The next big app battle: Automatic video editing


We’ve seen a battle emerge between video-sharing apps, each of which seeks to become the “Instagram of video.” And then there’s the ongoing war between social TV apps that allow users to share what they’re watching with friends and followers on social networks. So what’s the latest battle in the mobile app space? If I had to guess based on recent announcements, I’d say it’s probably going to be around automatically editing videos on mobile devices.

The latest evidence is the release of Animoto’s new iPhone app, which will let users create video slideshows from photos on their mobile device. The app works in much the same way that Animoto works on the web: You choose a bunch of photos, a theme, some music, and the cloud-based slideshow creation service creates an interactive slideshow that can be shared with friends. Of course, releasing on the iPhone opens up a whole new use case, especially for those users who take tons of photos on their phones but never sync them back to their computers.

Animoto isn’t the only one seeking to make it easier for users to create interesting videos on the the iPhone. Its app was released just a few days after video editing startup Magisto announced its plans to release a competing app in the coming weeks. That app is also reminiscent of Magisto’s web-based video creation service: You pick photos and videos that have a common theme, and Magisto does the rest.

Frankly, no one enjoys manually creating or editing videos. More importantly, no one likes to transfer photos and videos from their mobile device to their PC to manual create or edit videos. The emergence of mobile apps from Animoto and Magisto will go a long way toward making use of photos and videos that previously would have been stuck on users’ iPhones.



“Frankly, no one enjoys manually creating or editing videos.” I beg to differ… I really enjoy video editing and it’s why I’m currently studying it in university (graduating this year). It’s a tough job but I love it so saying noone enjoys it is quite frankly, a terrible statement to make.

Edo Wilkins

Vidify ( is amazing at this. The videos are made without any need for an internet connection, and don’t come out cheesy with ridiculous flash frames and effects. I’ve seen a lot of examples that do have an amazing emotional impact, and are done by people that wouldn’t know how to even download video onto their computer. It’s going to be interesting to see where all this goes.

Pablo Lema

Good article and good see more people realizing that our raw video content needs to be treated before it can be truly shareable. Although I agree completely with Animoto’s awesome biz of making pictures more animated and cool, I think the model starts to fail a bit when lots of video is used. Automated video editing works for what I call “disposable content” – a quick video that has little emotional attachment. For content that requires some more customized editing (a honeymoon vid, a video of your kid’s first birthday, a reunion, etc.), there is no replacement for a creative, skilled human doing the editing. Algorithms won’t catch nuances in raw content that a skilled human can. That is what we believe in at Clipik. One day, Skynet will make videos for us without a hiccup, but until then, we need good ‘ol people editing :). Check us out if you’d like. Not trying to spam, just adding to the solutions available today for raw consumer video:

Dan Kinoy

There are sections within a story video where the roughcut could be profitably automated – most montage sequences, especially those cut on a beat. The human can then go back and tweak.

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