April 17, 2024

The 8 best apps for making Reels on Instagram

Discover the best apps for making Instagram Reels in this complete guide!
April 17, 2024

The 8 best apps for making Reels on Instagram

Discover the best apps for making Instagram Reels in this complete guide!
April 17, 2024
Elise Dopson
In this article
Start editing audio & video
This makes the editing process so much faster. I wish I knew about Descript a year ago.
Matt D., Copywriter
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions
Start editing audio & video
This makes the editing process so much faster. I wish I knew about Descript a year ago.
Matt D., Copywriter
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What type of content do you primarily create?

Videos
Podcasts
Social media clips
Transcriptions

The market is flooded with video editing apps that promise to be the best. But when you’re looking for an Instagram Reel editor, in particular, there’s a specific set of features that you need from the software you choose. This includes the ability to add music, apply filters, generate transcripts, and most importantly, edit your footage and post the video to Instagram.

If you’re tired of comparing video editing apps for this social media platform, we’ve done the hard work for you. This guide shares eight of the best apps for making Instagram Reels ranked by their pros, cons, best features, pricing, and customer reviews so you can find the right one for your creator business.

The 8 top video editing apps for making Reels on Instagram

1. Descript

‎Descript is an all-in-one Instagram video editor that’s jam packed with AI features to speed up the video production process. As soon as your footage is loaded, the software will automatically create a transcript of everything you’ve said. This is how you’ll edit your Instagram Reels—similar to how you’d edit a Google Doc. 

Alongside cutting and trimming your footage, Descript allows you to remove unwanted background noise, fix audio mistakes, and add subtitles to your Instagram Reels. Once you’re happy with the final product, export the video in high quality and share your new Reel directly to your profile.

Pros and best features include:

  • AI effects like Studio Sound, Green Screen, and Overdub
  • Automated subtitles for Instagram Reels 
  • Record your webcam, screen, and voiceovers within the Descript editor
  • Built-in library of royalty-free stock images, audio, and sound effects
  • Save your design as a Reels template for easy future editing
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and browser 
  • G2 rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars
  • Very user-friendly and easy to navigate
  • Step-by-step guides and tutorials to get the most out of the Instagram Reels editor

Cons of Descript:

  • Not available for mobile 
  • Free plan allows for only one watermark-free Reel per month

Pricing: Free plan includes all premium features as standard. For more transcription minutes and to export unlimited Reels watermark-free, paid subscriptions start at $12 per month. 

2. Instagram’s in-app editor

Screenshot of Instagram’s in-app editor for making Reels

Instagram has a basic set of editing tools that content creators can use to make final touches to their videos before publishing them. You can make basic adjustments to your Reel’s size and aspect ratio, and apply effects to your video (including filters and stickers). That said, its functionality is limited and some features are limited by location. 

Pros and best features include:

  • Scale, crop, and rotate your Instagram Reels
  • Choose trending music and sound effects from Instagram’s library
  • Add filters, stickers, and animations 
  • Save videos as drafts to post later 
  • Easy to use; no steep learning curve
  • No third-party apps or software required

Cons of Instagram:

  • Limited editing capabilities
  • Music feature is only available for users in certain locations 

Pricing: Free.

🎶 Keep producing: How to add music to Instagram Story

3. InShot

Four images showing how to make Reels with InShot

InShot is a popular mobile video editor that’s available in the Google Play and Apple App Stores. It has a surprising amount of premium features on the free plan, and you can export Reels directly to your Instagram account once you’ve finished editing them.

Pros and best features include:

  • Transitions library to move from one piece of footage to another
  • Animations, stickers, and text overlays
  • Picture-in-picture features to overlay different video clips on screen
  • Speed control to speed up or slow down your video footage
  • Royalty-free audio library to add music to Instagram Reels 
  • Free plan includes lots of advanced video editing features 
  • Available in browser and on iPhone/Android smartphones 

Cons of InShot:

  • No G2 rating available
  • No option to save Reels as a draft 
  • Free version comes with ads 

Pricing: Free plan available. For more features, paid subscriptions start at $4.19 per month. 

4. Wondershare Filmora

A screenshot of Filmora’s editing dashboard

Filmora’s drag-and-drop editor is a good choice for creators who want a beginner-friendly and intuitive interface to edit their Instagram videos. It has over 300 special effects and easy exporting directly to Instagram. That said, paid plans can be expensive.

