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By Alexandra Kazakova | 10 min read

How to Create Animated Instagram Stories

Instagram launched Stories in August 2016. In the first quarter of 2018, Instagram Stories had 400 million active daily users, twice as many as Snapchat, even though the latter was the first to introduce this feature. By the end of 2019, 1/3 of most-viewed Instagram stories were from businesses with link swipe rates reaching 25%.

Source: AirBnB Instagram

Why Brands Use Instagram Stories 

To stand out on social media, brands need to find fun and creative ways to engage their audiences. Instagram Stories allow you to reach out to your audience entertainingly and creatively while sharing as much content as you want. If your customers are viewing your stories, it means that they are actively seeking your content. Would you prefer your content to be passively seen by your customers who continuously scroll through the feed? Stories bring you the audience that wants to watch and consume your brand content. 

Instagram stories require minimum resources and almost no post-production. Yet they create authentic connections with your brand and have more engagement-boosting features to humanize your content than you can have with a regular Instagram post. To summarize, here are three main reasons why you should start using Instagram stories now to connect with your target audiences: 

  1. Showcase the fine details and the backstage of your brand. While you can still post photos on Instagram feed, the background story and the characters that make your brand unique can’t come to life until you put them on stage. Stories can highlight details that are challenging to photograph, information that is too lengthy for a caption. They can show some fun moments from your brand’s daily life. 
  2. Stories give your brand a personality. They make your brand look more authentic and appealing to a younger demographic. Stories give you unlimited possibilities: showcase product reviews, do fun Q&As sessions, run polls, and so much more! 
  3. Instagram stories are cost-effective. In our challenging times, many brands are cutting their marketing expenses, putting productions on hold. Stories offer a variety of features to make even the most average content shine. They are one of the most cost-effective ways to reach many users without breaking the bank. 

In this article, we will show you how to create animated Instagram Stories. They are one of the easiest yet effective ways to entertain your audience and spark conversations around your brand. For the best results, I suggest combining these tools with influencer generated content to boost engagement and drive traffic. 

How to Create Animated Stories Using Instagram 

Currently, the features of the app are limited to animated icons and GIFs. If you would like to avoid experimenting with apps, you can play with what Instagram has to offer. For example, you can choose a GIF, zoom it, save it, and then write some text on top, similar to what I have done in this video. You could use the same technique to transform a GIF into an animated background for a photo or a video. 

There are hundreds of gifs and animated characters to choose from on the platform. 

If you want to go beyond what’s available with Instagram, we have handpicked the best apps to help you craft amazing stories and make your audience crave your content. I didn’t sort them in any specific order. Each of the apps is unique. They complement one another, so mix them to create fabulous Instagram Stories. 

Top 5 Apps to create Instagram Stories 

#1 Mojo. 

Want your Instagram stories to look like professionally produced ads? Mojo makes it simple to create content that looks like a team of videographers, and designers were working hard to create it. The app offers a wide variety of templates in different categories, including Business, Travel, News, Classic, and many more. What makes Mojo different from its competitors is that you can customize every element of your design.

Text effects are wonderfully animated, and there are more than a hundred to choose from. You can edit sizes, fonts, colors, positions, and apply animation effects. 

With Mojo you can open your file directly on Instagram. You don’t need to save or export any files to edit them.

The first day one of our clients used Mojo on stories; they got tens of DM’s asking which app they are using. 

#2 Unfold

Unfold is an excellent app if your goal is to make your stories neat and elegant. You can create cool collages and share multiple photos and videos on the same story.

Unfold offers a brand kit so that you can upload your fonts, stickers, logos, and colors. Additionally, you get a link to share your stories and publish them on the web. This app enables you to showcase your photos in their best light. Brands like Prada, NARS, and Apple trust unfold to create awe-inspiring content. 

#3 Over

Over by GoDaddy offers a great variety of tools, animated graphics, and templates to help you create fabulous content. With thousands of animations in Over’s stock library, you don’t even need any original footage or illustrations. You can also edit photos within the app and add fancy graphics. Similarly to Unfold, brands can upload their logo, fonts, and access to an abundance of graphics and layouts. Check out the #bestofover community for some inspiration. 

#4 Enlight Videoleap

Videoleap is a sophisticated video editor that can be used both by amateurs and professionals. Its powerful features may require some time to learn. But it is worth the time investment to make your stories stand out. 

With Enlight, creating basic designs for Instagram Stories is simple and straightforward. You will find it easy to join video clips and images and add transitions or create a dynamic moving sequence. Once you get more familiar with the app, you can start adding more layers and effects. Videoleap gives you an exceptional level of control over each element. For example, you can keyframe animations and add masks to produce incredible clips. 

This app could easily rival a professional video editing software. It is a powerhouse for the creation of animated Instagram stories. 

#5 Adobe SparkPost 

Adobe Spark was one of the first apps to offer a combination of ready-made templates with animated text. You can resize the documents to any dimensions, including Instagram stories. Adobe Spark has thousands of templates, and you can also build your custom design and remix the layout. Try variations of fonts, experiment with animated texts, and use pre-made color palettes to add consistent filter to your story. Animate either the image or the text utilizing built-in effects to convert your design into a four-second videos. 

We find the animations a bit basic, but if you are looking for an app that is easy to use without any professional skills, Adobe Spark is a great tool.

Bonus: KiraKira

Want to add some shine and sparkle to your brand? KiraKira is the answer! It is an app that makes everything shine and glitter. The app can accentuate everything that is reflective or emits light with sparkles. So it enhances the shine of objects in your photos and videos to a hypnotizing degree. It does not animate the Instagram stories. But you can combine the KiraKira glitters with creative animations for a killer effect!

Credit: @stellani1992

I hope that this guide will help you find the best tool to create animated Instagram stories. Navigating through a variety of apps to find the one that suits your needs can be a daunting task. Study what other brands are doing and follow Instagram influencers to see what’s trending.