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

Spotify will soon sell you tickets to concerts

It’s experimental for now

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Decades into the information era, buying tickets is still a harrowing experience for the modern-day fan. If you’re not lucky enough to nab great tickets through the usual ticketing sites, you’ll have to try your luck with the ferocious gray market of scalpers. In an experimental feature, Spotify has a new way for fans to see their favorite artists live: by selling tickets directly.

Over the years, Spotify has grown beyond the scope of music streaming. The platform now has sections dedicated to podcasts and talk shows. Now, if you know where to look, there’s also a section for selling tickets.

Notably, this isn’t Spotify’s first incursion into the world of live events. If you go through the list of categories, a Live Events section will take you to a page of concerts happening near you. However, clicking an event will only take you to the normal ways to get tickets, such as through Ticketmaster.

In contrast, the new Tickets page, spotted by Chris Messina (via TechCrunch), will sell you tickets directly through Spotify. Currently, the experiment is limited to a handful of artists like Crows, TOKiMONSTA, and Annie DiRusso. Additionally, each entry will only host pre-sale tickets. After that, sales will take place in the usual sources.

Spotify’s price will also incorporate booking fees going into the company’s revenue. However, unlike other sources, Spotify’s tickets promise to be transparent about pricing.

As the page indicates, the final Tickets page will merge with the current Live Events page. However, it’s still an experiment, even if you can already buy tickets now. Spotify has yet to announce when the feature will come to the general public (and to more artists).

SEE ALSO: Spotify launches new recommendation feature, Enhance

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Apps

WhatsApp will finally block screenshots for View Once photos

Update coming soon

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WhatsApp’s View Once feature was a massive step towards user privacy. The feature allows users to thaw out the fiery risk of the other person leaking sensitive information and media elsewhere. Well, sort of. Despite the feature’s disappearing nature, users can easily take a snapshot without fear of repercussions. Finally, WhatsApp is doing something about this critical flaw in an upcoming update.

WhatsApp is a constantly evolving product. Throughout the past few months, the app’s developers have experimented and shipped various updates to make everyone’s life easier. Now, compared to the previous accessibility-oriented updates, the upcoming one focuses more on privacy.

It’s not a set of brand new updates, though. At least one of the three updates — the ability to control who sees you online — was reported way back in June. Another one is relatively new: the ability to leave groups silently so as not to alert everyone that a user is leaving. Both of these are rolling out sometime this month.

Given what it fixes, the final update is more crucial. It will block users from taking screenshots of View Once messages. Once the update rolls out, WhatsApp will natively alert View Once viewers that screenshots are blocked for added privacy. Unfortunately, there is no timeline for the update. The announcement only has a “soon” placeholder for a release.

With social media the way that it is, privacy is an ever-growing concern that all users should prioritize. While platforms are still imperfect, small updates like these can surely help people protect their data.

SEE ALSO: WhatsApp officially launches emoji reactions, 2GB file sharing

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Apps

Transfer for free: Tonik now has InstaPay services

No added fees for transfers

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Tonik InstaPay

Tonik, the Philippines’ first neobank, now supports InstaPay services to make it even easier and more convenient for in-app transactions.

This means customers can now send and receive real-time transactions up to PhP 50,000 to and from participating banks and e-wallets with no added transfer fees using the digital bank.

To top-up another Tonik account, simply go to the “Top up” option on the dashboard, choose InstaPay, and copy the 14-digit Tonik account number.

For transfers to another bank, tap “Send Money Options” and select “To another bank”. Then, change the channel to InstaPay and fill out the necessary information.

What’s great about Tonik transfers is that they are free of charge although do note that other banks may have varied transaction fees for InstaPay top-ups.

This should matter a lot specially for workers as interbank transactions or transfers from e-wallets like GCash, Maya, and ShopeePay to banks and vice-versa usually cost anywhere between PhP 10 to PhP 25.

Tonik is available both via the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

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