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Animoto (Updated) Review | Why We Left & Came Back

By Christopher Lin on July 19th 2016

Animoto was founded in 2006, the same year we started our wedding photography business (Lin and Jirsa). For businesses and photographers who wanted a quick, simple, and streamlined way of getting their images into video format, timed to music with interesting transitions, it was a great option.


The Competition in 2006

At the time, programs like Proshow, Showit Web (no longer in existence), and full video editing programs like Final Cut and Adobe Premiere served as Animoto’s competition.


Premiere and Final Cut are great, but were overkill, proving to be too complicated with too many options for our simplistic need of combining music with images. Proshow was a solid choice at the time as well, but still wasn’t as quick and easy as Animoto and Showit Web. So we stuck with a using a combination of the two.

Showit Web Took the Lead

After a few months, we moved away from Animoto and used Showit Web exclusively in our workflow. While Animoto was easy-to-use and visually appealing, the effects were too distinct and over-the-top for our brand and style of photography. Showit Web, on the other hand, had simpler transitions and complimented our style.

The Rise of Mobile and Downfall of Adobe Flash

As the iPhone entered the scene and Apple and Adobe became incompatible, Showit Web simply became irrelevant, as it was Flash-based and failed to keep up with changing tech. This encouraged us to revisit Animoto, and we were highly impressed with its addition of new features and functionality.


Animoto not only kept up with current trends and technology, but they listened to their customer’s concerns and provided updates for solutions. They added more templates, including simple, less distinct ones, and gave the user more control over the timing, music, and final product. They’ve also streamlined workflows for publishing on on social media and video hosting services like Youtube and vimeo.


Our Favorite Features

  1. Workflow Speed
  2. Instagram (and other social) Upload
  3. Improved Music Selection
  4. Premium Styles

See more examples of wedding slideshows made with Animoto here:


Start your free trial today or sign up here and use the code LOUNGE20 for a discount on professional annual or monthly plans.

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Co-Founder of SLR Lounge and Photographer with Lin and Jirsa Photography, I’m based in Southern California but you can find me traveling the world. Click here to connect on Google +

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Catherine Dodd

    I love Animoto and was so glad to see this article come up on a Google search for Premiere. I’ve been editing videos in Lr and then exporting to Animoto. I’ve made a few films over the years and my kids join in too with iPhone captured videos, making their own especially this summer. Wondering if I still need to make the leap to Premiere for when I need more editing options. I agree that the fancy styles aren’t necessary congruent with existing brands so I use the full frame Frameless option. Also wishing to learn voice overs.

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  2. Mark Romine

    If you are a Mac user there is: I always preferred it to Animoto, Greater control plus I could never get past their ridiculous over the top transitions. Which seemed better suited for H.S. seniors than weddings.

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  3. Tarun Jha

    can we use it as a full fledge NLE or its only for presentation purposes

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  4. Behailu Gebremicael

    It s an awesome tool

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