Online Video Editing Tools: Key Features
Video should be at the top of your priority list when it comes to types of content you are going to share. It doesn’t matter if it’s Facebook or LinkedIn, Twitter or Instagram – video will always outperform images or the written word. We shifted our content focus from blogs blogs blogs to a little less blogs and a little more video ever since the start of 2017. Why? Because we know the stats and it’s time you did too.
- According to a study by Social Bakers, the average video post generates 135% greater organic reach, when compared to photo posts.
- Emails that include “video” in their subject lines have a 19% better chance of getting opened, increases click throughs by 65%, and Unsubscribe rates also go down by 26% when videos are included in the content. – Brainshark.com
These are the stats: video is where it’s at. But what if you don’t know the first thing about making a video? Where do you begin?
Videos can be time consuming to do yourself from scratch, expensive to hire an outside crew to do it for you, and not all of us have the wherewithal to put a deadly video together.
That’s where our latest research on online video tools comes in.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a sharp editor or an Apple fanboy to put together a great video with a simple message. There are some great online video editing tools out there for your desktop that make it easy for you to edit videos. And there are some not so great ones. Read on to discover our top picks of the online video editing tools world.
Features Of Online Video Editing Tools
- All online video editing tools offer a free trial, with most of the features switched on, but note that you can’t export a clean copy of your video without putting in your credit card details. We are assuming that the limitations we encountered are ones you’d experience on the real (paid) thing.
- One thing that none of these online video editing tools have is effects. What if we want the footage in black and white? Tough.
Okay, let’s begin.
Features – 4/5
Animoto gives you a lot of custom options yet retains its simplicity and is easy to use.
First up you can choose your size per platform, eg. you can choose to make square videos for Instagram or Facebook.
Or you can begin with a goal, eg. ‘Promote a sale’ or ‘Photography marketing videos’.
Choosing the right template or ‘storyboard’ at the outset saves time, so you don’t get lost figuring out which is best for you.
Like each of these online video editing tools you can upload your own logo to put at the end of each video, but what sets Animoto apart is that you can have it animated. Want it to swoop in from the top left corner? Done. Want it to spin and expand from the middle. No problema.
You can also add your own voice over, which is very cool!
Scenario: we sell handbags. Fancy ones.
So we choose a storyboard, ‘Product Catalog’. We click on that and in we go to the video editor interface. Here you can record voice overs, rearrange clips, change their lengths, edit the overlaying text and choose the footage being used for each clip. It doesn’t have a timeline running from left to right – you just see each clip, its length and what text is over it. Everything is laid out in a clear, easily understood way. You can fully customise colours too, an option which neither of the other two offer by only giving you the option of set themes.
Ease Of Use – 4/5
Animoto is without a doubt better than Animatron and Promo. We made a video in five minutes. Obviously, we recommend spending a little more time on a real life one, but this shows you how easy Animoto is to use. We just used the videos provided, but you can upload your own!
Price – 5/5
With the free trial you get a watermarked video and access to the music library. The free trial video is low quality too. This is to stop you from using it. You still get to download it and show it to colleagues or clients before you go and spend money on an upgraded account, unlike the other websites we’ve covered here.
The Personal package is the cheapest offer. €9.99 per month paid annually. It is very basic. If I were you, I’d forget about the Personal package. You can only download your video in 720p, you can’t make square videos for Facebook and Instagram and the voice over and pre-built storyboards are not available. However, the next offer is the Professional package. And it makes a lot more sense.
Animoto Professional Package
- €19.99 per month (still one of the cheapest of the four web video editors we’ve looked at!) – paid annually (€240)
- You can use your own logo
- Videos are downloaded in 1080p, you get access to premium video styles
- You can use voice over and pre-built storyboards – basically everything we saw in the demo.
- You have access to way more music than the Personal package (1,500 more tracks to choose from!).
- Each video also comes with a reseller license for you to sell to your customers.
Finally, the third option is the Business package, which is similar to Professional but for three users, and you have access to 1,000 more tracks.
Would We Recommend?
Yes. This one is our favourite.
Features – 4/5
Biteable reminds us a lot of Animoto in that it’s really easy to use, but still has most of the cool features you would want to edit videos.
