We’re about ready to put another year in the books. Before we start proclaiming New Year’s resolutions that we’ll never keep, one company is offering a tidy way to look back and recap all the highs and lows of the year – at least as they were documented on Facebook.
Online video creation service Animoto today launched its free Best of 2012 Facebook Video service. Unlike the plethora of other options out there, the bulk of which require manually creating a video by selecting and arranging photos and music, Animoto uses social algorithms to automatically, and intelligently select the “best” and most representative images from a user’s account and create a personalized narrative set to music.
For many, the approximate one minute long videos videos will take the place of holiday cards. They can be shared via Facebook, Twitter, and email, or can be further edited to add or remove select photos, songs, captions, and effects. While the company offers its standard video products via desktop Web and iOS and Android mobile app, the best of videos are initially available on desktop only.
At first glance this might seem like a novelty app offered by yet another social video company, but Animoto is anything but. The six year old startup has raised $30 million over three rounds of venture financing and is one of the only revenue generating companies in its space.
Animoto has more than 5 million registered users, 150,000 of whom pay $5 per month (or $30 per year) subscriptions in order to create unlimited length videos, and export to HD quality. Beyond offering casual products to consumers, the company’s Animoto Pro powers the commercial video production efforts of many in the real estate, events, and other small business sectors at a cost of $249 per year.
The company was operating cash flow positively in 2010 through 2011 on only $5 million in financing, but took in a massive $25 million financing round in June 2011 to accelerate growth. The New York-based company has doubled its team from 30 to more than 60 employees over the last 18 months.
The Best of 2012 videos are a first foray into this category and Animoto will fine tune its algorithms and other product features over time. Nonetheless, the end of year holidays are far and away the most popular time of year for the company. Given its existing footprint and the ease of using the product, expect to see these videos everywhere over the next few weeks.
So, without further delay, Happy 2012 from me to you: