The Definitive Animoto Review: 8 Features That Set It Apart

Reviewed By Brian Mclintic

Read our review guidelines

Animoto Review
Picture of Mark Rabbino
Mark Rabbino
Specializing in motion graphics since 2010, Mark's unique blend of expertise in visual performances is a key asset.
Animoto logo

Strengths

  • User interface
  • Strong feature set
  • Ease of use

Weaknesses

  • Customer support
  • Limited stock assets
  • Price

Table of Contents

Anyone on the hunt for a web-based video editing solution will find a helpful resource in this Animoto review!

In the same vein as we unveiled the full scope of Cutout Pro, this review will serve multiple purposes. First, we’ll break down Animoto’s pricing structure, helping you understand what you get at each tier. Next, we’ll evaluate the platform across a range of critical metrics, such as user-friendliness, feature richness, and overall value for money. We’ve put the tool to the test in real-world scenarios, ensuring you get information you can act on. Additionally, yours truly used the tool extensively Grovo for video editing. 

Finally, we’ll delve into a thorough analysis of the top 8 features that make Animoto a standout choice for video editors, whether you’re a novice or a seasoned pro.

But, first things first: What is Animoto?

Developed starting in 2006, Animoto has built up a following over the years in the cloud-based editing field by offering an intuitive, drag-and-drop interface. Not only do 25 million customers stand by the service, but so do popular brands like Toyota and Hilton.

Animoto Review and Overview

While that gives us some background  on the app, it doesn’t address the most important question: Is Animoto legit? In other words, is it a solid video editing platform, who is it intended for, and what features does it offer?

The editor is primarily intended for users who prefer a cloud editing workflow to installing a software suite on their machine.

To aid its vision, the app offers a few broad set of features:

  • Design and video assets. These include stock video and photo libraries, premade templates, and free music tracks. Saves time and ensures a professional look without needing external resources.
  • Recording capabilities. Using the editor, users can record their screen and create voice-over tracks. Streamlines the content creation process by eliminating the need for third-party tools.
  • Customization tools. Text, color, layout templates, and themes are all easy to adjust and manipulate inside the app. Allows for brand consistency and creative freedom within a single platform.

Pricing Plans for Animoto

So, is Animoto free? Well, yes and no.

As with most video editors, Animoto provides users the choice of several pricing plans. Let’s take a quick look at each plan:

Plan

Free

$0/month

Features

  • Standard (720p) video resolution
  • Social media sharing
  • 50 music tracks available
  • Screen and webcam recording

Basic

$16/month

Features

  • All features in the Free plan
  • Watermark-free videos
  • HD (1080p) video resolution
  • No download limits

Professional

$29/month

Features

  • All features in the Basic plan
  • Custom logo and branding support
  • Getty stock photos and videos
  • Voice-over recording

Teams

$79/month

Features

  • All features in the Professional plan
  • Multiple (3) users per plan
  • Uploadable fonts
  • Collaboration tools

Pros and Cons of Animoto: Review

Before we start the Animoto review proper, let’s go over the main selling points and drawbacks that we found with the app.

Upsides we were impressed with included
Pleasant UI design

The interface is both highly aesthetically pleasing, as well as straightforward and intuitive.

Easy learning curve

It takes virtually no time at all to get working efficiently with the editor.

Feature variety

Screen recording, typographic support, and social media sharing are all implemented effectively.

On the other hand, we found these negatives concerning
Limited video assets

While there are larger photo and video libraries for the Professional and Teams plans, the more affordable price tiers don’t give much to work with.

Minimal support options

Besides the Helper Center and a basic contact form, Animoto doesn’t provide users much help with solving issues.

Price

The Teams plan is a bit expensive, and it’s not clear the subscription price justifies itself.

Animotor Ratings Summary

Templates and Assets

3.5/5

Animoto offers a decent range of templates, but the asset library is limited on the Free and Basic plans. Premium assets like Getty stock images are reserved for higher-tier plans.

Feature Set

4/5

Animoto boasts a robust feature set, including screen recording and social media support. However, it falls short in customization options, limiting the user’s creative freedom.

User Interface

5/5

The UI is a highlight, featuring an intuitive drag-and-drop layout. The design is visually appealing, with modern icons and complementary colors.

Customer Support Resources

3/5

Customer support is adequate but not exceptional. The Help Center is informative, but the absence of tutorial videos or live chat options is noticeable.

