Six Top Apps That Will Make Your Photo An InstaStar

With pictures and video dominating social media accounts such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, how do you stick out, get likes, and  become famous in the giant pool of hashtagged photos and videos?

Wanna know the secret?  Regular Instagram filters just aren’t cutting it anymore.  Sure your favorite Instagram filters might make your photo look AMAZING, but we’ve seen the Earlybird, XProII and Hefe filters for the thousandth time.  Social media users wanna see something new, innovative, and creative that comes with a full packed punch of wow.  The way to get it?  That’s simple!  The trick is not what you can do on Instagram, its what you can do with Instagram in combination with other apps.  Take a look at these six mindblowing apps, they will take your photos to the next level and make you an InstaStar on all social media accounts!


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1. Over

Feel like you need to add some text to your photo, but you want something more artsy?  The Over app allows users to add text to their pics with fonts from the Over library, as well as font files from your phone.   Over also provides beautiful artwork with text to add to your photos.  Whether its a caption, quote, or sign, this app adds a textual element to your images that is appealing and engaging to viewers.

Cost: $1.99

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With  70 photo filters, such as film grain, textures, light leaks, and gradients, Mextures serves as a miniphotoshop app, which allows you to build-up as many layers as you wish and experiment with blending modes.  This app is extremely user-friendly and performs at a rapid pace, causing no delays for your artistic endeavor.  It also allows you to save your created layer looks for future use.  Mextures is the must have app for anyone looking to take their photos one step further, for it truly does just that.

Cost: $0.99

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Looking to make your photos appear more abstract?  This is the perfect app for that!   Decim8 allows you to experiment with 25 different digital effects, turning your photo into something new and unpredictable.  The randomness is what makes this app so exciting, for no effect is ever the exact same twice.  Like what you see though? The app does allow to save your favorite combinations of layered effects, giving you a similar look, feel, or style of a previously finished photo.  The abstractor, this app definitely provides something unseen for social media users that is enjoyable to experiment with, so have at it!

Cost: $0.99






4. InstaCollage

Wishing to create a picture storyboard to show your social media friends?  InstaCollage allows users to combine photos of various shapes and sizes into one framed image with optional text.  With 63 adjustable layouts, 43 borders, and 18 photo effects to apply to each individual photo,  the options are endless!  The app also allows users to adjust border and background color, place photos in the order they see fit, and manipulate text color, size, font, and placement.  Whether creating a pictorial story or sharing memories, InstaCollage is an app worth exploring.  Similar to the app Diptic, we prefer InstaCollage because you can use multiple texts all over your collage, and the major kicker, its free!

Cost: FREE







Do you feel your photo is lacking that wow factor?  Why not try InstaShapes?  With over 55 shapes to choose from, this app adds a little something extra to your photos.  The app allows you to change your shape color, position, and opacity while also providing photo filters.  You can also adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation to your image.  This app, though simple, provides a fun and flirty experience to your pic that gives people a reason to look at your social media accounts.

Cost: FREE

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6. InstaBlend

If you’re looking for a more artistic look, InstaBlend is the perfect app for that!  InstaBlend takes two separate photos and layers them,  creating a double exposed look.  What makes this so cool is the app user can adjust how much the two images blend, as well as the brightness and contrast of each layered image.  There also is a filter feature which heightens the artistic feel to your photo.  Make people think you’re a pro photographer who knows how to use a camera with this app!

Cost: FREE


Hashtags Come to Facebook: #Good or #Bad?

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The time has come. Facebook is officially using #hashtags.

Last week, hashtagging made its debut as a feature on Facebook. For years, the general public has associated the use of hashtagging on Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr as a tool for key word searching to gain new followers and to join organized conversations. What makes hashtags a powerful Social Media perk is that they are hyperlinked to a feed that displays all conversations mentioning that hashtagged word or phrase within the given social media site in real time.

So why is Facebook just NOW hopping on the hashtag bandwagon? Here are 4 reasons why.

1.    Hashtagging brings people together.

With over a billion people using Facebook every day, the company had an opportunity to create additional value by bringing together people who are talking about the same things, especially if they might not be connected. For instance, the NCAA Men’s Basketball National Championship achieved 70 million Facebook interactions about the tournament. No one is Facebook friends with every single person that mentioned NCAA, but these relevant conversations unite the Facebook community together, especially if hashtagging is in place.

2.    Hashtagging keeps Facebook as the top dog.

The hashtag has always been known as a major driver behind Twitter. Facebook’s move to adopt the hashtag undoubtedly places the company as a direct competitor to Twitter. That’s a good thing for Facebook IPO holders as well as brands utilizing Facebook ads, since Twitter is no small social network.  Since Facebook now has hashtags, Facebook can now easily steal traffic away from Twitter, Instagram, and Tumblr because users who reshare their Facebook posts from other Social Media platforms will have their hashtags become clickable, making their links link back to the related conversation on Facebook.

3.  Hashtagging will bring in the dough.

By incorporating hashtags, Facebook plans to increase their dominating ad revenues.  Facebook is already encouraging brands to use hashtags to increase their reach.  Imagine tapping into the 88-100 million Facebook users who are active during prime time television through hash tags.  With hashtags, users will be persuaded to share and connect to trending thoughts, and this will also allow them to be more open to sharing information publicly, enabling existing and new ad products to gain greater audiences on Facebook.

