters, typography, shapes, and overlays.

  • Add backgrounds.

  • Share on social with a single tap.

Square Sized is free for basic features on iOS.

So which Instagram photo editing app should I choose?

You might be thinking “Well thanks for providing that list, but when are you going to tell me which app my business needs?”

True, a lot of these apps have similar features. But they all work a bit differently—and they’re all free to download. So your best bet is to try a few out to see what works for you.

And if you’re looking for some more Insta-insights to apply to your business, then head on over to our ultimate guide to social media marketing strategy.

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