Animated Instagram Stories are the hottest new trend to take over our feeds — they’re dynamic, engaging, and definitely scroll-stopping.
And the good news is that you don’t need an expensive camera, software, or design team to create animated Instagram Stories to wow your audience.
There are tons of new apps for Instagram Stories that make it super-simple to add animations to stories in just a few clicks.
Plus, we’re showing you how to “app smash” (the art of combining multiple apps to create killer animated content!) with real examples from Later’s Instagram account:
Why You Should Create Animated Instagram Stories
Creating animated Instagram Stories is a great way to grab your audience’s attention and stop them from swiping past your story.
While a lot of people tend to speed-tap their way through Instagram Stories, viewers are much more likely to stop and watch when a flashy, moving animation catches their eye.
Luckily, it’s now easier than ever to create high-quality animated Instagram Stories content right from your phone with these 11 animation apps for Instagram. Watch the video or continue reading this blog post.
Animated Instagram Stories App #1: Add Animated Graphics to Your Stories with Over
When it comes to designing Instagram Stories, Over is packed with tools, templates, and animated graphics to help you create high-quality stories content.
Using Instagram Stories templates is one of the easiest ways to upgrade your stories, and Over makes it easy to add a little movement to your perfectly on-brand content.
Plus, Over’s stock video library has tons of different animations to bring some life to your creation. No original footage or graphics required:
Looking for animated inspiration? Over’s loyal community has a #madewithover hashtag to help you find design inspo from other creators if you’re ever feeling stuck.
Want to make your Instagram Stories look better? Find out How to Design Instagram Stories That Captivate Your Audience in this free video workshop with Over and Later!
Animated Instagram Stories App #2: Design Cool Animated Templates with Mojo
If you’re looking to take your Instagram Stories up a notch, Mojo is a great place to start.
This app has everything you need to create stunning stories, with hundreds of beautifully animated templates for whatever type of content you’re posting.
Mojo’s templates are totally customizable too — making it easy to trim, crop, add effects, titles, animation, change speeds, colors, and more.
You can even add custom fonts to your Mojo designs, so you can seamlessly align all your creative assets for Instagram Stories in one place.
Using Mojo’s animated templates are particularly useful if you want to showcase a blog post and encourage more “swipe ups” from your stories.
At Later, we use Mojo to make it look like our Instagram Stories are jumping upwards, mirroring the effect of a “swipe up”.
Animated Instagram Stories App #3: Make Motion Graphics On-The-Go with Adobe Spark
While Adobe is most-commonly known for its professional editing software, Adobe Spark makes it easy for anyone to create animated graphics on-the-go — no design experience needed.
Whether you’re adding a touch of animation to your text or a subtle movement to your graphics, Adobe Spark is perfect for making your stories more eye-catching:
The free app also comes pre-loaded with thousands of templates to choose from, including millions of free stock photos, filters, and fonts to help you create customized Instagram Stories content that perfectly aligns with your brand.
The Chrome extension allows you to share images from Adobe Spark to Later in a matter of clicks!
So from creating to publishing, you can easily transfer your Instagram Stories designs from Adobe Spark to Later — no downloads, or file sharing links required, making teamwork a dream.
Start seamlessly designing and scheduling your content with Adobe and Later today!
Animated Instagram Stories App #4: Create Stop-Motion Stories with Life Lapse
If you’re looking to step up your Instagram Stories content this year, you’ll definitely want to check out Life Lapse. The app makes it easy to create high-quality stop motion videos right from your mobile device, and their handy tutorial guides you through every step of the process.
According to Life Lapse, you can create stop motion videos “10x faster than with $15K+ worth of cameras, computers & pro editing software.” All you need to create stop-motion videos is your camera, good lighting, and a tripod.
But Life Lapse is more than just a stop motion creator. The app is also packed with editing tools, including a variety of different speeds, filters, stock music, and an interval timer to help you get the timing of your video just right.
Life Lapse is a great app for creating unique, eye-catching content that will give your Instagram Stories a high-production look (without the high-cost).
Animated Instagram Stories App #5: Add Motion to Images with Enlight Pixaloop
Developed by the award-winning app developer Lightricks, Pixaloop quite literally “brings your photos to life” by adding movement to your static images. This is a great way to add an element of surprise to your Instagram Stories and stop your viewers in their tracks.
