29+ Best Photo Editing Apps to Level Up Your Instagram Game in 2024

In today‘s visually driven social media landscape, merely snapping and posting photos is no longer enough to stand out on Instagram. With over 1 billion monthly active users competing for attention, your images require professional-grade editing to attract an audience.

That‘s where advanced photo editing apps come in — they provide the tools to refine and enhance your Instagram pictures like a pro. As a small business consultant who assists entrepreneurs with social media growth, I‘ve experimented with all of the top options.

In this comprehensive guide, I‘ll be sharing the 29+ best photo editing apps to truly step up your Instagram game in 2024.

Why Photo Editing Matters on Instagram

Let‘s first look at some statistics that highlight the immense power of photo editing:

  • 78% of social media marketers use visual imagery in their content.
  • Posts with images receive 94% more views than text-only posts.
  • Photoshop is used by over 90% of professional photographers.
  • The hashtag #nofilter has over 197 million posts on Instagram.

It‘s clear that edited, high-quality photos are crucial for success on Instagram. Audiences crave visually appealing content, so photo editing is mandatory if you want to boost engagement.

As a consultant, I always advise my clients to incorporate editing into their social media strategy. The right editing app can take your content to the next level and help your brand stand out.

29 Must-Have Photo Editing Apps for Instagram

Based on my experience in the industry, here are the top 29 photo editing apps I recommend for stunning Instagram photos:

1. Adobe Lightroom

Founded in 2007, Lightroom is used by over 4 million subscribers and 90% of pro photographers. With powerful desktop-style tools and cloud storage, it’s perfect for dramatic magazine-style images.

2. Snapseed

With over 300 million global downloads, this Google-owned app combines easy use with advanced functionality. One-tap optimization makes it phenomenal for on-the-go editing.


Boasting over 200 filters, this cult-favorite app creates soft, film-inspired aesthetics. Used by major influencers like Kendall Jenner, VSCO has over 85 million installs.

4. Afterlight

Earning the highest rating among photo apps, Afterlight’s 35+ million downloads prove its simplicity and impact. Unique tools like double exposure provide endless options.

5. Adobe Photoshop Express

With over 160 million global downloads, this pared down version of Photoshop has the fastest auto-fix and auto-tone tools for streamlined editing.

6. Retouch

Offering over 20 specialized portrait tools, Retouch creates natural, flawless selfies in moments. It‘s a must-have for models and influencers seeking perfection.


Winner of Apple‘s 2017 Design Award, SKRWT targets perspective and lens correction for architectural photographers. The precision adjustments are priceless.

8. Pixlr

This free app from Inmagine Group has over 1 million effect combinations for extreme editing flexibility. Fun templates provide instant image enhancement.

9. Prisma

Pioneering AI photo effects in 2016, Prisma‘s 420+ million global downloads prove its artistic magic. Images transform into paintings, drawings and more in seconds.

10. Facetune 2

A consistent top paid app since 2013, Facetune‘s specialized tools perfect selfies for celebrities like Kim Kardashian. It‘s the ultimate selfie editor.

11. Photofox

Offering over 900 modern, stylish effects, Photofox makes images pop with the click of a button. Unique kaleidoscope and double exposure effects wow audiences.

12. Cupslice

With professional-grade filters and easy sliders, Cupslice provides high-quality iPhone photo editing in seconds. Photographers love the realistic, subtle enhancements.

13. Litely

From the creators of VSCO, Litely‘s airy presets create a dreamy, minimalist vibe perfect for lifestyle influencers. Radial and linear gradient tools artistically direct focus.

14. TouchRetouch

This clever app removes unwanted objects with just a few taps. The cloning and healing tools create flawless images by erasing distractions.

15. Retrica

Offering real-time filter previews through your camera lens, Retrica makes filter selection effortless. Video and collage features enhance storytelling.

16. Remini

Revolutionary AI technology magically increases image resolution in this app, breathing new life into pixelated old photos. Sharpening tools restore quality.

17. Trigraphy

As an entrepreneurship consultant, I love Trigraphy for creating marketing visuals. The clever templates and fonts effortlessly brand images.

18. Lumy

Lumy excels at manipulating light elements, with tools to add natural lens flares, rays, color glows and sunbeams. Cinematic lighting elevates images.

19. Photo Lab

With over 100 million downloads, this top-rated app provides eccentric, eye-catching effects through retro filters, artistic overlays, and fun montages.

20. Pixeluvo

This underrated gem offers a toolbox of filters, textures, frames and texts for creative photo edits in seconds. The collage features are also fantastic.

21. Matter

Matter‘s intuitive user interface makes intricate editing like exposure masking and color isolation simple. Precise tools cater to professionals.

22. iColorama

iColorama delivers sophisticated editing and intriguing artistic effects through a wide spectrum of filters and textures. Vintage and grunge options abound.

23. PhotoDirector

Considered one of the most advanced editing apps, PhotoDirector mimics desktop software with layer editing, masking, and blending. Remarkably powerful.

24. Touch of Glamour

Specifically designed for portraits, this app adds subtle sparkle and polish. Teeth whitening, blemish removal and natural re-touching create magazine-worthy looks.

25. Canva

Trusted by over 60 million users, Canva‘s photo editing and design tools effortlessly create branded graphics and templates for social media.

26. PicMonkey

Offering professional templates and graphics, PicMonkey enables users to quickly stylize images with fonts, icons, frames and design effects.

27. ToolWiz Photos

With a rating of 4.8 stars on the App Store, ToolWiz can magically erase and replace backgrounds with little effort, thanks to AI technology.

28. Photolemur 3

This automated app uses AI for intelligent one-click optimization. Instantly removes imperfections while retaining natural appearance.

29. Picstitch

Making collages easy, Picstitch boasts a 5-star rating for its huge range of layouts, customizable frames, backgrounds, and stylish templates.

Pro Tips for Next-Level Photos

Choosing the right photo editor is step one. Here are some key professional tips I share with clients to take their images up a notch:

  • Maintain visual cohesion through similar filters and editing styles.
  • Draw the eye with radial and linear focusing tools.
  • Correct distortions flawlessly using perspective tools.
  • Make bold statements with double exposures.
  • Watermark images with fonts and text to reinforce branding.
  • Blend filters together at varying strengths for unique styles.
  • Edit minimally for natural enhancement.

Elevate Your Brand with Powerful Photo Editing

Visual content is a vital part of succeeding on Instagram in 2024. Investing time to learn image editing apps aligned with your brand identity is essential for engaging your followers.

Implementing the apps and tips suggested in this guide will empower you to transform your content from basic to breathtaking. With these professional-grade editing tools, you can capture attention and convey your unique story through sensational imagery.

As an entrepreneurship consultant, I cannot overstate the impact of showcasing your brand via expertly crafted photos. Start leveling up your Instagram presence today and let your photo editing skills tell your story!