Slideshow company Animoto makes clever use of Facebook's platform

We don’t usually write about individual Facebook applications when they launch (there are thousands of them, and most of them are poorly made), but Animoto‘s is worth taking a look at. It cleanly and simply makes use of Facebook’s data and distribution, to bring its core strength — making good slide shows — to users.

Last August, the San Francisco company launched a slide-show widget creator that lets you upload your photos and add songs from its collection or your own (our coverage). It creates a video out of the photos and music, where the photos flash and twirls the photos in time with the music, so you get an engaging experience — a more sophisticated offering than what leading slide-show creators Slide and RockYou offer. Even though you can embed videos into other sites, the company isn’t satisfied with its growth rate to date.

ani0304081.pngSo here’s why the company’s new application may have stronger legs. First, you install the application, then select between 10 and 15 photos from your photo albums on Facebook and add your preferred music track. (This is a smart move, because Facebook is the number one photo sharing site on the web, according to comScore, with more than 14 million photos uploaded daily — it’s where the photos are.)

Second, Animoto’s Facebook application generates the slideshow video — and it also identifies who else was tagged in the photos you included in the slideshow. These people receive notifications of the video through Facebook. This is an easy mechanism for viral growth that Animoto doesn’t have a way to offer on its own site.

While the average VentureBeat reader may not find this application meaningful, imagine a college dorm that wants to commemorate a formal dance, or roommates that want to reminisce over a going-away party at a local bar, which is what I made mine about (screenshot below; unfortunately the company doesn’t offer embed code of its Facebook video, presumably because Facebook doesn’t let you remove your photos from Facebook).

Try it for yourself here. The company gave us an early look and will formally launch the application on Monday.

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