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Have you noticed that lately everyone seems to be making videos? Whether it’s an Instagram Reel or a TikTok video or a video podcast, it seems like almost everyone is dipping their toes into this medium. Platforms too, are pushing videos and generally giving a bigger reach to those creating reels and other video content. So what does this mean to you as an author and why should you care?
Currently, Instagram and TikTok both have huge, active book communities that are primarily looking for video content. They have dubbed themselves Bookstagram and BookTok. If you’re able to tap into these communities as an author, you have the opportunity to reach a huge base of new readers. Especially if your books perform well with younger to middle-aged readers.
If you’re using your social media platforms not only to connect with your current fans, but also as a huge marketing and outreach tool, these communities are probably worth exploring. And almost anyone looking to grow their social platforms could use all the help they can get. So, if instagram will help increase your reach by simply creating the kind of content they like, aka Reels, then it might be worth giving it a try. You might even discover that you end up having more fun with it than you expected.
So, if you’re thinking about making your video debut into the world of Bookstagram or BookTok, here are some of our favorite video editing apps to help you make videos. All of these apps can be used directly on your phone, our favorite way to record and edit our social media videos. However, if you prefer to work on a desktop, many of these apps also have cross-platform compatibility. Plus, they all are either fully free or have a basic free version with the option to upgrade if you end up getting really into creating videos.
13 of the Best Video Apps to Help You Make Killer Instagram or TikTok Videos
1. TikTok (iOS, Android)
current rating: n/a
The TikTok app may be the only video editing tool you need to start creating videos. TikTok originally rose in popularity so quickly in part because their app had such great video editing tools available that made it easy for the average person to make and upload fun videos. Through the TikTok app, you can find audio, add captions, create cool transitions, change the speed of your videos, use cool overlays and effects, and more.
The pros of using the TikTok app are that you won’t have to worry about importing and exporting video content since it’s super easy to publish your content right into the app. The cons of using this app are that there are limitations on their video editing features and every now and then, you’ll run into something that you aren’t able to do in the app. Also, if you use TikTok to upload your initial video and then decide that you’d like to download it and share it across your other platforms, you’ll either be stuck with the TikTok logo on your video or you’ll have to go through the process of downloading your video without a logo, which requires the use of another third party app or website, which can be obnoxious.
2. Instagram Reels (iOS, Android)
current rating: n/a
Instagram’s video editing tools are quite similar to TikTok’s, but a little bit worse in every regard. They have a sound and music library, but don’t expect to find the most popular sounds that are trending on TikTok. They have many effects, filters, and other features, but they just don’t seem to have quite as much of a variety as we’ve found on TikTok. Basically, there’s probably a reason why TikTok is the video platform giant, and Instagram, while it’s trying to do everything it can to keep up, just keeps falling a little bit short. Regardless, it’s still a good platform and you can accomplish your basic social video editing and recording directly in the app. However, you’ll probably outgrow this tool a little bit faster if you really get into things.
Pros to this platforms are that it’s easy to post to Facebook as well and that it’s still a great platform, especially if you’re not sure you’re committed to creating a TikTok account. But, while Instagram doesn’t seem to slap a logo on your videos if you export them, it does remove all the sound. So if you want to upload your video with sound somewhere else, you’ll either have to re-add the sound, or there are some third party tools that claim they’re able to download your video with the sound. Both of which are somewhat annoying options.
3. PowerDirector (iOS, Android)
current rating: 4.3
This app has both mobile and desktop editing available, which can be nice if you don’t enjoy editing your videos on your phone. The desktop version also has a little bit more available on it, so if you’re running into a problem on the mobile version, you may be able to solve it by jumping onto the desktop version for a minute. Other features are multi-track editing, the ability to edit 4K video quality, an audio mixer, visual effect tools, speed adjustments, templates for YouTube intro and outros, and a library for motion titles and stylized transitions.
The pros to this platform are that it’s a powerful video editor with cross-platform capability and it can give you an edge by creating higher-quality videos than you typically see created in the social media apps. However, this might be more than the average person needs and there is a paid pro version that is needed to unlock some of the best features. Plus, you’ll have to add in trending sounds later through the social media apps since those won’t be found in this app.
4. InShot (iOS, Android)
current rating: 4.8
InShot may not be quite up to the level of professional video editing software found above, but it’s a great tool for you to use because they’ve created their app specifically with social media in mind. Their editing tools are very easy to use and they have some cool features, such as pre-made templates for a variety of social platforms and speed adjustments, which are surprisingly hard to find on some of the other apps. It also will let you remove the watermark if you just watch a quick ad, an option I rather appreciate since many of the other apps will only let you remove their watermarks if you pay. So it’s great for a beginner looking for a free tool to use with lots of features, but it does lack some of the more professional features and there are some in-app ads, which are somewhat intrusive.
5. YouCut (Android)
current rating: 4.9
YouCut, which is created by Inshot, is an Android only app. It’s very similar to Inshot, but it’s ad-free (outside of the option to watch an ad to remove the watermark from your videos). It has a very similar layout and functionality to InShot, although it is missing a couple features, such as the ability to freeze video and InShot’s collage editor. Also, it oddly won’t let some phones export 4K video, typically lower-end phones. However, since you don’t really need 4K video quality to upload to social media, you’re probably okay. So if you enjoy the InShot interface and features but would like to get rid of a majority of the ads and have an Android device, this could be a slightly better option for you.
