Animoto Video Maker

Common Sense Media says

Freemium slideshow tool better on privacy than similar apps.

Age(i)

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Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Animoto Video Maker is easy to use, especially for those with slideshow and media sharing experience. Users make a few simple choices -- music, theme, and images or video clips to add -- and the app does the rest of the work.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism

Animoto Video Maker is a "freemium" slideshow creation tool with three levels of membership: Lite (free), Plus, and Pro. Slideshows created with the free and Plus versions are branded with the Animoto logo. To get higher quality resolution, create longer slideshows, and access more design and music options, users can upgrade to an Animoto Plus account with an in-app purchase of $4.99 for one month or $29.99 for the year. Upgrades to Animoto Pro ($39/month or $249/year) or individual video upgrading options are available on the Animoto website.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

Few privacy concerns. To sign up for an account, users must provide an email address or connect with their Facebook accounts. The account created for Animoto Video Maker connects to a user account at www.animoto.com. Animoto accounts are not searchable, and videos created with Animoto Video Maker are kept private within the app and website. Animoto Video Maker allows users to share their creations via Facebook, Twitter, email, and text message. More sharing options are available from the Animoto website. In order for the app to access the device's camera roll, users must enable location settings, though the makers say they don't use this information to track or spam users.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Animoto Video Maker is an easy-to-use slideshow creation tool that connects to the Animoto website. Teens can create 30-second video slideshows with the option to download their creations or share via email, text message, and social media networks. Longer and HD slideshows are available with paid in-app upgrades and subscriptions. Animoto stores all the videos users create within the app and on users' auto-generated account page on the Animoto website. User pages at the Animoto website are private and only accessible if the user shares a video's URL. Animoto requires users to be 13 or older.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • presenting to others
  • storytelling

Arts

  • film
  • photography

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression
  • presenting

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Teens will enjoy using their device or web-based account to collate photos and video clips into customized video slideshows. The app's interface is well designed, straightforward, and engaging.

Learning Approach

Unique video slideshows are easy to make with Animoto. Kids organize and stylize their experiences, then geek out on their finished presentations and share them via social media.

Support

There's an obvious starting point, and users walk through steps to create new video slideshows, so it's OK that there's no in-app tutorial. Helpful FAQs are in the settings and on the Animoto website. 

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • presenting to others
  • storytelling

Arts

  • film
  • photography

Skills

Creativity

  • making new creations

Communication

  • multiple forms of expression
  • presenting

Tech Skills

  • digital creation

Kids can learn how to create video slideshows by organizing media for creative, digital storytelling. The app has an on-screen guide that helps teens follow sequential instructions and learn file management. Animoto also allows teens to exercise creativity and decision-making skills, as well as to hone the art of brevity (text fields have character limits). The free version of Animoto Video Maker is limiting, but with a paid upgrade, the app is a solid media-creation tool that can support teens' learning goals.

This Learning Rating review was written by Kim Alessi

Parents say

Kids say

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What's it about?

Teens select a template, a song from their device or from the app's music library, and their own photos, video clips, and text. The free version limits slideshows to a maximum of 12 photos or video clips. Slideshows save automatically within the app and in the user's auto-generated account on the Animoto website, and are private unless the user shares them. Teens can download slideshows to their device. Sharing options within the app include Facebook, Twitter, email, and text message. On the Animoto website, users can share to the whole gamut of social media sites.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

ANIMOTO VIDEO MAKER is a great tool for teens to create slideshows with their own photos, videos, and music. Compiling and uploading a 30-second slideshow is fast, and sharing it is even faster. Kids and parents can document any event together -- a family vacation or holiday, an art project, a graduation or recital, or just an everyday walk in the park -- then in minutes create and share an impressive video slideshow.

What sets Animoto Video Maker apart from other popular media-creation apps is that it's safer for teens -- Unlike Viddy or Instagram, users cannot connect to each other on the Animoto website nor within the Animoto app. In addition, there is currently no way to search the Animoto website to see uploaded videos. That said, the app involves uploading content to the web, which may or may not remain private, and it encourages sharing on social media. Teens should think carefully about what they include in their Animoto slideshows and where they choose to share them.

Families can talk about...

  • Talk with your kids about possible topics for a video slideshow, such as documenting a school science experiment, family vacation, or art project.

  • Make sure your kids understand the responsibilities and consequences of making video slideshows public on social media sites.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Subscription price:Animoto Plus $5/month; Animoto Pro $39/month
Release date:July 20, 2012
Category:Photo & Video
Size:14.20 MB
Publisher:Animoto Inc.
Version:3.5.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later; Android 2.2 and up

This review of Animoto Video Maker was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 7 and 11 year old Written bykaloren May 20, 2013
AGE
9
QUALITY
 

Great tool in school

Kids in my daughters elementary school start using this app t create presentations early on. The school creates an account for them and monitors their work of course, but I think it is a great tool. By the time they are in middle school they are quite the creative editors.
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