Pricing and Affordability

3.5/5

While not the cheapest, Animoto’s Basic and Professional plans are competitively priced. The Teams plan, however, can be a bit on the expensive side.

Learning Curve

5/5

Animoto is user-friendly and easy to learn. The intuitive design ensures a smooth editing process, and a guided walkthrough is available for beginners, although it’s hardly needed.

Our Ratings

Here, we’ll get into the thick of it by rating Animoto on several crucial editing categories. Our rating method is simple, and we use a scale of 1 to 5 for each of the criteria. At the end, we’ll assign the editor a final rating.

Templates and Assets

3.5/5
Animoto Templates and Assets

Though I enjoyed the variety of templates, ultimately, the selection of other types of assets was quite limited for the Free and Basic plans.

Music tracks, for example, were limited to 50. Likewise, the millions of Getty stock images and videos are only available in the Professional and Teams tiers. For the first two plans, users are stuck with a much smaller set of graphics assets to choose from. I felt that this limitation could stifle creativity and make it challenging to produce diverse and engaging content.

Feature Set

4/5
Animoto Feature Set

Overall, Animoto largely has an impressive collection of features!

The combination of recording (for screen, voice, and webcam input types), professional-quality templates, social media support, and typographic customization results in a highly rewarding editing experience.

However, I was somewhat disappointed by the customization options. While some attributes could be tweaked, I think the editor would benefit from giving users more choice in most areas.

User Interface

5/5

The app’s UI design is satisfying, to say the least!

Focused on intuitive layout placement and a drag-and-drop orientation, it’s not only easy to accomplish most editing tasks, but it’s simple and straightforward as well.

Additionally, the design just looks aesthetically pleasant as well, with unassuming but complementary colors and modern icons.

Customer Support Resources

3/5

While the customer support channels weren’t bad by any means, I also wasn’t exactly impressed with the choices.

The Help Center articles were helpful and informative, but I could have been helped out by some tutorial videos or explanatory graphics. As far as the website’s request form, I think the site could definitely benefit from adding a more direct service, either in the form of a tech support number or a live chat feature.

Pricing and Affordability

3.5/5

Animoto is far from the most expensive editor out there, but the subscription prices can be a bit steep, especially for the Teams plan.

That said, the Basic and Professional plans are very reasonable and in line with the main competitors, so I still chose to assign this metric a mostly positive score.

Learning Curve

5/5

As I briefly touched on when discussing the user interface, Animoto is extremely easy to learn. Within minutes of opening the editor for the first time, I was able to start editing a basic video project.

Every aspect of the design feels extremely intuitive and rarely did I ever encounter a point where I was unsure how to proceed with the app.

To make matters even easier, there’s also a guided walk through when you first open the program, though you probably won’t need it!

Animoto’s Top Features

Let’s keep our Animoto review going strong by jumping into some of the most noteworthy and impressive features offered by the app setting it apart:

Feature #1: Template and Music Libraries

I was instantly impressed with the breadth of assets available through Animoto’s libraries.

While searching through the template offerings, for instance, I saw that there were choices for everything from wedding slideshows to product launch announcements and website explainers. There’s also an impressive variety of music choices, particularly in the Professional plan (though the 50 tracks in the free Animoto personal plan were quite pleasant.) 

This extensive range of options made it incredibly easy to find the perfect template and soundtrack for any project, saving time and elevating the end result.

Not exactly slim pickings!

Feature #2: Screen Recording

Animoto Screen Recording

With any advanced video editing workflow, screen recording can be lifesaver.

So, I breathed a sigh of relief when I noted that Animoto provides recording capabilities directly inside the editor. After simply clicking the record button located at the top of the interface, the feature worked flawlessly. This in-app recording feature streamlined my editing process, eliminating the need for third-party software and making it easier to incorporate real-time content.

Feature #3: Social Media Support

Animoto Social Media Support

Using an embeddable video format, the editor quickly allows for the possibility of sharing completed video projects on virtually any social media site you can think of!

Looking through the options, I saw that there were presets to quickly share videos on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and a host of other platforms. These preset options saved me valuable time in my workflow, making it effortless to distribute content across multiple channels without manual configuration.

Feature #4: Text Customization

I’m a particular fan of text and typographic choices, even on video projects where it isn’t the main focus.

So, what sort of text customization capabilities does Animoto provide? Quite a few!