To animate a photo, place arrows to define motion within the image.
Next, add anchors to gradually reduce the speed in the animated area:
Pixaloop editing tools give you precise animation control so you can perfect your masterpiece. This app definitely takes some practice — if you’re not sure where to get started, head over to their feed to check out some of their users’ creations.
Animated Instagram Stories App #6: Create Cool Transitions with Seen (Formerly Known as StoryBoost)
Seen is one of the best apps for adding cool dynamic transitions between each slide in your Instagram Stories.
With over a thousand templates and transitions to choose from, Seen gives users the flexibility to create one seamless Instagram Stories post. Think of it as stitching your 15-second clips together to create one captivating and tap-forward-proof post.
As stories viewers watch your stories, it’s clear they are viewing a single, connected story — encouraging them to continue watching right through till the end.
The app also comes packed with stickers, GIFs and fonts to help you fully customize your slides before exporting. Once you’ve finished, use Seen’s preview feature to tap through the templates to see exactly how they will flow through your story.
Animated Instagram Stories App #7: Make GIFs in an Instant with ImgPlay
If you’ve been looking for a way to create your own GIFs for Instagram Stories, look no further. ImgPlay is the easiest way to create GIFs using photos and videos right from your camera roll.
ImgPlay lets you cut portions of your video to create a GIF, or select multiple photos to create a slideshow or GIF. You can also edit existing GIFs from your device using the app.
We use ImgPlay at Later to plug multiple photos together in order to create a GIF-like look:
ImgPlay also allows you to apply a filter, adjust the frame rate, or change the playback direction to create a “Boomerang” effect. Once your creation is complete, just download the GIF or video file to your camera roll and add it to your Later Media Library for scheduling!
Ready to grow your business with Instagram Stories? Sign up below to get access to our FREE Instagram Stories for Business Course today:
Animated Instagram Stories App #8: Add Fun GIFs with GIPHY
One of the easiest ways to add a pop of animation to your Instagram Stories is by adding a GIF from the GIPHY app.
Instagram already has a built-in library of GIF stickers you can add to stories, but if you’re looking for full frame GIFs, the GIPHY app is the place to go.
The GIPHY app has a huge catalog of GIFs to choose from, all neatly organized in easy-to-navigate categories:
Once you’ve found your perfect GIF, you can select “share to Instagram” to save an optimized mp4 version straight to your Camera Roll — so it’s ready and waiting for your next Instagram Stories design.
At Later, we regularly use GIPHY to find and add iconic pop-culture GIFs to our Instagram Stories:
Adding a GIF to your Instagram Stories is a great way to mix things up and create an entertaining moment for your audience.
TIME-SAVING TIP: Use Instagram’s “Create” mode to quickly browse GIPHY’s huge library of GIFs and create a make-shift Instagram Stories template.
Animated Instagram Stories App #9: Create Custom, Attention-Grabbing Graphics with InStories
Looking to add some life to your Instagram Stories? Try creating animated text graphics with InStories.
InStories is packed with pre-designed templates, more than 100 fonts (or you can add your own) and tons of icons, stickers, and effects that can help stop your audience in their tracks and keep them from swiping past your story.
In this example from Later’s Instagram Stories, we used InStories to add a custom “text message” pop-up graphic:
To get started, just select a template. From here, you can start customizing colors, fonts, animations, or borders – the options are truly endless. InStories is free to try and offers auto-renewing monthly or annual subscriptions.
Animated Instagram Stories App #10: Add Animation to Your Vertical Videos with InShot
InShot is a photo and video editing app that’s best known for its ability to create content that’s a perfect fit for Instagram Stories (or any other video platform). But did you know the app has expanded its features?
You can now add stickers, loop animations, glitch transitions, music, and more to your video content:
This year, it’s more important than ever to take the plunge into video content on Instagram, and InShot is the perfect app to help you get started.
Animated Instagram Stories App #11: Make Your Stories Pop with Patternator
Don’t be fooled by the Patternator’s description in the app store — it’s more than just a wallpaper maker.
By pulling out key elements from your photos, like a logo, emoji or on-brand sticker, you can create fun, GIF-style images that will instantly get the attention of your Instagram Stories viewers.
