14 Leading Apps for Growing Your Following on Instagram - header image

14 Leading Apps for Growing Your Following on Instagram

Have you ever wondered how some people are doing so great with their Instagram? How do their pictures look incredible every time? How do they manage to have a consistent and beautiful feed? How do they automate their scheduling? Well, the answer is they are using a ton of apps to optimize their Instagram content strategy. 

In this article, we’ll cover 14 Instagram apps and tools that you can use to get the most out of your account. Some of these Instagram tools are free. Others are fully accessible for a monthly subscription. However, they are all worth considering if you are taking your Instagram growth seriously. 


Instagram Content Creation Tools

#1 – Magisto

( Web | iOS | Android )

Now that you have the perfect content and you have edited it using one of the apps above, you need a powerful and straightforward editing tool to create the perfect Instagram post or Instagram story. 

That’s when Magisto comes into play! Magisto allows you to upload your content, then pick an editing style and music. Choose the format you want to export your content (vertical for stories, square for posts) and voilà, you have fantastic, professional looking content ready to be posted.


#2 – VSCO

( Web | iOS | Android )

VSCO is probably the most well-known and trendiest photo app at the moment. VSCO allows you to apply ready-made filters based on actual film. We find that these filters are a good starting point while editing a picture. The editing tools are better and more precise than those built-in Instagram, while still being easy to use and to the point.

VSCO - Content creation tools

The camera functions of this app replaced my phone’s camera app. VSCO allows you to shoot RAW files with your phone, which makes you have more control and more leverage on your editing later, especially for everything regarding colors and white balance.

You have access to a limited amount of filters with a free plan, but with a yearly subscription, you can unlock all of them and even apply these filters to video.


#3 – Snapseed

( Web | iOS | Android )

Snapseed is extremely popular because it’s free to use! This editing app is ideal because it is reasonably simple to use, and all the different sliders and effects deeply affect your image. 

Snapseed - Content creation tool

You can also choose from a bunch of free presets that will help you get started with the tool. However, the app shines when you start editing your pictures manually, and you start realizing how drastically you can change a simple image.

The only downside that we find with this tool is that it is quite easy to over-edit, and it is common to end up with a picture that is ‘too much’ if you are not careful. So, try to take it easy on these sliders, as you want to keep it clean, simple and not overdo it. 

#4 – Lightroom Mobile

( Site | iOS | Android )

As a photographer, this is my favorite one. Lightroom Mobile is a very close copy of the desktop version. You can deeply edit a picture from standard exposure, contrast settings, to more complex, local edits using gradient filters and radial filters, for example. The app also allows you to edit RAW files and tends to do it better than VSCO. 

Lightroom Mobile- content creation tool

While the experience is comparable to using VSCO, I find that Lightroom Mobile has way more leverage in terms of edits and you can work more on the colors.

The interface can look intimidating at first but trust me, it is worth it. 


Automate Posting Tools for Instagram

#5 – Buffer

( Web | iOS | Android )

Buffer is probably the cleanest and easiest tool out there to automate posting on Instagram. Just follow the 3 minutes instructions to set up direct posting on your Instagram account, and then you’re ready to go!

Buffer - Automate instagram posting

Tell Buffer when you would like to post and how many times a day – if you want to grow your Instagram, we recommend posting once a day – then upload your content and caption to buffer, add it to the queue and it will automatically schedule your content for the next available posting slot. 

This tool is very straightforward and relatively cheap. You can give it a try using the free plan that will allow you to manage one Instagram account. Buffer is a wonderful tool to use if you are running several social media channels. It has the same mechanics for all of them, which makes it easy to manage the content distribution on all networks. 


#6 – Later

( Web | iOS | Android )

Later is a popular tool as it was designed and made for Instagram. One of the best features of Later is that you can preview your feed. You are able to schedule a week’s worth of content, and then you can arrange the posts to make sure that your feed will look the best! 

later - Buffer - Automate instagram scheduler

On top of the visual aid for your scheduling and your feed, Later gives you access to analytics that will help you dive deeper into your content strategy analysis. This tool is beneficial if Instagram is your primary communication channel as it allows you to see easily what performs well and what does not.

Later is quite pricey, but you can give it a try for free and see if the tool works for you. While Later is not the right tool for everybody, it is undoubtedly one of the best Instagram apps to use if Instagram is your primary communication channel. 

#7 – Hootsuite

( Web | iOS | Android )

You have probably heard of Hootsuite already. It is one of the first complete social media managing tools. It is a great way to track comments, direct messages, and user-generated content. 

Hootsuite - social media managing tool

While this tool allows you to schedule your content, I find it more efficient to follow specific hashtags and to engage with other people. Compared to the other two, Hootsuite is more suited for discussions and engagement. This Instagram manager has basic automation features, but they are not as easy and straightforward as Buffer’s, and they are not as complete and visual as Later’s.

Hootsuite is the way to go if you are managing large accounts that drive a lot of engagement on several social media channels. However, if you are looking for a more accessible tool to use, definitely give Buffer a try, and if you are looking for a more specific Instagram tool, you should look in to Later.


