5 Free Tools for Creating Social Photos and Video

Images and video drive more post engagement on Facebook than text-only posts. The next two largest social networks are YouTube and Instagram, which rely entirely upon images and video.

And while these stats hold true all year-round, Advent and the Christmas season offer numerous opportunities for compelling photos and videos.

This creates a challenge for the ministry leader who wants to use social media effectively but lacks confidence in their design skills.

The good news is that there are some free and easy-to-use solutions out there that will have you creating great content in no time.

Adobe Spark

From the makers of Photoshop, Adobe Spark is a free tool aimed at allowing anyone to create engaging photos and videos for social media.

Adobe Spark Post offers a wide range of templates, so those who are less confident in their design skills can customize something that already looks great. At the same time, just about everything is editable, so more adventurous designers can craft something unique.

In addition to the desktop web browser version, Adobe Spark is accessible through a set of mobile apps. While it is coming soon for Android, you can use the iOS apps to create photos and videos right on your iPhone or iPad.


Canva is a desktop-based design app that allows you to create almost any kind of project. Whether you’re designing social media graphics or a postcard to advertise your next sermon series, Canva can do it.

Canva has made their paid version free for nonprofits. Key features include the creation of templates and defining of branding assets (logos, fonts, colors, imagery). This makes it easier to share the design work with staff or volunteers.

Canva is also available via an iOS app.


Splice is a free iOS video editing app made by GoPro. You can add and edit photos and video clips, apply effects, add text, mix in a soundtrack, and record narration.

Splice gives you the option to create and export videos in the portrait (vertical) format. That means you can use this app to prepare video content for the Stories features on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat where vertical video is standard.


Clips is Apple’s free iOS social camera app. It has many of the same features as the built-in cameras of other social media apps, offering filters, effects, stickers, and more. Unlike most built-in apps, you can edit and rearrange the clips before saving your final video.

The most valuable feature in this app is Live Subtitles, which transcribes and displays what you’re saying as you record video. Research shows that up to 85% of Facebook videos are watched without sound, so a feature like this one can make your videos more engaging.

Instagram’s apps

In addition to the filters and effects built into the primary app, Instagram has three other standalone apps that manipulate photos and video in cool ways.

Layout (iOS | Android) combines multiple photos into a collage.

Boomerang (iOS | Android) creates a short back-and-forth video loop.

Hyperlapse (iOS only) creates time-lapse videos.

BONUS: DaVinci Resolve

I have listed DaVinci Resolve as a bonus entry because, while the individual version is free, it is not nearly as easy to use as all of the other entries.

The reason? This is a professional-caliber editor. DaVinci Resolve is used by actual editors in the film and television industry to edit, color correct, add titles, mix sound, and export movies and episodes.

The individual version is free, and there are tons of YouTube tutorials that can help you pick up the basics. If you are pretty comfortable with video editing software, like iMovie, and you are looking to try some more complex editing, you can’t beat a free professional level option like this!

The default project is set up in widescreen, which can be used for YouTube videos. You can also change the project dimensions to anything you want. This is incredibly helpful for creating social video, as you can set up a project with the dimensions of a square (1:1 ratio — 1080 pixels x 1080 pixels), portrait (4:5 ratio — 1080 x 1350), or an Instagram Story (9:16 ratio — 1080 x 1920).

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