Animoto lets users design unique video slideshows with their personal photographs. The application syncs with popular sites like Flickr, Facebook, PhotoBucket, Picasa and SmugMug. The user can select from a list of music provided by Animoto or upload their own MP3 to accompany their slide show. Completed slide shows can be easily shared on social networks and photo sites including Facebook, Tumblr, PhotoBucket, Flickr, My Space, Twitter, YouTube and Picasa. The user’s slideshow can be shown in different resolutions as well, including 480p or web friendly 360p clips.
Animoto also provides user with access to a cutting edge cinematic artificial intelligence. The user selects images, videos and music and the application puts them together just like a director would. Each video is white labeled so the user can share them with clients or customers without the Animoto logo appearing on the video or embedded player.
Animoto was founded in August of 2006 by Tom Clifton, Jason Hsiao and Stevie Clifton. The company is headquartered in New York City with locations in San Francisco, California.
Animoto currently consists of over 50 employees, including Creative Director Tom Clifton, President Hsiao, CTO Stevie Clifton, Advisor Steve Jang, UX Designer Chris Korhonen and board members Brad Jefferson, Matt McIlwain and Ben Spero.
Animoto offers users a number of cutting edge features to create eye-catching, captivating photo slide shows. The user can add unique effects, add their own music or use music in the Animoto library and easily share their completed slide show on social networks. The cinematic artificial intelligence feature is by far one of the most original aspects of Animoto.
Animoto welcomes users with a large, colorful image that makes up the entire background. The dark header contains the stylish Animoto logo along with three white links to help the user learn more or sig up. The slide show can contain many elements, including still photos, videos and unique transitional elements as well as text to introduce each image or provide a short caption. The site uses hints of blue and red against a primarily dark background to create an appealing contrast throughout.
New Animoto users are given two account options. The first is to click the blue and white “Sign In with Facebook” button found in the upper, right hand corner of the page. Users who prefer to create a brand new account can do so by clicking the blue “Sign Up” link found just to the left of the Facebook button. The following page asks the user to select their preferred membership plan to continue. After doing so, the user is asked to provide an email address, first and last name, password, gender and date of birth.
Animoto offers users four account options to choose from. The Lite account is available for free and includes unlimited videos, a 30 second max length for videos and access to video greetings.
The Plus account costs around $5 per month or around $30 per year and allows full length videos, downloadable slide shows and 480p videos for an extra $3 and 720p HD videos for an extra $6.
The Pro account costs just under $40 per month or around $250 per year and include unlimited 480p and 720p videos, no Animoto branding, end of video button access, 1,000 tracks of licensed music, exclusive video styles, commercial license and priority level support. The Reseller account costs around $500 per year and includes the reseller license.
Animoto is a great tool for anyone who would like to design a slide show using images and videos. The account options vary so there is something for casual users as well as professionals who would like to resell the content they create.