Instagram Growth Tools


If you are just starting out on Instagram, you know how hard it can be to get your first followers. Fortunately, some tools exist to automate interactions and to raise awareness on your account and content. 

These bots usually rely on the follow / unfollow method (basically, your account will follow specific accounts within your niche in the hope of having these people follow you back, and the bot will make sure to unfollow these people within a couple of days to keep your follower/following ration to an acceptable level (more than a 1 ratio). 


#8 – Instazood

( Web | iOS | Android )

While Instagram has deleted most bots, Instazood seems to be the only one that is still running. Like other bots, you give the tool the accounts and hashtags that are relevant to your niche, and the bot will start following people within that niche, and it will start interacting with their content. 

instazood -Instagram growth tools

You can also set up auto comments and auto direct messages to your new followers. While these can be considered a bit “spammy”, if done well, they can be extremely effective! Think of it as you would think of email marketing: don’t try to sell yourself too much. Instead, use it to create a real connection with your audience. 


#9 – Social Sensei

( Web | iOS | Android )

This is the bot to use if you don’t know how to use one. While setting up bots is crucial if you want to experience significant growth of your account, if you don’t know how to, then Social Sensei is the way to go.

social sensei - Instagram growth tools

It is the most guided bot out there, and it still performs incredibly well. Although, it is probably the most expensive Instagram automation tool out there. However, you are paying for convenience and ease of use. You barely have to do anything, it just runs on its own and makes sure that you are getting the most out of your follow/unfollow strategy.


#10 – FollowAdder

( Web | iOS | Android )

On the opposite spectrum, FollowAdder is less user-friendly. It will undoubtedly take a couple tries to make it work correctly. However, FollowAdder is probably one of the cheapest bots out there. It is highly customizable, and it works perfectly if set up correctly.

FollowAdder - Instagram growth tools

This is probably the most complete tool you can find in terms of Instagram bots. The learning curve is quite steep, but it is entirely worth it if you are willing to put in the work to make it happen.


Best Instagram Hashtag Generators


#11 – Hashtagify.me

( Web | iOS | Android )

You know the importance of hashtags on your Instagram SEO. You are limited to 30 hashtags per post on the app. Sometimes it can be tricky to come up with that many tags that are relevant to your content and also to your niche. 

hashtagify - Best Instagram hashtag generator

Hashtagify.me is a great tool to generate hashtags that are relevant to your niche. Fill in your leading hashtags, and the tool does the rest, providing you with lists of hashtags that will make sure that your post and content get discovered on the platform. 


#12 – All-hashtag.com

( Web | iOS | Android )

All-hashtag.com is also an excellent tool for generating hashtags. From a simple keyword, you can generate a list of 30 hashtags. You can sort these hashtags to be the most popular on Instagram, the most popular at the moment, or just a list of randomly sorted hashtags if you are looking for inspiration.

All-hashtag.com - Hashtag generator

Hashtag generators are a great way to get started in your hashtag strategy. With minimal research, they allow you to come up with a list of 30 hashtags that will be relevant, and that will drive quality traffic to your page.



#13 – HypeAuditor

( Web | iOS | Android )

HypeAuditor is extremely helpful if you are into collaborations and influencer marketing. This Instagram tool allows you to scan and analyze an account to make sure that it is legitimate. It uses AI to make sure that the growth of that account is organic, that the engagement is real, and it gives you exact insights about the followers of that account.

In other words, if you are looking to collaborate with an account, Hype Auditor is the best tool you can use to make sure that the right people follow that account according to your niche, and that these followers are legit and actively engage with the account.


HypeAuditor ranks every account on a scale from 0 to 100, the higher the score, the better the quality of the audience. It then makes it easy, without even diving into stats and analytics, to decide if an account is suitable for collaboration or not. 


This tool comes with a price, but it is an essential tool if you are working with influencers and if you are growing your account through collaborations. 


#14 – Shorby

( Web | iOS | Android )

If you want to redirect your audience to multiple links and websites through the link in your Instagram bio, Shorby is the right service for you. 

Shorby allows you to group several social links under a unique URL. That means that you don’t have to choose which link anymore: copy and paste your Shorby link to your Instagram bio and let your audience decide whether they want to visit your website or if they want to follow your YouTube channel. 


While all these Instagram tools and apps are not crucial, they do help you take your Instagram strategy to the next level. From upgrading the quality of your content to raising awareness, to scheduling your content, to make sure that you are working with the right people, the combination of all these tools makes it a lot easier to grow and to make things right regarding your Instagram management.

There are tons of Instagram tools out there, but we tried to make sure to cover the main ones that work well, and are the best Instagram apps that you can find online. Instagram apps and tools are a big market, and there are a lot of cheaper, or even sometimes free, alternatives to all these tools, but you should be aware, some of these new more competitive tools are not as reliable. Sometimes they have no customer support, and sometimes they are not even officially supported by Instagram itself.