Apps

10 free apps to improve your Instagram stories

Level up your IG story game

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Using Instagram’s basic editor is easy and adds some flair to your stories. But if you want to be extra and add even more creativity, these apps should help.

These are all free but there are monthly and yearly subscriptions that unlock each one’s full potential. It’s not mandatory but it sure helps. Here are the apps in no particular order.

Unfold

The templates may already be familiar to most of you since Unfold has been used by a lot of people. You can choose from several templates including classic, film, or ripped paper. Inside the app, you can create a “story” and add several pages so you can export them all at once. Aside from changing background color (or texture), you can also add stickers, texts (font selection is a tad limited), and even GIFs.

Download: iOS | Android

Made

With Made, you’ll get templates not just limited to classic, film, and ripped paper as there are also travel boards, golden frames, and more. What’s great is the selection of photo filters and page backgrounds — glitters, marble, wood, paper, food, you name it. You can even add your photos as the background proving how versatile the app is. The text editor is a bit tricky as you can’t resize it as freely as Unfold, but its font selection is still a great addition.

Download: iOS

Nichi

Nichi is your best pick if you want your stories to look more like a journal. Aside from various paper textures and organic-looking graphics, you can also change your photo filters between film, polaroid, and other retro-styled choices. The font system isn’t limited to English letters as it supports Korean, Japanese, and Chinese characters. Best of all? The template board isn’t fixed as you can freely resize assets depending on your liking.

Download: iOS | Android

Over

Just like Unfold, this app also has the versatility of adding texts and videos. But unlike the apps aforementioned, you get more free fonts, graphics, and templates, even without additional subscription. You can even add your own graphics (such as logos) and install your own fonts — making it more flexible. Each project you make is saved, so that you can re-use the layouts in your future stories.

Download: iOS | Android

Canva: Stories

Canva has been a popular editing website for presentations and print layouts. Now, Canva isn’t limited to computer systems anymore as you can access it across your devices with their app. What’s great with Canva: Stories is the inclusion of free 700 templates and enjoy their quality assets as much as you like. Canva: Stories may not be available yet for the Android system but you can use the regular Canva app as it still has a dedicated Instagram Stories maker with free templates.

Download: iOS | Android (Canva)

Mojo

The Mojo app is perfect for those who want animated templates — which makes it stand out from the previous apps that all include static layout. There are more than 100 templates to choose from and animated text styles aren’t limited as well. Other than that, you can also customize fonts, colors, sizes, positions, alignments, and many more.

Download: iOS

Story Art

Story Art has huge selections of story templates of more than 1000, including 300+ animated templates. There are also 70+ themes (like film, marble, retro, and minimalism), as well as 100+ highlight covers. Aside from that, it features vintage film filters, and even a VHS camcorder that adds a retro effect to your stories. Just like other layout apps, you can add and customize texts, plus adjust video speed when needed.

Download: iOS | Android

StoryChic

There are 500+ static and animated templates alongside 50+ themes (love, summer, travel, memory, among others) when you use StoryChic. Other than that, this app also features several high quality filters to match your story’s mood. There are more than 40 fonts you can select and rotate, plus hundreds of color options and several effects to add context to your stories. Not something most people will use but there’s a blur option for the photos and videos you’ll add.

Download: iOS | Android

Storyluxe

Just like StoryChic, this app also includes more than 500 photo and video Instagram story templates in various styles such as film, paper, love, collage, and even neon. You can also add backdrop textures to fit your aesthetic. There are 16 fonts that are color customizable. Powerful and unique photo filters are also present, including a vintage selection. Its great reviews prove that you don’t need to break a sweat as its easy and fun to use.

Download: iOS

StoryLab

StoryLab consists of over 200 customizable collage and layout templates. You can choose from different styles of frames and borders and supports both photos and videos. Other than that, there are dozens of high-quality background options, even for your highlight cover. Texts, stickers, and filters are the usual features of a layout app but what makes it unique is the inclusion of a unique brush set which you can use to draw over your stories.

Download: Android

Apps

WhatsApp will turn-off features until you accept the new T&C

Facebook wants your submission before May 15

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WhatsApp Pay

WhatsApp will continue the roll-out of its controversial terms of service, which has received a lot of criticism in the last few months for being too intrusive. Well, Facebook has made it clear that users can either accept the new terms or lose access to features.