To get started, you can either make your video from scratch or choose from one of the templates that Biteable suggests.
Like Animoto, you can put in a goal such as “Share a Testimonial” and work with one of the templates provided.
One thing we really like about Biteable that some of the other video editors don’t have, is that it comes with plenty of quality stock footage to work with.
On the downside, if you want to upload your own videos, you’ll need a paid account (uploading pictures is free though).
The last step in editing your video is adding audio and Biteable has a library of clips for you to use. The library is a little limited in the free version but you can upload your own audio if you can’t find something you like. Unfortunately, voiceover isn’t available yet so Animoto has a slight advantage there.
One of the best things we like is that you are allowed to use the videos you make for commercial use, something that other video editors don’t allow.
Ease Of Use – 4/5
The video templates and large library of stock footage make it pretty easy to put together a video on Biteable. Using the templates can definitely save you some time getting started, so take advantage of them if you can.
One downfall to note is that all Biteable videos are currently only 720p so if you’re looking for a really high-def video, maybe go with one of the other options.
Price – 5/5
Biteable comes in at €20 per month, paid annually (so just €240 per year!) making it tied with Animoto for the cheapest option.
With a free account, you can make up to 5 videos per month but you can’t download them or remove the watermark unless you have a paid account, making the free option pretty unrealistic for professional use.
A paid account also gives you access to larger libraries of stock footage and audio clips.
Would We Recommend Biteable?
Yes! For being such an inexpensive option, Biteable really does offer a lot of features, both in the free and paid options. If you’re torn between Biteable and Animoto, don’t stress because they are quite similar.
The main difference we could spot are that Biteable has stock footage for you to use, which Animoto doesn’t, but on Animoto you can use voice over and download your video with a free account. Either way, we like both of these video editors more than Animatron and Promo.
Features – 2/5
Bannersnack has some great features but you are limited unless you sign up for a plus account. On the free plan you can edit images from their template library but you can’t edit any videos unless you upgrade.
When editing an image you have the options to add text, animations (limited on the free account), limited free transitions and a limited amount of free button options. As you can see, it’s not the best option unless you plan to upgrade before you even get to try the features. You can also only create 10 banners on the free version so keep that in mind when you’re using the free account compared to the other tools that don’t limit your content but are watermarked. Also Biteable allows you to create five free videos per month.
Best feature? The large stock of templates available in static or animated format for a vast range of industries. You can also resize your image in custom size or choose from any of their preset options to suit Instagram, Facebook etc.
Ease of use – 3/5
It’s extremely easy to use, but the free account is pretty basic so it’s hard to really say.
If you wanted to create a quick eye catching image then I would say this is perfect as you can download the image without any watermarks. You can download in JPG, PNG and GIF. If you upgrade you have the option of downloading in PDF, HTML5 and AMP.
The biggest thing that stands out for me is that you could easily mistake it for Canva. Both applications could give you the same result.
Price – 2/5
Why am I marking this so low?
We are reviewing video editing tools (not image production) and unless you have the most expensive package on Bannersnack you can’t upload videos. To upload videos to Bannersnack will cost you $432 billed yearly, which is quite a lot.
The PRO package comes for $432 with all sorts of features: client management, video upload, access to ad-serving add-on, custom branded URL and extended analytics.
The Plus package will cost you $216 billed yearly. Keeping in mind you can’t upload any videos, why would you pay this?
With this price you have unlimited designs, HTML5/GIF/MP4 export, animations transitions and all the premium templates. Great features but no video? Or voice over features? At this pricing I don’t rate this application highly.
The $84 billed yearly starter package gives you 30 designs per month, you can only edit single designs, PDF download and auto resize designs. In my opinion this is a poor choice as the only real benefit compared to the free package is the ability to create more designs.
Thanks to Anastasia and Dmitry from Animatron who took the time to show us some of the finer features of the tool.
This online video editing tool is better than Promo. It has more to offer, but it doesn’t hit the number 1 spot for us.
Features – 4/5
- The interface is very similar to Promo with a few extra features such as dimming the image behind the text and changing length of time text is displayed.I
- Animatron offers the option to use transitions. They were not immediately visible to us, but the option to add them appears in between two clips after you’ve added the second one. Seek and you two will find!
