Time-lapse videos are an exciting way to engage audiences on social media, and can be used in anything, from nature documentaries to news reports, as a creative way to add context and set the scene.

Both iOS and Android devices allow users to produce time-lapse material using their native camera app, but if you want a little more control over your shots, check out these free apps that are easy to use.

Lapse It

With Lapse it, you can either use your phone's native camera to shoot time-lapse and stop motion videos, or choose to import files from your camera roll.

Users can alter the capture interval to shoot frames in milliseconds, seconds or minutes. This will depend on what you are filming and whether the action is changing quickly, like people walking, or slowly, such as clouds.

The capture resolution of your time-lapse can also be changed from 360p to 480p, and can even go to 1080p if you upgrade to Lapse It Pro (£2.99). This in-app purchase will also give you access to a bigger range of adjustable settings that control capture interval, exposure, focus, white balance and zoom.

There are also many post-capture options to choose from, including trimming frame-by-frame and adding visual effects. This can be useful if sharing straight to social media as you'll be ready to publish straight away, without needing to transfer the footage elsewhere.

Your clips will save within the app, but can also be exported to your phone's camera roll or shared directly to social media.

Cost: Free (upgrade to Lapse It Pro for £2.99) Device: iOS and Android

Screenshot from Lapse It


Instagram's Hyperlapse is a simple-to-use app to film time-lapse videos for social media, perfect if you're looking for a quick and easy solution on-the-go.

There's an in-app stabilisation feature which is useful for journalists shooting video while walking or in a moving vehicle.

Once you have allowed access to your camera and microphone, simply tap the bottom white circle to start recording. When finished, you can alter the speed of the video (up to 12 times slower or faster), allowing you to choose what works best for your project.

Publish to Instagram or save to your camera roll for publication elsewhere.

Cost: Free Device: iOS

Screenshot from Hyperlapse


iMotion gives journalists a lot of creative freedom, as users can control the focus, exposure and capture rate of a time-lapse or stop motion video, along with its size.

Use your phone in portrait mode to shoot 1080px by 1080px, or landscape for 1920px by 1080px.

You can even control the audio being captured in the app, using a microphone slider on the app's home screen.

The app can be also be controlled remotely if you have an Apple watch, where you can get a live preview of your iPhone camera and also set the smartphone to record.

Export your time-lapse video or stop motion GIF to your photo library or social media.

Cost: Free (upgrade for £3.99 for HD exports) Device: iOS

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