Pros and best features include:

  • Free version available
  • Lots of filters and special effects to choose from
  • Very easy to use 
  • AI tools including thumbnail creators and music generators 
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
  • G2 rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars 

Cons of Wondershare Filmora:

  • More expensive than other Instagram Reel editing apps 
  • All plans have a 1GB cloud video storage limit 
  • Free version limits access to AI tools (100 credits)

Pricing: Free plan available. For more advanced features and to edit Reels across multiple devices, paid subscriptions start at $49.99 per year. 

5. CapCut

Four images showing how to make Reels with CapCut

Owned by the same parent company as TikTok, CapCut offers a ton of video editing features that you can use to make Instagram Reels. Its standout feature is the stock media library. Choose from thousands of fonts, effects, filters, stickers, and sound effects that add personality to your Reels. 

Pros and best features include:

  • Background removal tool
  • Video resizing features to make vertical Reels from horizontal footage 
  • AI color correction
  • Speech-to-text functionality for automated subtitles
  • Music library of over 500,000 songs 

Cons of CapCut:

  • No G2 rating available
  • Free videos are watermarked

Pricing: Free plan available. To remove the watermark, paid subscriptions start at $7.99 per month.

6. Canva

A screenshot of Canva’s landing page showing its Instagram sharing feature

Predominantly known as a graphic design tool, Canva has expanded its offering to include an online video editor. Content creators can use it to make on-brand Instagram Reels through the Canva website or its iOS/Android apps thanks to the software’s customizable brand kit. You can use this feature to store your logo, colors, and fonts, and apply the same settings to every Reel.

Pros and best features include:

  • Branding kit to preset Instagram videos
  • Stock media library includes images, videos, and graphics
  • Thousands of premade Instagram video templates 
  • Green screen background remover 
  • G2 rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars
  • Drag-and-drop interface is very user-friendly and great for beginners 
  • Export your edited Reels directly to Instagram

Cons of Canva:

  • No offline editing options 
  • Advanced video editing features are very limited

Pricing: Free plan available. For advanced features (including its Magic Pro AI package), paid subscriptions start at $14.99 per month.

7. Adobe Express

Four images showing how to make Reels with Adobe Express

Formerly known as Adobe Spark, this free video editor has a ton of stock assets and Instagram Reel templates that you can use to create social media videos. The freemium plan includes all of the features a beginner creator would use, but if you need advanced tools to make Reels, paid plans are still very affordable. 

Pros and best features include:

  • Instagram Reel templates to format your footage
  • Generative AI to fill video backgrounds and create images from text
  • Integrates with other apps in the Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Compatible with iOS, Android, or desktop
  • Premium plan is still very affordable
  • G2 rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars 

Cons of Adobe Express:

  • Adobe products tend to have a steep learning curve
  • 100GB limit of cloud storage on the paid plan

Pricing: Free plan available. For premium features (including extra templates), paid plans start at $9.99 per month. There is a free 30-day trial.

8. Splice

Four images showing how to make Reels with Splice

Splice is a mobile video editor specifically built to help creators edit short-form videos, including TikToks and Instagram Reels. It’s available to download from the Apple and Google Play App Stores, and while the free plan covers a lot of features, advanced tools are locked behind paid subscriptions.

Pros and best features include:

  • Chroma key for background removal 
  • Huge library of cinematic effects to create eye-catching Reels
  • Option to save unedited Reels as a draft 
  • Speed up or slow down your video 
  • Preformatted aspect ratio for Instagram Reels 
  • Easy to use
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android

Cons of Splice:

  • No G2 rating available
  • No desktop or browser versions
  • No automated subtitles or captioning tools 

Pricing: Free. Paid subscriptions start at $2.99 per week.

Make high-quality Reels with Descript

Descript is one of the best Instagram Reels editors for creators who want to produce professional-quality social media videos without investing hours into learning a new software. 

Not only is the Reels editor incredibly easy to use, but it comes jam-packed with advanced editing and AI features that speed up the video content creation process. That includes:

  • Social Post Writer that uses AI to suggest Instagram captions
  • Studio Sound to refine audio quality and remove background noise
  • Automatic subtitles and captioning with <95% accuracy
  • Green Screen effect to remove your video background in one click
  • Huge library of royalty-free music and sound effects
  • Video resizer so you can be confident that your Reel is perfectly formatted 

‎Best apps to make Reels FAQs

How can I edit Instagram Reels?

For basic functions, you can use Instagram’s in-app editor to edit Instagram Reels. For more advanced features, Descript allows influencers to use AI effects to add automatic captions, improve audio quality, and resize social media videos.

What is the best app to make reels?

  1. Descript
  2. Instagram’s in-app editor
  3. InShot
  4. CapCut
  5. Canva
  6. Adobe Express
  7. Splice App
  8. FilmoraGo
  9. Kinemaster 
  10. Adobe Premiere Pro

Is there an app that will make Reels for you?

