At South by Southwest next week, the company will officially roll out its Facebook app, which makes it easy to create a personal video from your own profile photos, which you can then put on your profile page and into your feed. What's extra-clever about it is that it integrates with Facebook's photo tagging features, and when you include a photo of a Facebook friend in a video you make, they get an alert, leading, CEO Brad Jefferson hopes, to viral growth that will spread Animoto across the globe.
Animoto only has 100,000 or so users so far on its destination site. It's a safe bet that the Facebook app will quickly outstrip that number.
The company provides its own music soundtracks, or you can upload your own. It then automatically selects videos and transition effects, and cuts them all into the music. It takes a few minutes before your video is ready, but the results are entertaining. The only other UI snag is that when you're selecting photos to include in your video, you get tiny thumbnails you can't zoom in to to see if they're good or not.
Animoto limits Facebook personal videos to 30 seconds. If you want longer vids, you'll have to go to Animoto.com and buy access -- either $3 a video (up to about 10 minutes), or $30 a year for unlimited spots.