6. Splice (iOS, Android)
current rating: 4.6
This is another great tool for beginner video editors. It has a nice, simple interface, especially for putting together highlight videos, although it lacks some features that you commonly see in trending social media videos. It has tap and drag track editing, transitions, video effects, direct social media uploads, and some free music and sound effects in their library. It lacks many trending sounds and popular overlays, however. It also has an upgraded version where you can unlock even more features with a subscription.
7. KineMaster (iOS, Android)
current rating: 4.2
KineMaster, like PowerDirector, is on the more professional and higher-end of video editing with a little bit more of a learning curve. You can edit up to 4k video and export videos directly to YouTube. While missing a traditional timeline, you can editing both video and sound on a frame-by-frame basis. This makes for very precise video editing. You can also pile on images, video effects, and text to create a pretty intense final product. It also has the ability to add transitions, blending, chroma key, and lighting adjustments. However, a huge con is that you cannot remove the watermark without upgrading to the pro version. So unless you want a watermark ruining your fancy videos, you’re pretty much stuck paying.
8. iMovie (iOS)
current rating: 4.0
iMovie is a great choice for Apple fans. This is compatible with Macs, iPhone, and iPads, so if you own the whole suite, you’ll be able to edit across all your devices. It is free for Apple device owners and has a high-end, easy-to-use interface. While not quite at the level of professional quality apps, it is also a step above the beginner editing apps we’ve mentioned. It features pre-programmed themes, filters, music, transitions, text overlays, and more. Apple is also constantly adding to and improving this app. However, it still has a bit of a learning curve and the other sound and filter shortcomings that all the non-social media apps have.
9. Apple Clips (iOS)
current rating: 3.7
If iMovie is a bit more than you’re looking for, Apple Clips is like the child version of iMovie. It’s fun and easy to use, but it lacks most of the sophisticated features found in other apps. In the name of fun, Apple Clips has the ability to edit videos clips, stories, or messages, as well as add filters, animated text, music, emoji’s, and stickers. It kind of feels like a slightly more professional Snapchat app that you can use on higher quality videos and share wherever you want to.
10. Filmmaker Pro (iOS, Android)
current rating: 4.6
Filmmaker Pro is another great app on the more professional end of video editing apps. While it only allows single-track editing, it has many other advanced tools like 4k editing capabilities, 30 filters, 17 transitions, and audiometer with the ability to add a voiceover. It also includes the ability to edit green screen clips and toggle chroma keys. However, if you want the best features that this app has, you’ll have to fork out a little money to unlock them all. Features you can pay to unlock include access to their audio track library, as well as more tools and illustrations. You’ll also need to pay if you want to remove the watermark when you export your video, an unfortunate trend we’ve seen in many of these higher-end editors.
11. Videoshop (iOS, Android)
current rating: 4.6
If you haven’t found the video editing app for you yet, Videoshop is yet another great option. It has an easy-to-use, semi-customizable interface where you can choose to only show the tools you use and select. It has the ability to trim and split video tracks, add music or sound effects from its library, record your own voiceover, and many more tools.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to pay for this app if you’d like to be able to remove the watermark and access the rest of the app’s features, like 4k video export, a larger library of sounds, filters, and transitions, among other things. However, unlike some of the other higher-end apps that require an ongoing subscription, this one has a one-time purchase option. If you’re like me, I prefer to pay one time for an app I’ll be using a lot instead of having to pay more and more the longer I use it, so this is a plus. Although, subscription models are nice if I’m only looking to use a tool for a couple of months. This app also allows you to purchase standalone pricing if you just want to just remove watermarks or get access to their impose tool. Which is a nice thing for them to offer if you’re not interested in the full suit of their more professional tools and larger library access.
12. Funimate (iOS, Android)
current rating: 4.5
Funimate caters to TikTok content creators, which also works well for Instagram reels. It offers 100+ advance video effects, multiple transitions, video loop creation, and the ability to add music, emojis, stickers, and text, plus easy uploads to TikTok, Instagram, and Facebook. It also includes daily challenges that can sometimes be a fun way to get content ideas and boost your channel. However, these challenges are not specific to the BookTok community, and the app seems to favor the music video community, so many of these challenges may not be very relevant to you. This app also lacks many professional level features and includes a watermark, unless you’re willing to pay to remove it.
13. FilmoraGo (iOS, Android)
current rating: 4.6
FilmoraGo is the app version of the desktop video editing software Filmora, both of which are created by Wondershare. FilmoraGo is a free, full feature app that allows you to shoot video through the app using one of their templates, or create your own video from scratch. The templates can be cool because they put everything together for you; you just have to add the correct number of photos or video clips. It also includes tool tips that will suggest transitions, effects, stickers, background music tracks, and more to add a little more flair to your video. It allows you to include voiceover narration, has a blending mode for overlays and options to change video speed, includes the ability add a freeze frame effect, and more. However, the cons include a watermark unless you upgrade, and limited 720p resolution downloads with the free version, which is plenty for social media if you don’t mind having the watermark.
This concludes our list of 13 of the best video editing apps out there. We hope that you’ve been able to find a couple that work well for you.
Do you have any other video editing apps that you love or video editing tips? Let us know in the comments below!