Yes: Descript comes with an AI-powered “Find Good Clips” tool that can automatically choose the best Instagram Reels content from a longer video.

Elise Dopson
Elise Dopson is a freelance writer, creator, and fierce Descript user. She's also the co-founder of Peak Freelance.
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The 8 best apps for making Reels on Instagram

iPhone camera recording green turtle on green background

The market is flooded with video editing apps that promise to be the best. But when you’re looking for an Instagram Reel editor, in particular, there’s a specific set of features that you need from the software you choose. This includes the ability to add music, apply filters, generate transcripts, and most importantly, edit your footage and post the video to Instagram.

If you’re tired of comparing video editing apps for this social media platform, we’ve done the hard work for you. This guide shares eight of the best apps for making Instagram Reels ranked by their pros, cons, best features, pricing, and customer reviews so you can find the right one for your creator business.

The 8 top video editing apps for making Reels on Instagram

1. Descript

‎Descript is an all-in-one Instagram video editor that’s jam packed with AI features to speed up the video production process. As soon as your footage is loaded, the software will automatically create a transcript of everything you’ve said. This is how you’ll edit your Instagram Reels—similar to how you’d edit a Google Doc. 

Alongside cutting and trimming your footage, Descript allows you to remove unwanted background noise, fix audio mistakes, and add subtitles to your Instagram Reels. Once you’re happy with the final product, export the video in high quality and share your new Reel directly to your profile.

Pros and best features include:

  • AI effects like Studio Sound, Green Screen, and Overdub
  • Automated subtitles for Instagram Reels 
  • Record your webcam, screen, and voiceovers within the Descript editor
  • Built-in library of royalty-free stock images, audio, and sound effects
  • Save your design as a Reels template for easy future editing
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, and browser 
  • G2 rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars
  • Very user-friendly and easy to navigate
  • Step-by-step guides and tutorials to get the most out of the Instagram Reels editor

Cons of Descript:

  • Not available for mobile 
  • Free plan allows for only one watermark-free Reel per month

Pricing: Free plan includes all premium features as standard. For more transcription minutes and to export unlimited Reels watermark-free, paid subscriptions start at $12 per month. 

2. Instagram’s in-app editor

Screenshot of Instagram’s in-app editor for making Reels

Instagram has a basic set of editing tools that content creators can use to make final touches to their videos before publishing them. You can make basic adjustments to your Reel’s size and aspect ratio, and apply effects to your video (including filters and stickers). That said, its functionality is limited and some features are limited by location. 

Pros and best features include:

  • Scale, crop, and rotate your Instagram Reels
  • Choose trending music and sound effects from Instagram’s library
  • Add filters, stickers, and animations 
  • Save videos as drafts to post later 
  • Easy to use; no steep learning curve
  • No third-party apps or software required

Cons of Instagram:

  • Limited editing capabilities
  • Music feature is only available for users in certain locations 

Pricing: Free.

🎶 Keep producing: How to add music to Instagram Story

3. InShot

Four images showing how to make Reels with InShot

InShot is a popular mobile video editor that’s available in the Google Play and Apple App Stores. It has a surprising amount of premium features on the free plan, and you can export Reels directly to your Instagram account once you’ve finished editing them.

Pros and best features include:

  • Transitions library to move from one piece of footage to another
  • Animations, stickers, and text overlays
  • Picture-in-picture features to overlay different video clips on screen
  • Speed control to speed up or slow down your video footage
  • Royalty-free audio library to add music to Instagram Reels 
  • Free plan includes lots of advanced video editing features 
  • Available in browser and on iPhone/Android smartphones 

Cons of InShot:

  • No G2 rating available
  • No option to save Reels as a draft 
  • Free version comes with ads 

Pricing: Free plan available. For more features, paid subscriptions start at $4.19 per month. 

4. Wondershare Filmora

A screenshot of Filmora’s editing dashboard

Filmora’s drag-and-drop editor is a good choice for creators who want a beginner-friendly and intuitive interface to edit their Instagram videos. It has over 300 special effects and easy exporting directly to Instagram. That said, paid plans can be expensive.

Pros and best features include:

  • Free version available
  • Lots of filters and special effects to choose from
  • Very easy to use 
  • AI tools including thumbnail creators and music generators 
  • Compatible with Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS
  • G2 rating of 4.4 out of 5 stars 

Cons of Wondershare Filmora:

  • More expensive than other Instagram Reel editing apps 
  • All plans have a 1GB cloud video storage limit 
  • Free version limits access to AI tools (100 credits)

Pricing: Free plan available. For more advanced features and to edit Reels across multiple devices, paid subscriptions start at $49.99 per year. 