- You can upload your own music.
- Animatron offers free stock footage along with Premium videos if you need them. Compared to only paid videos with Promo, we found Animatron superior on the stock footage selection.
- You cannot sell your videos to a third party unless you pay for the Agency package which is for ‘freelancers and agencies providing services to their clients’. In other words, you can only use the videos you make for your own company or business. You cannot sell the videos to anyone else. This makes it wholly unattractive for marketing agencies, or freelancers, although we agreed that freelancers selling video editing services should not be using these kind of online tools.
Ease Of Use – 3/5
- Animatron is too similar to Promo for our liking. Nothing special going on here.
- Yes, it’s easy to use – but like Promo, this is down to the limits that go with it.
Price – 2/5
- Animatron comes in at $39 per month.
- You can make as many videos as you like up to 5 minutes long – more than enough time!
- The ‘premium’ footage can be as expensive as $20 per clip and this is AFTER you’ve paid for subscription to the full version. All the good footage is priced like this but it does look very good!
- With an upgraded package you do get a monthly allowance to spend on these videos, in the first package (the $39 package) you get an allowance of $20 – so in other words, you get one free premium video to use. Which takes the sting out!
Overall, it’s a little pricey for what you get.
Would We Recommend Animatron?
No, we would stick with Animoto or Biteable instead. They are both less expensive and have most of the features you could want.
Here’s where online video editing tools go sour.
Features – 1/5
Promo seems to have a lot less going for it. I’m struggling to think of any unique features it has!
- It has some fancy stock footage you can use. Good looking people, beautiful locations. But what’s new? We’ve seen that already with the other video editors.
- With the free trial, you can only create drafts – no downloadable content.
- From the trial, it looks like you only get three slots to edit which we presume is how the full version is also structured. That’s only three clips, three captions and with the third being the call to action and your logo – you’re left with very limited options on how you deliver your message.
- Very little font choice.
- Not a lot of options with colour – you have to work within their preset themes.
- You have a decent choice of royalty free music to use.
Ease Of Use – 3/5
Promo gets 3/5 because it’s very easy to use, but that’s because it’s extremely basic.
Footage is easy to find. It’s categorised for you and comes up in the search easily.
Price – 1/5
Like Animatron, the cheapest option is $39 per month.
- Not only is that high – you only get one video per month out of this subscription!
- The maximum size of any video file you upload is 1GB, which means you have to trim shots you might have taken on your phone which gets messy.
- Promo doesn’t offer full HD videos. Each video is 720p.
Would We Recommend Promo?
At $39 per month for one average looking video, with three captions at low quality. Promo is a no no.
Animoto is the best out of this bunch, but even still: we’re not so enamoured with the output – it’s a bit “clicky”. Biteable is second; it’s similar to Animoto but lacks a few of the extra features Animoto has. Bannersnack is in third, but it is not a video editor unless you pay for a premium package. Animatron comes in fourth, but you need to ‘learn’ it. Many of the features weren’t immediately clear to us. Avoid Promo, it’s the weakest.
But even still, are you content to pay €240 a year for online video editing tools such as these?
If you want to save €240 annually, have more creative freedom and versatility with your videos, then we suggest you take a look at some other video editing options:
- Grab yourself some free video editing software, there is loads out there to play with. Choose your own fave OBS and get used to it. Spend a little time to figure out how to use it. Or pay someone a one-off €240 to show you how. Ask us for a recommendation.
- There is excellent royalty free music out there too – free to use.
- And stock footage that will also cost you nothing.
So the choice is this…
You pay for these videos with money or time. With money, you’ll get them quickly but you might find yourself settling for something that wasn’t as great as you had intended. Or you could commit to learning a new skill. Video editing is not hard, and when you do it yourself with video editing software and not these more limited online tools, you will be able to create exactly. It will take a little longer at the start, but once you get into it, you’ll be flying in no time.
If you don’t want to pay for software and you don’t want to go for free software and learn, then you definitely need us! Brightspark has in-house video editing capability and we can make your videos quickly, slickly, and professionally. Our pricing on videos is closer to Animoto than you’d think – but without the headache!
Check out what Vagabond Tours had to say about our video work.