Today, everyone is on social media- so many people in fact that teens and tweens can’t even get away from their parents on Facebook anymore. In the ongoing press for new and exciting ways to share information with friends, scores of people have turned to image-oriented social media sites.
The massive popularity of “memes” on Facebook and Twitter has given a lot of people an invigorated sense of the power of a single image. Today, millions of ordinary people are wielding this power with startling skill. Not only is photo sharing social media a terrific way to build a strong social presence for an individual, it’s also a powerful way for a brand or business to grow its digital footprint. Here are the top 20 of this year’s hottest and most powerful mobile apps for image manipulation and photo sharing.
Indisputably the most popular image sharing social media community, Instagram allows you to change even ordinary snapshots into striking images. The app offers users loads of color filters, alteration tools, and innovative editing capabilities as well as a huge international community to share them with.
With more than 2 million overlays, effects, and filters, Pixlr might be the surest way to make your images unique and allow you to strike a one of a kind character for your brand. It also features the increasingly popular collage maker which allows you to turn a small set of images into a one-glance mini album.
If you’re new to photography and/or online image sharing, Fotor makes it easy to get your foot in the door and start making impactful images to share. The tools are very user-friendly, and the app comes with the one of a kind focus feature to help those who haven’t yet mastered the art of taking sharp photos.
A lot of us want to share striking images on social media but also have kids who command a large amount of our lens time. You can’t just throw those adorable images away, but you don’t always want to cast them in with your other stuff. Enter, Lifecake- the photo sharing app that allows you to save and organize all those photos with “ahh” factor.
It’s not the easiest, or the most popular photo sharing and manipulation app, but it’s the fastest. If you need to upload images fast and don’t want to fritter around with a lot of confusing options, Qwik is designed to help you upload attractive images in a way that’s fast, fresh, and exciting.
A few photo sharing apps allow you to stand your photo collections up next to those of top class photographers from around the world. VSCO is one of those apps. If you’re a pro, and you want to show your stuff, or if you want to hone your skills with the pros, this is the app for you.
Exclusive to the Android platform, Camera MX puts powerful photo manipulation tools into your hands with an exceedingly simple UI and intelligent photo assist AI that helps to ensure your images aren’t riddled with basic mistakes. It’s a great way for photography newbies to jump in with impact.
There’s nothing that can give an image more production value than the human face. Lensical lets you get the most out of the faces you snap with a collection of filters and face-altering effects. It’s great for larger screens and supports large image sizes. It also works with a simplistic gesture based UI that’s fast to use on the run.
Fans of pointillism will appreciate this app. This specialist tool lets you turn photographs into simplistic pointillist images that are great for use as banners, website backgrounds and other supporting and motif type images. It’s fun, easy, and lets you apply four effects for users who know exactly what they want.
If you have fooled around with meme-making in other photo manipulation programs and have never managed to master getting the text to wrap nicely or to match the text pixel content to the pixel content of the image, PicLab HD is for you. Make striking memes with a flick of the thumb and watch the Likes flow.
Some photo sharing apps are more about the community than the way the images are manipulated. Sktchy in one of them. This app and site caters to those who want to share images of their artworks, and like VSCO, lets you throw in your hand with veterans for a chance to learn from the best, fast.
This iPad exclusive app has the marking of an elegantly written program with powerful features and a low impact on your hardware. This app is all about photo enhancement. Make your images more vibrant with an array of sensible tools with zero silliness.
This is a handy little app with a clever name is here to do two things- chop up your images and chew bubble gum- and it’s all out of bubble gum. Transform your photos into single theme collages and amusing mix-em-ups with this easy to use tool. The more you experiment with it, the more you will realize that there’s no end to what can be done.
The interface on this iOS photo app is what makes it stand out. It’s an intuitive and easy to use editor that is geared toward fast and furious photo editing on the go. Knowing your tools is an essential part of photography, especially on fast-paced social media. Handy Photo helps keep you shooting on your feet.
Typographical landscapes in images have always been a tricky thing to master. Path On puts an end to all that, making it easy to wrap text any way you like so as to create fast and impressive text enhanced images. This app is probably a very smart investment for small businesses who need impactful images on a budget.
A step up from the standard iOS camera app, Camera+ gives you a lot more control. It is a camera app and a photo editor which eliminates all the trouble you can sometimes have with importing images into programs.
Does Facebook really need to see that bee sting? No. Taking bad pictures of friends and family can be a problem- especially if the nature of an event makes it hard to just throw the image away before they see it. Put a better face on your friends, and yourself, with easy to use facial enhancement tools.
Some images just need a bit of color to give them that special punch. That’s what Geló is there for. Use an endless amount of filters to make your snaps pop.
What’s more fun than making clone photos? Nothing, that’s what. Make funny and artistic images with multiple versions of yourself of a friend in it doing various things. True, you can do this with any Photoshop clone, but can you do it on your phone? You can now.
If you love that 1950 retro style that all popular culture seems to rest upon, you’ll love Retromatic. Import vintage style lines and colors in a flash with this fun and intuitive styling app.
This compact app is loaded with functions, zero ads, and a handy before and after feature to help you make sure you want the changes you’ve made.
A winning UI and very speedy processing times make this useful app perfect for making vintage portraits fast.
With loads of subtle filters and a tilt function, Magic Hour is ideal for putting that one perfect alteration on your images.
This easy to use app lets you use an array of filters, borders, and stickers to make fun photos easily.
Not all apps let you adjust the intensity of your filters. Tadaa does, letting you get the maximum effect from your alterations, and you can use it on images of any size.
Editor’s Note: This blog post originally appeared in Jan 2014. It has been updated to reflect pricing & offering changes, as well as newly available tools and solutions.