Let’s Unfold, the app that’s making Instagram Stories appear cooler


By Mathures Paul
  • Published 10.08.18

Unfold users — (T-B) Camila Cabello, Ashley Tisdale and Zoella

In the US, Android users are spending 49.5 minutes per day on Snapchat and 58.5 minutes on Facebook. According to SimilarWeb, sandwiched between the two is Instagram with 53.2 minutes. Compare the data for June 2018 with that of October 2017 when Snapchat was ahead of the curve with 42.4 minutes against Instagram’s 37.1 minutes. That’s a huge improvement and it has a lot to do with one feature — Stories, which Instagram copied from its competition two years ago.

“The biggest problem [people had] with Instagram is feeling the pressure of sharing really amazing photos,” CEO Kevin Systrom told Recode last summer. “People want to actually share a lot more, but they don’t want it to hang on the gallery wall.”

With more than 400 million daily users, Instagram Stories is something users take seriously, that is, we try to make each entry look good. The question is: How to take the careful-curation to the next level? Answer: Unfold, a free, third-party app.

What does Unfold do?

Unfold gives posts a scrapbook feel, complete with colour-coordinated borders and a flowing script. One can even pack in three photos that appear in a single frame. The go-to photo tweaker has enough templates to play around with.

Who’s using it?

Launched in January, the app already has a few million users, including singer Camila Cabello, fashion and beauty vlogger Zoella and actress-singer Ashley Tisdale. The app is the brainchild of Alfonso Cobo (CEO) and Andy McCune (COO), who are 25 and 23 respectively, and the inspiration for it came from Cobo during his time at university. He wanted to create a quick portfolio to showcase his design and photography at a career fair. When the app store couldn’t help him, he created his solution.

“We built Unfold for people like us who wanted to tell stories in a thoughtful and curated way, and we felt like we needed a more design-focused tool to support that,” they have told Evening Standard.

Can it be used beyond Instagram?

You can use Unfold to curate Stories across other social networks, such as Facebook and Snapchat. But, it is Instagram Stories where the free tool is being used the most.

Are there tools beyond Unfold?

If you want to make your Instagram posts appear cooler, there is Canva, an application used for designing. Hype Type can be used to create Instagram Stories that contain animated text. And there is Preview, which is not about editing; users can set the time to post and be notified of it.