Have you ever scrolled through your Instagram feed filled with beautiful photos, then thought to yourself… “wow, what Instagram tools are they using to make these photos? These shots are freakin’ awesome.”

Connor Franta on Instagram

Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore! You can produce incredibly creative photos just like top Instagrammers — you just need to add a few super-useful Instagram tools to your arsenal. Check out these essential editing apps and you’ll start creating eye-catching Instagram content in a flash.



VSCO is the darling of countless Instagrammers and one of my favorite Instagram tools: The app lets you create some truly stunning photos. With VSCO, you can edit your drab photos to make them pop. Choose from a variety of filters that enhance your images (many Instagrammers say VSCO’s filters are way better than Instagram’s). Then use a collection of Photoshop-like tools to perfect your photos.

You can use VSCO to change image parameters like exposure, contrast, saturation and color temperature. The fun doesn’t stop there: You can also tint your photos with specific colors, change vertical and horizontal perspectives, and sharpen your image. With VSCO in your toolbox, you might have people asking you what your photo-editing secret is.

Price: Free to download; add-ons available for purchase. For iPhone and Android.

Interested in how Curalate can help drive Instagram revenue? Check out this success story from Forever 21.

2. Layout

Layout Instagram

You’re a creative genius and you have a ton of photos you want to share with your followers. But you don’t want to spam Instagram feeds and look desperate because you’re posting too often. What’s a genius to do?

The answer: Create a photo collage. Using a photo collage is a brilliant way to combine your photos into one Instagram post. You can show your followers all the amazing things you’re up to and give them a visual explosion with just one post. On top of that, you can tell really cool visual stories by sequencing multiple photos.

Sound good? Well, there’s an app for that. Try Layout, which people have been raving about since Instagram released it in March last year.


Layout is refreshingly easy to use. All you have to do is select a few photos for your collage (you can use up to nine) and choose a layout. Then you can drag the borders in your collage while using effects like Mirror and Flip for individual photos.

If you like taking selfies, try Layout’s Photo Booth feature. It takes four photos in quick succession that you can instantly turn into a collage. Time to ham it up for the camera!

Price: Free. For iPhone and Android.

3. Quick

A picture’s worth a thousand words… but sometimes you want actual words in your photo. In that case, use Quick.

Quick is an Instagram tool that allows you to write messages that catch your followers’ attention. Create inspirational quotes (these do really well on Instagram) or make important announcements.

Quick for Instagram

Working with Quick is a piece of cake. Just tap the photo then type some text. Afterwards, you can change the text’s font, size and color. Quick has a great collection of beautiful fonts, so you’ll definitely find a stylish typeface that fits your photo.

It’s that easy! No frills or complicated functions — just effortless text creation in seconds. Now, wasn’t that quick?

Price: Free to download. Additional fonts available for purchase. For iPhone and Android.

Gorgeous photos are great but remember why you need them…

Now that you know how to create amazing content, it’s important for marketers to understand that all those beautiful photos are meaningless if you don’t have a way to connect it all to your business insights and understand the return-on-investment. There are tons of ways to do that, and Curalate can help. Learn how Curalate helped Forever 21 use Instagram to drive revenue and check out our complete guide to visual commerce.