smartphone filming mobile reporting
Credit: Image by Thinkstock

Instagram now has more active users than Twitter – 300 million at the last count – with many news outlets now using it to share images and videos around breaking news and trending topics.

But as the Instagram landscape becomes increasingly crowded, how do you make your posts stand out?

In addition to taking inspiration from the formats already being used by outlets such as the BBC and NPR, here are three free apps to help you curate a more engaging and visually interesting Instagram account for news.

Repost – for iOS and Android

Like a retweet function for Instagram, this free app allows you to share images or videos from other accounts you follow while crediting the original post.

For journalists, this makes it easier to share other user's posts around a particular topic or in breaking news situations, for example, to add more variety and context for their own Instagram followers.

You can view your feed or 'likes' within the app, and when you've found a post you want to share, click the blue 'repost' button. You can then choose where within the image or video you want the credit to show (vertical or horizontal) and whether you want it to show as a dark or light overlay.

The post will be saved to your camera roll together with the credit, then all you need to do is upload it to Instagram as usual.

The pro version, costing £2.29, removes ads and allows you to use multiple Instagram accounts.

Testing out #repost app

A video posted by Abigail Edge (@abigailedge) on Feb 5, 2015 at 1:31am PST

Cinemagram – for iOS and Android

For quirky visuals, this app allows you to combine static images with video to create 'moving photos'. Launched in 2012, Cinemagram is a quick and easy way to create four-second GIFs for your site or other social media channels.

Shoot a short video clip using your phone, then use the edit button to highlight the part you want to feature some motion using the draw and erase buttons. You can also apply filters to your Cine to change the look and feel of it, or import other videos and choose a shot to loop.

When you're done, give your Cine a caption and choose 'Instagram' from the sharing options. Your Cine will be saved to your phone's camera roll, from where you can upload it to Instagram.

Cinemagram test: The @journalismnews fishtank

A video posted by Abigail Edge (@abigailedge) on Feb 9, 2015 at 7:26am PST

InstaQuote – for iOS and Android

Got a standout quote from an interview? Use InstaQuote to tease the story by making a visually engaging text post, and include a link to the full story in the caption.

Simply double your screen to add the text and attribution for your quote. You can also use a photo from your camera roll as the background for your quote, and choose from a range of different layouts and fonts (the pro version includes more options).

This app would also work well for posting tributes and obituaries to well-know figures.

Once you're done creating your quote, you can share direct Instagram from within the app.

Experimenting in the newsroom at #newsrw

A photo posted by Catalina Albeanu (@catalina.cma) on Feb 3, 2015 at 2:24am PST

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