After some quick experimentation, I found that I could alter attributes like typefaces, font size and colors, and positioning. The flexibility in text customization allowed me to maintain brand consistency across my video projects, elevating the overall quality and impact.

Feature #5: Custom Logos and Branding

As many video editors are working on behalf of a brand, either their own or a separate company’s, we’re always on the lookout for editors that integrate custom branding possibilities into their interface.

And, fortunately, Animoto is one of them! We were excited to see that custom logos and brand colors are a crucial addition to the app’s Professional plan.

Feature #6: Drag-and-Drop Interface

Even a truly powerful and efficient editor can be weighed down by a clunky UI design. It’s almost unavoidable to worry that users might run headfirst into such an interface when they open up their editor.

But, I found that, to the contrary, Animoto actually delivers a sleek and intuitive UI, largely on account of its simple and user-friendly drag-and-drop functionality. This design choice significantly expedited our editing process, allowing us to focus more on creativity and less on navigating a complicated interface. 

Feature #7: Team Collaboration

While this is limited to the app’s Teams plan, I still think it’s worthwhile to talk about!

Using built-in collaboration features like a time-stamped commenting system, workspaces, and user roles, it’s dead simple to make sure collaborators are on the same page about where their video project is heading. These features streamlined our team’s workflow, making it easier to give real-time feedback and keep everyone aligned on project goals.

Feature #8: HD Video Exporting

Animoto HD Video Exporting

Video quality is a factor that we’d never overlook, as even the most well-produced and edited project can fall apart if it’s exported in a low-resolution file.

Luckily, we found that Animoto smoothly dodges that potential pitfall. The Basic plan and up all provide 1080p file exporting, and even the Free plan still allows for 720p videos, which is a perfectly acceptable resolution for most projects.

Who Are Animoto’s Competitors?

Now, video editing is something of a crowded market. You might be wondering: What are the main alternatives to Animoto?

Let’s find out!

Wondershare Filmora

Wondershare Filmora logo

Similar to Animoto, Filmora offers a web-based interface, along with a handy template system and simple user interface. Filmora tends to outshine Animoto in areas revolving around price and overall feature richness.

Likewise, Animoto generally has the upper hand when it comes to user-friendliness and recording functionality.

iMovie

iMovie logo

iMovie has long been a dominant player in the video editor battleground, and it’s not hard to see why!

The program has a strong competitive advantage over Animoto in feature variety, audio capabilities, and asset libraries. On the other hand, Animoto has a highly intuitive user interface that many beginners might find less intimidating than iMovie’s. 

Magisto

Magisto logo

Magisto has an undeniable edge over Animoto if you’re focusing on customization and manual editing capabilities. You can simply do more with the editor and use it to create a finely-tuned project that reflects your exact vision.

But, Animoto has a free plan, whereas Magisto requires a monthly subscription even for its cheapest available tier.

Support and Community Resources

What resources does Animoto offer users who get stuck during the course of their video editing journey?

There are two main options:

Help Center

Animoto includes a comprehensive Help Center that also acts as a knowledge base for users.

Instructional and help articles can be found on topics ranging from making your first video, all the way up to using advanced features like team workspaces. Additionally, there are articles that explain how to share video projects on all major social media platforms.

While the written content is informative, we found a drawback at the time of writing this article: the Help Center lacks instructional videos. Adding video guides could enhance the user experience by providing another layer of support.

Request Form

Animoto Request Form

For customers who’d like to get in touch with the company directly, there’s the option to fill out a request form. The form uses a standard email format, but also gives users the ability to attach relevant files to their request. While this is helpful, we found that the ability to connect with someone via chat or email in real-time would have been a valuable addition.

Final Verdict

Though it could use a more robust set of customer service choices, along with some adjustments in price, Animoto is ultimately an easy, aesthetically pleasing, and relatively powerful video editor. Its intuitive UI and diverse feature set make it a strong choice for both beginners and seasoned professionals. Based on our hands-on experience, it’s a tool that can effectively meet a wide range of video editing needs.

We’ll finish off our Animoto review by giving the app a 4/5.

RealGoodSoftware is powered by readers like yourself. When you purchase through our links we may earn an affiliate commission, this lets us offer research for free.

Total Score

4

Though there are some noteworthy downsides to consider (mainly as they relate to customer and technical support, price, and asset libraries), we nonetheless think Animoto is a pleasant, feature-rich, and easy-to-use video editor that most users would find productive to work with.

Suggested Posts