National Edition |

Our 11 Favorite Multimedia Storytelling Platforms

Storytelling hardware from the past

A Story To Tell

Fear not, social media doomsayers, the art of storytelling isn’t dead – it’s just evolving, perhaps for the better. Multimedia storytelling platforms and apps aimed at journalism, social impact inspiration, education, and entertainment are proving that immersive, beautiful narrative works are now easier to produce than ever. Here are some of our favorite.


From National Geographic photographers to chefs to daytrippers, free iOS app Storehouse is home to a diverse crowd of digital storytellers. That’s a reflection of the platform’s flexibility – a minimalist layout allows for seamless blending of photos, videos, and text in just about every shape and size.


If any modern media house is redefining longform journalism, it’s Brooklyn-based The Atavist, a monthly collection of stunning, interactive multimedia pieces for purchase. The Atavist team has made its software, Creatavist available for subscription use, and the results are astounding – dig into this whopper on New York City’s flood risk, complete with infographics, video interviews, and historical pictures.


Who says the digital revolution spells the death of the book? The flipbook design of free iOS app Steller is ideal for smartphone viewing and allows for artful layering of text on top of photos and short video clips. Check out this story of an adventure through Welsh mountain Cader Idris.


Currently in beta, The Rockefeller Center’s social good storytelling platform Hatch emphasizes the brass tacks of an impactful story. From strategy to evaluation, Hatch guides social impact organizations through the content crafting process, and it seems to be working – they’ve already attracted partners from TIME to Facebook to the US State Department to date.


If Twitter made communications microscopic, consider Medium the equal and opposite reaction from Twitter founders Evan Williams and Biz Stone. Now over two years old, the cross-platform and share-friendly blogging platform has become a new age magazine publisher of sorts, spawning collections like tech world tell-all Backchannel and Matter, which describes itself as “a magazine for a generation who grew up not caring about magazines.”

Shadow Puppet

Designed for the classroom, iOS app Shadow Puppet allows users to combine photos and videos, record voiceover and add music, overlay text, and even add images from educational vanguards like the Library of Congress and Met Museum.


Instagram for videos is not exactly a ground-shaking concept, but FrameBlast’s filters and recording, editing, and sharing capabilities certainly remind us of the aforementioned (in a good way.) Free in both the Apple Store and Google Play, FrameBlast’s platform can be used for just about any short video concept – like painting eggs.


Free iOS app Backspaces, which tells users to “tell stories with pictures and words”, may not exactly be a groundbreaking platform, but its simple, clean layout is perfect for photo essays – like this well-shot and educational photo essay on Sao Paulo’s High Line.


Explory’s layout is a bit more old-school, as evidenced by this helpful, acoustic guitar-complemented Kombucha tutorial. However, the mobile-friendly slideshow format is easy to keep track of, making up for what it lacks in eye candy.

iBooks Author

Alas, how could we ignore Apple’s place in the storytelling sphere? iBooks Author’s interface is unsurprisingly beautiful, and boasts interactive diagram and 3D capabilities for the more ambitious digital book publishers. Drag-and-drop customization and template options mean iBooks Author is easy to use for storytellers of any digital skill level.


Well, this bear on the stairs animation has stricken us catatonic, but not everything on NewHive is quite so disturbing. Boasting an editor that utilizes images, shapes, and code, the NewHive platform is free to online users, and the team even offers to pay commission to dedicated multimedia artists.