I absolutely adore visual marketing tools. Any tool or app that can be used to make an entrepreneur’s life easier I’m all for it. When I found out about Share As Image more than a year ago, I saw great potential and I wrote a review about it called, A Beginner’s Guide to Share As Image. Then I received an email notification to let all Share As Image users know that there were some changes coming and a new name to Share As Image. On April 4, 2016, I received an email that Share As Image is now called Stencil and it was improved. They even state it’s the fastest image creation tool on the planet!
Of course, I was curious as to what has improved and why the sudden rebranding. I learned more about their rebranding here and it made total sense. With the rebranding, they took their app to a whole new level with features that will make their customer’s lives easier when creating images for social media. Let’s explore the major changes Stencil has made to make our designs fast and easy to create.
But First! What Remains the Same on Stencil (Formerly Share As Image)?
- There is still a free version and a premium version of Stencil.
- The free version allows you to create your images however it’s limited to some photos and icons. Photos can be uploaded to Stencil so if none of the free photos will work for your design it’s not a problem.
- Placing your own logo or watermark option is still a premium feature. However they no longer have their logo on the image when you want to download. That was one feature on the free version they changed. Woohoo!
- Searching for photos, backgrounds, colors, templates, filters, and saving designs are still available.
Major Changes to Stencil (besides the name and rebrand)
Icons/Graphics are now available, which is a great option for flat design looks. You can even search for an icon and there is such an immense amount in their library. There are more than 200,000 royalty-free icons. I never knew there were so many different coffee icons!
Quotes are new! This is a great feature for those moments you need something quickly done. Rather than searching for a quote on Google, you can search for one in Stencil (over 10,000 quotes) or use one of their Featured quotes.
Photos are HUGE for designs and Stencil (Formerly Share As Image) had a pretty good size library at more than 1,000 high-res photos. Now they have over 600,000 photo backgrounds to choose from. You can use a Featured Background photo or search for one. When you do find one that you like, simply click on the star to save it for later use. You can always upload your own too. The free version doesn’t give full access to all the photos, it has limited number of 10 images to create per month.
Image Dimensions were limited before with Facebook posts, Pinterest vertical images, Twitter posts, and Google+ posts. Now they really have expanded their branding to make use of the design platform for more than just sharing on social media. There are now options for ads, blog post images, headers, and custom dimensions.
Social Sharing was always a key element of the app. Now they have new social sharing features to include Instagram and Buffer, which is pretty neat as it reminds me of Pablo by Buffer where you can add the image directly to your Buffer queue. Stencil realizes that more and more people are using Buffer for their social media needs so this was a great add.
Text Options looks a bit different but only a couple of changes have been made by adding a move forward and back button and clone button. There were 50+ fonts last year and it does seem it has increased the number of fonts for more design options.
Overall Look and Design has dramatically improved as it’s now part of their new branding. They have a help button in the design area if you get stuck on a design or if you’re looking for something. It also leads into helpful quick video tutorials if needed. The user interface is a lot user-friendly in my opinion.
Enjoying the New and Exciting Changes to Stencil (Formerly Share As Image)
The rebranding of Share As Image to Stencil was a dramatic improvement. I love that they now have so many different dimensions to work with, you can add the design straight into Buffer, and there is no watermark of their brand on an image for the free version. When someone mentions a rebrand, I do cringe and wonder if it will work out at the end because it take a lot of hard work to get branding just right. They’ve done a tremendous job in keeping what’s best for their customers and keeping in line with what Stencil truly is about.
I’m happy to share these great new features with you! Which of these features struck a chord with you and will you be giving a try? Let me know in the comments.
By the way, if you have used Stencil as Share As Image, the designs saved are still available to you.