10 Amazing Free Must Have Tools to Use When Getting Started on Instagram

Monday, February 25, 2019

FREE instagram tools

When you're just starting out on Instagram it can hard trying to figure everything out. You want to grow your following but you aren't sure what to do. You see other Instagrammers with well put together feeds but wonder how they do it.

That's how I felt when I first started out on Instagram. I didn't know anything. I saw others create awesome posts or stories. But wondered how do they do that? What apps or tools are they using?

I didn't really want to pay for any app or tool either. But all the blog posts I read only talked about paid apps. After doing some research I finally found what I wanted. Free Instagram tools that would help with my account.

I found apps for creating stories, creating posts for the feed, scheduling, editing videos and creating highlighting covers. After creating content and posting consistently I now have around 950 followers. I used most if not all of the apps listed below too.

If these apps helped me they'll help you too.

Some of the tools mentioned have limited features on their free plans and offer more on their paid plans. 

*This page contains affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase from a link on this page or chose to sign up for a program, I may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions are 100% my own.

Are you just starting an Instagram account and not sure what apps to use? In my blog post I share with you a list of free apps you can use to start growing a following on Instagram.#instagramtips #socialmediatips

Free Instagram Scheduling Tools

1. Tailwind for Instagram

free instagram tools

Tailwind isn't just for Pinterest anymore. Tailwind for Instagram has so many features that other IG scheduling tools don't have. For starters, Tailwind is an official Instagram partner.

Which means that if you have a business IG account your posts will automatically get published! You won't have to worry about your account getting banned either. Tailwind abides by Instagram's terms of service.

Tailwind will recommend the best times for you to post. Your posts will go live when your audience is the most engaged. You can fill up your queue and set your IG schedule weeks in advance.

If you want to change the day and time of a post you can easily do so. You can sync the desktop version of Tailwind with the mobile app.

I took a screenshot above of an Instagram post I scheduled with Tailwind. As you can see I use their free plan myself. With the free plan, you can schedule up to 30 posts.

You can use the hashtag suggestion feature and hashtag list on the free plan too. Tailwind will tell you which hashtags have a lot of competition. No more having to do hours of IG hashtag research.

The screenshot above is the same Instagram post I scheduled using Tailwind. It now has over 100 likes. On top of that, I got those likes in a 24 hour period.

With Tailwind's free trial for IG, you don't get access to detailed analytics reports. You do get access to the post inspector. With the post inspector, you can see how many likes and comments you received.

Tailwind has a browser extension and an iOS app. Unfortunately, their app is not available for Android.

 Even though they do not have a mobile app you can still access their website from your mobile devices. If paid annually you can get the plus plan for $9.99 a month. If you choose to pay monthly the plus plan is $15.

free instagram tools

Available for iOS only.

Try Tailwind!

Are you just starting an Instagram account and not sure what apps to use? In my blog post I share with you a list of free apps you can use to start growing a following on Instagram.#instagramtips #socialmediatips

2. Planoly

Not only can you schedule your Instagram posts using Planoly but you can plan them out too. You can easily drag and drop your posts to get the look you want. Planoly makes it easy to create and stick to your style theme.

Planoly has tons of amazing features such as auto post, analytics, plan & arrange your stories and more. The best part about Planoly is you can see how your post will look in your feed before you publish it.

I just started using Planoly myself.  I haven't had the chance to schedule a lot of posts with it yet. I have scheduled a few. So far I like what I'm seeing. I use their free plan at the moment.

With their free plan, you can schedule up to 30 posts per month. You can keep the free plan as long as you want.

You can't schedule videos or gifs with the free plan. But you do get analytics for a month. You can manage and reply to comments on your latest 5 posts using the free plan.

Planoly Price Plans

Planoly is available for Android and iOS.

3. Later

I absolutely love Later's blog. It is filled with great Instagram tips. They have an awesome Instagram account too. They are always posting useful Instagram tips in their stories. I highly recommend following them on Instagram and reading their blog!

What makes Later different than Planoly or Tailwind is that you can schedule posts for Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. They have a free account as well.

The free plan is free forever. You can add one profile per social network. You can schedule up to 30 posts to your IG account. Later's features for Instagram include auto-post, drag and drop, and a visual content calendar.

Just like Planoly, you can't schedule videos on their free plan. You can't schedule multiple photo posts either on the free plan.

You can't access their hashtag suggestion feature either on the free plan. Access to analytics is out of the question with the free plan. You can only email their customer support on the free plan.

Available for Android and iOS. 

Free Design Apps for Instagram Graphics

4. Canva

I use Canva all the time. I absolutely love it! Canva has tons and tons of FREE Instagram post templates. Canva even has Instagram story templates. You can use their free templates to create any type of Instagram content you want. 

They have quote templates for IG stories too. You can even create your own templates for IG from scratch. There is no limit on how many you can use.

You can edit and customize any template. Which is perfect if you want to stick to your brand colors. 

You can download posts in any file type. I usually download mine in png because it is the best image quality. You can download it in pdf too.

Canva does have certain design elements that you have to pay for. But those are optional. They have tons and tons of free design elements too. Below is an Instagram post I made using Canva. It's one of my favorite free Instagram tools

Available for iOS and Android. 

