What is Animoto and How Does It Work?

(Image credit: Animoto)

Animoto is free and easy-to-use video maker that allows for the creation and sharing of videos online. Since it is cloud-based and browser-accessible, it works with nearly any device.

This is a great way for teachers and students to create videos without the need for extensive technological skills. The process also isn't too time consuming – important when incorporating videos as a viable communication tool in the classroom and remotely. 

Used by millions, Animoto is a well-established platform that easily guides the user through the process, making it a welcome tool even for beginners. While Animoto was designed for and is aimed at commercial users, it has become very popular as a tool for use in schools, especially since remote learning has made videos more valuable as a teaching resource. 

Read on to find out everything you need to know about Animoto for use by teachers and students.

What is Animoto?

Animoto is an online, cloud-based video creation platform. It can be used to create videos, not only from video content, but also from photos. The key is that you don't need to worry about formats of various files as Animoto does all the conversion work for you.

Animoto is super simple to use, from creating presentation slideshows with audio to making polished videos with soundtracks. The platform includes templates to make it even more user-friendly.

Animoto also makes sharing very simple, ideal for teachers who want to integrate videos in teaching platforms such as Google Classroom, Edmodo, ClassDojo and others. 

Since the video is created online, sharing is as simple as copying a link. This means that a video can be made on many devices, unlike traditional video-editing tools that require a lot of processing power on the part of the device being used.

Animoto edit

(Image credit: Animoto)

How does Animoto work?

Animoto is an intuitive video creation tool thanks to its templates, drag-and-drop interactivity, and abundance of available media.

To get started, simply upload any photos or videos that you want to work with. Once uploaded to the Animoto platform, you can then drag and drop what you want onto a pre-built template of your choice.

These templates have been designed by professionals, resulting in a high-end finish. You can select by template and then add your media as needed. Use videos, photos, and even text to create and shape the finished product you need.

Animoto features a stock library of more than one million images and videos, which is growing in number as it's sourced from Getty Images itself. More than 3,000 commercially licensed music tracks are also available, making the process of adding music and life to your video simple. 


(Image credit: Animoto)

What are the best Animoto features?

One of the great things about Animoto is it comes in the form of an app. You can use it online, via a web browser, but the app is very well made way to interact. You can use a smartphone, be it Android or iPhone, to work on the video directly. 

This is hugely helpful if you're filming and snapping content right there in the class, to be made into a video. You can also upload directly and begin editing easily, and even share quickly from the phone, which is great if you're on a field trip and want to create a video as you go, for example.

The ability to customize the templates is another great feature for teachers. You can overlay text, adjust font size, and even use split-screen images, ideal for a slideshow-style layout in which comparison images are required. 

The ability to embed the video in other platforms, such as a blog, is super simple as you can just use the URL, essentially how YouTube works. Copy and paste it and the video will embed directly and play right there on the blog as if it was a part of the site. Similarly you can also add a call-to-action button at the end of the video – helpful if you want students to follow a link to go into further research details.

How much does Animoto cost?

Animoto is not free for more complex features, but the basic version is. It has a tiered pricing system based on three levels: Free, Professional, and Team.

The basic plan is free. This includes: 720p video, 350+ music tracks, 12 templates, three fonts, 30 color swatches, and the Animoto logo at the end of videos.

The Professional plan is $32 per month billed as $380 per year. It offers 1080p video, 2,000+ music tracks, 50+ templates, 40+ fonts, unlimited custom colors, no Animoto branding, more than one million Getty Images photos and videos, the option to add your own logo watermark, and license to resell to consumers. This plans comes with a 14-day trial to give it a go before you buy.

The Team plan is $55 per month billed as $665 annually. This gets you 1080p video, 50+ templates, 40+ fonts, unlimited custom colors, no Animoto branding, more than one million Getty Images photos and videos, the option to add your own logo watermark, license to resell to business, accounts for up to three users, and a 30-minute consultation with a video expert. 

Luke Edwards is a freelance writer and editor with more than two decades of experience covering tech, science, and health. He writes for many publications covering health tech, software and apps, digital teaching tools, VPNs, TV, audio, smart home, antivirus, broadband, smartphones, cars and much more.