The instant messenger has always shied away from advertisements since its inception. But its acquisition by Facebook confirmed one thing — the private, silent life of WhatsApp would change radically. The new terms and conditions are from Facebook, ensuring that all its products like Instagram, Messenger, and WhatsApp, are ready for monetization.

“After a few weeks of limited functionality, you won’t be able to receive incoming calls or notifications, and WhatsApp will stop sending messages and calls to your phone,” the company said. At that point, users will have to choose: either accept the new terms, or they slowly forget WhatsApp.

The moment WhatsApp starts sending “persistent reminders,” users will encounter limited functionality on WhatsApp until they accept the updates. Although, it won’t happen to all users simultaneously and will change in a phased manner.

Additionally, if you don’t use the messaging app, your account will get deleted as WhatsApp generally deletes those accounts that remain untouched for about 120 days.

The rollout isn’t going smoothly for WhatsApp, though. Germany’s data regulator has asked the instant messenger to stop processing users’ data from the country. The Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HmbBfDI) issued a three-month emergency ban on Tuesday, which is permitted under the General Data Protection Regulation.

Right now, it’s hard to gauge if Facebook will continue with its blitzkrieg or buy some time for itself and rethink the strategy. If one country has clamped down on the app, it won’t take much time for others to follow as well. Facebook is already in boiling water with American lawmakers and cannot afford to spoil relationships with any more governments.

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Apps

YouTube enters the TikTok party, announces $100 million fund for creators

Short videos are the latest hype

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shorts

TikTok has created a global phenomenon, and every platform is scrambling to have a share of the pie. After Instagram’s Reels, YouTube has debuted its own short-video-making feature called Shorts. Now, the Google-backed company intends to attract content creators.

YouTube Shorts Fund contains US$ 100 million, which will be distributed to creators over the course of 2021 and 2022. YouTube will actually reach out to “thousands” of creators whose Shorts receive the most engagement and views. You don’t have to be a part of the YouTube Partner Program, which is used to monetize standard videos.

Shorts must be original and follow community guidelines to be considered for the fund. Google is holding onto additional details about the fund as the feature is only available in the US and India at the moment. Instagram followed a similar strategy to lure TikTok users.

Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said on the company’s earnings call that Shorts is garnering 6.5 billion daily views globally. The company declined to provide more recent statistics for global and U.S. user bases.

“YouTube has helped an entire generation of creators and artists turn their creativity into businesses, paying more than US$ 30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies over the last three years,” Singer wrote. “The Shorts Fund is just the first step in our journey to build a long-term monetization model for Shorts on YouTube.”

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Apps

Scarlet Nexus opening sequence, pre-order details

So hyped!

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Scarlet Nexus

The game Scarlet Nexus, in collaboration with SUNRISE and ORAL CIGARETTES, have come out with a gripping new opening sequence you don’t want to miss out on.

The game mechanics and origins stick close to home with the title itself: Scarlet Nexus. It’s based on the concept of scarlet red strings and connections through fast-paced rock rhythms. And, if there’s anything that’ll pique your interest with this game, it’s the mechanics.

Scarlet Nexus lets you play around with Psychokinesis attacks mechanics, psychic ability, and collaborative connections to further in the game. You get to pick who to play: Kasane Randall or Yuito Sumeragi and venture to uncover the mysteries of a Brain Punk future. You’ll get to fight enemies, uncover the truth about yourself, and explore the obscure world of technology and psychic abilities!

The game will be available on June 24, 2021 on PS5, PS4, Xbox Series X|S, and Xbox One. While, available the next day, June 25, on Steam in Southeast Asia. The Scarlet Nexus anime series, produced by SUNRISE, will also be released this upcoming summer.

Pre-order details

Scarlet Nexus

These are the pre-order bonuses:

  • Special Battle Attire Set -Audio-
  • Additional Attachment “Dream Catcher”
  • Additional Attachment “Face Vision: Seal”
  • Attachment Set “Shoulder Baki (11)”

The Deluxe Edition includes the full game and the following content:

  • Brain Punk Bundle (includes Battle Attire Set -Red-, Digital Artbook, Digital Soundtrack)
  • Additional Attachment “The Other” (Deluxe Edition Bonus)
  • SAS Plug-In Variations (3) (Deluxe Edition Bonus)

Pre-order here now.

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