Try Canva

5. Adobe Spark

I love Adobe Spark. I use it all the time for my Instagram Business Account. There are so many things I love about Adobe Spark. Adobe Spark is available on iOS, Android and desktop.

When I first found out about Adobe Spark I used the desktop version. I was not a fan of it. Then I tried the app version. The app version is way better. That's when I fell in love with the app.

The app is way easier to use in my opinion. I love Canva don't get me wrong. But their app could use some work.

The Adobe Spark app is way better than Canva's in my opinion. One feature that Adobe Spark has is its image sizer. You can create an image or graphic then size for IG, Twitter, or Facebook. They even have a landscape option for IG. 

That makes it easy in case you want to publish the same image/graphic post to all of your social networks. No more trying to guess image sizes.

They have tons of free premade graphics too. You can edit them however you like. You can create your own from scratch too. You can access tons and tons of free stock photos in the app too.

Sometimes I don't even have to edit a premade graphic. I will just post it to Instagram because it is so well designed. My followers love them! Another feature Adobe Spark has is already put together color palettes. No having to guess which colors work well together. 

Available for iOS and Android.

Free Design Software

Honorable Mention Design Wizard

Although Design Wizard isn't an app I still thought I'd mention it. Design Wizard is free to design software that you can use to create graphics for Instagram.

They do have premium templates and design elements that you have to pay for. But they also have some free templates and elements as well.

You can't upload your own images for free though. In order to do that you have to upgrade to the paid plan. But they do have:

  • free image storage
  • free buffer integration
  • free HubSpot integration
  • free font library
Below is a screenshot of a graphic I made for Instagram using Design Wizard!

Try Design Wizard

Free Photo Editing Apps

6. PicsArt

PicsArt is a great app if you want to make fun edits to your photos. There are so many free features and tools within the app. PicsArt has tons of free stickers, free color backgrounds, free stock photos, and more.

Plus you can post to Instagram from the app. PicsArt even has its own community. Meaning that you can post your new creation for other PicsArt users to see. 

With the number of tools, and features PicsArt has there is no limit on what you can do. You can brush on stars, hearts, K-Pop effects, butterflies, 3 leaf clovers, and more to your photos.

You can add text, border, add a lens flare, and more. The best part of all most of these features and tools are free. 

Available for Android, iOS, and Windows mobile devices.

7. InShot

InShot is a video and photo editor in one. I definitely recommend this app. It has tons of great free features. You can trim video, cut/delete middle part of the video, merge videos, adjust video speed, add music, sound effects, voice-overs, and more. 

For Instagram, you can add color borders, blur borders, add text & emoji to pics and vids, add filters, change the ratio of your pic, create a photo collage, and share directly to Instagram. You can even create a slide show with your photos and vids. 

But when you create and edit videos with InShot their logo will appear on it. You have to pay to get the watermark off. If you create videos for IGTV or YouTube InShot lets you share directly from the app. 

Available for iOS and Android.

Free Instagram Story Apps

8. Highlight Cover Maker for Instagram Story

I had no idea how to make a highlight cover for my Instagram business account. This app completely changed that. I was able to make a custom highlight cover that matched my brand colors. Most of the free premade highlight covers I saw did not match my colors. 

If you want to create a custom highlight cover this app is for you. The app has over 30 modern fonts, over 20 awesome backgrounds, and over 100 icons. You can customize according to your brand colors. This app is totally free. No hidden fees to download your cover.

Thanks to this app I was finally able to make my own cover. I am not sure if this app is available for iOS.

Available for Android.

9. Hype Text

I just discovered this app recently. I wish I would have discovered it sooner. Hype Text is a free app that lets you add animated text to your Instagram Stories.

There are so many different fonts, and colors. You can add animated text to your pics, and videos. Or add animated text to one of the free color backgrounds.

Instead of just creating a basic quote post for IG stories you can animate the text. That way your story will stand out from the crowd.

The more unique your story is the more engagement you will receive. Hype Text isn't available on iOS. However, there is a similar app called Hype Type. Hype Type does the same thing as Hype Text. Except its available for iOS. 

Available for Android.

Follower Analytics

10. Follow Analyzer

If you use Instagram to grow your blog, business, or professionally then knowing your follower analytics is a must. I have tried a few follow analyzer apps. Follow Analyzer is the best one so far. It is also the most accurate one I've tried.

You can see who follows you, and who doesn't. You can see all the accounts you follow too. You can even see which accounts don't follow you back. This app will show you who always likes your posts. It will even show you who never likes them. 

Follow Analyzer will allow you to analyze your friend's accounts too. You can see the stats of any accounts you follow. Follow Analyzer is available for Android. If you want a similar app for iOS download Followers Track for Instagram. 

Blog Posts You'll Love!


That was my list of 10 Amazing Free Instagram Tools You Should Be Using. I did my best to put apps on this list that I've tried myself. With these apps you'll be able to create posts for your feed, stories, and schedule them.

Posting on Instagram consistently and using the right hashtags is important to grow your account. If you think you're using the wrong hashtags or are just clueless about them then I recommend this Instagram hashtag course! I took it myself and learned an effective hashtag strategy. 

Click on the link below to sign up for the course!

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