5. CapCut

Four images showing how to make Reels with CapCut

Owned by the same parent company as TikTok, CapCut offers a ton of video editing features that you can use to make Instagram Reels. Its standout feature is the stock media library. Choose from thousands of fonts, effects, filters, stickers, and sound effects that add personality to your Reels. 

Pros and best features include:

  • Background removal tool
  • Video resizing features to make vertical Reels from horizontal footage 
  • AI color correction
  • Speech-to-text functionality for automated subtitles
  • Music library of over 500,000 songs 

Cons of CapCut:

  • No G2 rating available
  • Free videos are watermarked

Pricing: Free plan available. To remove the watermark, paid subscriptions start at $7.99 per month.

6. Canva

A screenshot of Canva’s landing page showing its Instagram sharing feature

Predominantly known as a graphic design tool, Canva has expanded its offering to include an online video editor. Content creators can use it to make on-brand Instagram Reels through the Canva website or its iOS/Android apps thanks to the software’s customizable brand kit. You can use this feature to store your logo, colors, and fonts, and apply the same settings to every Reel.

Pros and best features include:

  • Branding kit to preset Instagram videos
  • Stock media library includes images, videos, and graphics
  • Thousands of premade Instagram video templates 
  • Green screen background remover 
  • G2 rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars
  • Drag-and-drop interface is very user-friendly and great for beginners 
  • Export your edited Reels directly to Instagram

Cons of Canva:

  • No offline editing options 
  • Advanced video editing features are very limited

Pricing: Free plan available. For advanced features (including its Magic Pro AI package), paid subscriptions start at $14.99 per month.

7. Adobe Express

Four images showing how to make Reels with Adobe Express

Formerly known as Adobe Spark, this free video editor has a ton of stock assets and Instagram Reel templates that you can use to create social media videos. The freemium plan includes all of the features a beginner creator would use, but if you need advanced tools to make Reels, paid plans are still very affordable. 

Pros and best features include:

  • Instagram Reel templates to format your footage
  • Generative AI to fill video backgrounds and create images from text
  • Integrates with other apps in the Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Compatible with iOS, Android, or desktop
  • Premium plan is still very affordable
  • G2 rating of 4.5 out of 5 stars 

Cons of Adobe Express:

  • Adobe products tend to have a steep learning curve
  • 100GB limit of cloud storage on the paid plan

Pricing: Free plan available. For premium features (including extra templates), paid plans start at $9.99 per month. There is a free 30-day trial.

8. Splice

Four images showing how to make Reels with Splice

Splice is a mobile video editor specifically built to help creators edit short-form videos, including TikToks and Instagram Reels. It’s available to download from the Apple and Google Play App Stores, and while the free plan covers a lot of features, advanced tools are locked behind paid subscriptions.

Pros and best features include:

  • Chroma key for background removal 
  • Huge library of cinematic effects to create eye-catching Reels
  • Option to save unedited Reels as a draft 
  • Speed up or slow down your video 
  • Preformatted aspect ratio for Instagram Reels 
  • Easy to use
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android

Cons of Splice:

  • No G2 rating available
  • No desktop or browser versions
  • No automated subtitles or captioning tools 

Pricing: Free. Paid subscriptions start at $2.99 per week.

Make high-quality Reels with Descript

Descript is one of the best Instagram Reels editors for creators who want to produce professional-quality social media videos without investing hours into learning a new software. 

Not only is the Reels editor incredibly easy to use, but it comes jam-packed with advanced editing and AI features that speed up the video content creation process. That includes:

  • Social Post Writer that uses AI to suggest Instagram captions
  • Studio Sound to refine audio quality and remove background noise
  • Automatic subtitles and captioning with <95% accuracy
  • Green Screen effect to remove your video background in one click
  • Huge library of royalty-free music and sound effects
  • Video resizer so you can be confident that your Reel is perfectly formatted 

‎Best apps to make Reels FAQs

How can I edit Instagram Reels?

For basic functions, you can use Instagram’s in-app editor to edit Instagram Reels. For more advanced features, Descript allows influencers to use AI effects to add automatic captions, improve audio quality, and resize social media videos.

What is the best app to make reels?

  1. Descript
  2. Instagram’s in-app editor
  3. InShot
  4. CapCut
  5. Canva
  6. Adobe Express
  7. Splice App
  8. FilmoraGo
  9. Kinemaster 
  10. Adobe Premiere Pro

Is there an app that will make Reels for you?

Yes: Descript comes with an AI-powered “Find Good Clips” tool that can automatically choose the best Instagram Reels content from a longer video.

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