Advertisers in the future will also be able to place banner ads on the website based on hashtags, which permits advertisers to reach a more fine-tuned audience.  Alexander Cho from The Motley Fool quotes that “User engagement statistics will go up leading to higher conversion rates for advertisers, which will directly translate into higher average revenue per user.”  With all this untapped revenue, why not use hashtags?  It was only a matter of time Facebook joined the club. 

4. Hashtags will get you what you want faster.

For those who know how to use hashtags, implementing them on Facebook will not hinder their Facebook experience, but rather, improve their user quality, for it will promote the use of information at a more accessible rate.  Facebook users will know the latest current trends and be able to not only read about their favorite topics, but discuss them at a faster pace, the kind of minute-to-minute conversation that Twitter had over Facebook until now.

While many advantages come with adding hashtags to Facebook, people do not take well to change.  Hashtags are definitely a change that we are waiting to see in action. In terms of Social Media, work with this new feature and use it in a way that will benefit your brand as well as organize conversations with friends.  Like with all Social Media, there is a time & place for hashtags, so don’t excessively use them and choose your words wisely.

New Team Member

At Crush Brands, we are growing and expanding, welcoming new members to our team.  This summer we welcome our new intern, Ellie Cary, to our ranks!  We look forward to seeing what this girl can do and what she is all about.  Find out more about Ellie….

1.Where are you going to college? I am going to be a Senior this year at Austin College… that’s not in Austin.

2. What is your degree in? I’m an Art Major with a Media Studies Minor.

3. Favorite Song? My favorite song of all time hands down is Bittersweet Symphony by the Verve.

4. Favorite Book?  What a tough question! There are so many great books to choose from!  The Portrait of Dorian Grey, Pride and Prejudice, and The Seventeenth Summer are definitely my favorite stories.

5. Favorite Color? I love me some turquoise!

6. Favorite Animal? I’m obsessed with peacocks!  My room is totally decked out in peacock regalia.  They are so beautiful.

7. Favorite perfume? It depends on the day, I’m always trying new perfumes, but I really enjoy anything Burberry.

8. Have you been out of the Country? Yes, thanks to my school’s Jan term program, which allows students to go abroad for three weeks, I’ve been all over Scotland, visited Austria, spent a day in Germany, and explored Western Turkey.

9. Do you speak any other Languages?  I know a bit of Latin and a little bit of Spanish.

10. Do you have any siblings? I have an older brother Adam who is 23.

11. Favorite Tv show?  I love all kinds of shows, House, Bones, Hart of Dixie, but I’m really looking forward to True Blood this summer!

12. Pc or Mac? I’d say I’m Switzerland on this one.  I use them both equally and love them for what they have to offer.  I love using a Mac for it’s video editing qualities such as iMovie and FinalCut Pro, but for web building, especially working with html, Pcs are the best.

13. Anything you’re afraid of? I can’t stand snakes… I blame my brother for putting a snake in my dresser drawer for me to find when I was six… or when he chased me around with a dead snake… you could say I’ve been scarred for life.

14. What do you order at Starbucks? My signature drink is an iced caramel macchiato.  That’s my favorite and only drink I get from there.

15. One thing in your closet you cannot live without? I love wearing a LBD.  You feel instantly sexy once you put one on.  Add some pearls and you’re an instant class goddess.

16. Name one thing you want to do before you die… I want to do something crazy and outrageous like skydiving.  I want to see the Eastern world, from London to Tokyo.  I want to broaden my mind and experience every culture there is.

17. What’s one food you cannot live without? I love anything curry and Thai food related!  Its by far my favorite type of food!

18. Favorite number? The number 3 is hands down my favorite, but I’ve always had a thing with “even” odd numbers like 5.

19. Two Hobbies? I really love Photography and Tennis.  It’s been awhile since I’ve done both, but I plan to get back into both this summer.

20. Guilty Pleasures? Alright… this is somewhat embarrassing, but… I love reading hot steamy novels about Scottish Lairds.  I started reading them right before I went to Scotland.  As silly as it sounds, I think they help raise my standards with men.

21. What is the last movie you watched?  I’ve really been into Netflix lately… as in last night I watched a movie called Jolene.  It was actually pretty interesting.

22. Hamburgers or Hot Dogs? This girl is a burger girl.  I used to love hot dogs, but then I got sick over New Years Eve and have  stayed away from them since.

23. Favorite drink? I’m ADDICTED to diet coke, but I also love to keep it classy with some gin and tonics, with olives like my grandma.

24. Biggest pet peeve? I’m a little OCD, so things like touching silverware or food on the surface you eat on, that’s not a plate, drives me insane!

25.  Funny fact no one knows about you?  I’m not a very religious person, but I highly believe in luck.  I have all kinds of lucky symbols in my  house, that span different cultures.  Also, when I cross a railroad track, I have to hold my keys because I believe it will bring me bad luck if I don’t.

26.  What’s your favorite media social platform?  I enjoy using Facebook, not only to express myself, but also as a way to collect and display my art in a cyber portfolio.

27.  What’s your favorite social media campaign?  The Ford Explorer Campaign from 2010 definitely piqued my interest with its tease tactic, uncovering a little bit of the car each day before its final reveal. It surpassed its 30,000 Facebook fans goal with a total of 142,000 fans, as well as it gained over 1 million YouTube video views.

28.  What’s your favorite website? I love !  It’s a cool image website that gives me a good laugh and inspires me with my own art.