At Later, we use Patternator to create fun animated backgrounds for our Instagram Stories posts:
Patternator is a super easy and fun way to add a pop of animation to your stories. Plus if you have your own branded GIF stickers in the GIPHY library, you can search for and add them to your Patternator design in just one click.
App Smashing: How to Use Multiple Apps to Create Unique and Captivating Instagram Stories
Once you’ve got to grips with how each app works, the real fun can begin.
Later’s Social Media Strategist, Mel Brittner, shares how using multiple apps together (also known as “app smashing”) can be the best way to create super engaging Instagram Stories.
“Each of these apps are cool in their own way, but the real magic happens when you have a vision for your Instagram Stories, and can hack it together with the use of a couple easy apps.” Mel explains.
Ready to start app smashing your Instagram Stories? Discover how Mel created these 3 stories examples for Later’s Instagram account using just a few apps and her iPhone (all in 30 mins or less):
App Smash #1: Over and StoryBoost
“These Instagram Stories were created to promote a blog about the top Instagram metrics to track in 2020,” Mel explains.
“We first created some cute dictionary-style definition slides in our brand palette using our branded font, which you can import in the Over app, and then added a few graphics, and our brand colors, which again you can save for easy use every time.”
To make the transitions between each slide more dynamic and interesting, Mel then added the designs to StoryBoost and added a left-to-right sliding transition.
CUSTOM TIP: Create your own template design (rather than one of StoryBoost’s existing templates) by selecting any template and tapping the “+” icon to add a blank slide from the “Minimal” tab. Add your pre-made designs to the blank slides, delete any unwanted slides, and apply your chosen transitions.
The App Smashing Combo:
App Smash #2: Over, InStories, and Mojo
“We created these Instagram Stories to share the news about Instagram’s new Boomerang effects. We love to feature members of the Later team on our stories, so this also felt like a great opportunity to introduce our newest member, Lindsay,” Mel shares.
Mel used the Over app to create an on-brand template for the video in the first slide.
To create the effect of the video playing on a phone screen, Mel asked our design team to create a quick PNG file of a phone with the screen cut out and then layered this over the video in Over.
Next, Mel used InStories to add the “text message” pop-up graphic in the next slide.
In the final slides (showing each Boomerang effect in action) Mel used Mojo to add animated text overlays.
The App Smashing Combo:
App Smash #3: InStories, Mojo, GIPHY, and InShot
“When the FTC released new guidelines for sponsored posts on Instagram, we wanted to share this news on stories in a fun and fresh way. We used a GIF of J.Lo to add some pop-culture relevance, and used InStories and Mojo to add attention-grabbing animated elements,” Mel shares.
To create these stories, Mel used a total of 4 different animation apps. In the first slide, she created the cute little “text message” style pop-up graphics using InStories. The animated title page (with the cursor highlight) was created in Mojo, and the Jennifer Lopez GIF is from the GIPHY app. To add music to this slide, Mel used InShot.
For the final slide, Mel used Mojo (again) to apply a bounce effect that mirrors the action of a “swipe up”.
The App Smashing Combo:
InStories for “text message” pop-up graphics
Mojo for animated title overlay
GIPHY for J.Lo GIF
InShot for adding music
Mojo for “swipe up” animation on the final slide
Schedule Your Animated Instagram Stories Content with Later
Posting regularly on Instagram Stories is key to building an audience and increasing your views, and you can plan your stories just like you would plan other social posts in your content calendar.
Now instead of coming up with new stories daily, you can add your photos and text directly to your Instagram Stories scheduler.
By scheduling your content in advance, you can make sure you’re posting consistently and staying top of mind with your followers.
All you have to do is drag and drop your stories on to the storyboard tool, and then re-arrange them to fit the order and look that you want.
Next, you can add links or captions to your scheduled stories, which will be copied to your phone when it’s time to post.
When it’s time to post, you’ll receive a notification on your phone. And once you open the notification, your stories will be downloaded to your phone and caption or links copied to your clipboard, making it easy to post Instagram Stories in seconds.
There are so many different editing apps that make it easy to create Instagram Stories animations, so you can really let your creativity flow.
Just remember to create content that is a cohesive fit with your brand aesthetic and Instagram marketing goals while you’re crafting and creating with apps for Instagram Stories.
Ready to share your animated Instagram Stories with your followers? Plan, schedule and post Instagram Stories with Later.