By: Easy Hi Ltd.
With lots of media content flying around, it makes us wonder how so much content is generated every second? To be honest, the population is one reason. However, another thing is access to such technology, that helps in creating such content.
For media contents, especially photos and videos, that fly in millions across the Internet; it is thrilling to know that there are many ready-made products for making someone a social media sensation.
Among such tools, media editors/creators apps are in huge demand. Video editors aren’t so far either.
For our review, Video Creators are one of such tools, that has features to create, edit, or enhance videos, and dispense preferred solutions to customer’s needs.
In this category, welcome an Israeli product called Promo.com (formerly Slide.ly). Founded in 2012, Tel Aviv, this tool has quickly started to outgrow other products. They are part of parent company EasyHi Ltd.
With tons of templates and features up its sleeve, they now claim to have assisted over 200 million customers to generate, share, and find videos and slideshows. From their former name Slide.ly, they switched it to Promo.com in 2016.
Currently, their offices are expanded to New York, and Warsaw, Poland. They have already acquired Unstock, a company with stock footages, in October 2017. With this, they now include a huge stock of videos, with copyrights and free ones too.
With a quick glance, we can easily say that the main focus laid by them is on video creation, which we will be reviewing in later sections. Till then, let us start by sniffing over this product.
Well, before going hammer and tongs after the product, it is essential to know how the product works. Also, what kind of video editing is possible? Can we export our own videos to edit them? Can I make this ugly video, turn into a sensation?
For that, we need a Promo.com account. Since the service is purely cloud-based, the Internet is mandatory. Also, it is expected to have decent speed of Internet for swifter video editing. Since the service is likely to use video plugins to run, it can be difficult for non-plugin based browsers.
Now, Promo.com has kept most of its feature operating on the free accounts. Although, it is limited to 5 projects. This limit is removed as we move on to the paid plans.
However, this must not affect the basic video editing. So, after making an account on it, you are directed to a setup menu. From here, you need to choose the type of video content you are planning to create. So, filter stock videos accordingly on your home screen.
On the home panel, there are no unique options visible as in, a list of created videos, subscription plan details, list of effect and other features of navigation board.
The UI of Promo.com has basically four options to pick from its central panel. These are Your Tasks, Templates, Calendar, and My Videos. These are all over the navigation bar.
Below this, we have stock of every video owned by Promo.com. Since they acquired Unstock, getting preset video content has been more reachable. Now, the main job is not to see how many videos we can find here, but to see their capabilities in video editing/creating, from scratch.
And for that, you need to access the video editor interface. Go to the dashboard, and upload the images and videos for testing. After that, once it uploads all files on the server, simply drag them to the editor page.
The interface of video editor is nominal. In this interface, only popular items related to video editing are given. We will review video editor in later part. For now, once you edit the video, save it, and then publish over the site.
Even after this, the video can be edited anytime. Like this, only 5 projects are allowed for free users, and so free users can delete it once they’ve published them. Sadly, Promo.com does not offer a limited period trial version.
Promo.com has included a short tutorial on every section. When you visit every feature for first time, help pop-ups are displayed. This gives new users some idea about how things work in the program.
Once done, this video can either be uploaded to your social profile, or you can just annoy your colleagues with it. Regardless, Promo.com has developed effortless segments in video collection, modification, creation, and their distribution.
Since we have got an idea of things in Promo.com; we can move to start our tests. In this section, first of all, we must scan the stock photos and videos.
First of all, most of the stock-media is premium only. So, there are limited options. But then, you can separately upload your own videos, which would suffice it for now.
The media library can be accessed from any menu via top bar. Use the Template Tab on the top. From here, users can have a plethora of media files from the stock collections.
The templates are seen categorized into various types like promo videos, marketing, ads for social media like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and then common items like real estate, beauty section, fashion, tourism, etc.
With all these stocks, new users won’t have any problems. For advanced/free users, they have included an upload button. From there, upload any images or videos.
All the media content has few UI functions shown over them. They are Preview, Customize, and Favorite. These videos can only be sorted based on screen-width, and popularity.
As we said before, use Customize Button to start editing. However, there’s an issue too. The filter options are too limiting. They lack sort options like video size, duration, free/premium status, time added, etc.
After this, we can choose from so many video templates. There are special tabs on your dashboard named Uploads, Favorites, Calendar, and Collection For You, to pick the videos.
Now, rather than picking a pin from a haystack, they have given a unique option on the top bar. This option, what you can do, shows four-category viz., Create, Industry, Special Dates, and Tools.
In the first choice, there are videos for popular ads on social media. In the industry part, we can select from businesses, real estate, marketing, travel, E-commerce, or Recruiting/HR options.
Special dates have only four picks, i.e., summer, 4th July, labor day, and back to school. The last one, Tools allow users to use items like video maker, image resizer, calendar, and Facebook video covers.
Choosing any of these is convenient than manually searching for videos, and keep thinking about how to proceed. One thing that their stock lacked, was a separate section for GIF files. This must have been included in the photos section itself; since these days, instead of short videos, GIF files are the new fad.
Moving one, compared to many other online products, the templates for videos and photos were average. Depending on personal taste and other factors, an individual may or may not find them useful.
In our view, connecting with Unstock library gives them an advantage over other similar products. From now on, we have to judge it by seeing editing features in it.
Since we are reviewing a video creator, one of the most needed features is to have sophisticated editing options. Along with standard video editing, advanced options are needed too, depending on the user’s purpose.
To access video creator/editor, go to the stock library, and click on any video. From there, the Customize button will take you to the video editor interface.
On first look, this video creator is fairly sleek. There are no Photoshop-style features cluttering all over the screen. To edit a video, pick it from the screen, and just begin editing.
Now, we had some bothersome experience with this editor. The video editor was slow as hell. Yes! The response was so slow that at times, clicking on it won’t affect anything.
This has to be repaired by Promo.com. A slow responsive UI is top reason for users to ditch a product, no matter how much features you provide. Loading of videos was also taking long. For mentions, we were using it on a 60 Mbps connection and having used similar sites before, our conclusion on this issue is 100% true.
Nevertheless, let us examine these features. On the video editing interface, the items are placed correctly. There are three main navigation tabs viz. Editor, Media, And Music. Below these three, you have discard/save button.
On the top part of video, there are font formatting options. These incorporate font types, colors, justify, capitalization, text position marker, and window width.
The right side has a panel with different text styles. Now, these text styles are uniquely modified. They are also equipped with distinct animations. For every style, the fonts provide animations like fading, highlighting, rolling, etc.
This was nice, but then again, the UI was so slow it took more than 5 seconds sometimes for a preview to load. In the free version there are around 25 such text styles.
Lastly, bottom panel just below the video field has timeline options. From here, you can add new video, limit the texts to exact time-stamp, and use features like mute, color filters, trim video, etc.
The + sign in front allows adding videos, audios, and captions in selected part. The bottom right has a zoom in/out, and fit to width button. Sadly, this won’t work on video itself, but only for the lower time-stamp region.
Now, for the critic part, there are lots of things missing compared to regular video editor found on similar cloud products. These are undo/redo buttons, frame feature, auto-enhance, no direct icons of crop/trim/rotate, multiple session saving, and many more provided in top products like Animoto, Powtoon, etc.
This, when coupled with a slow responsive UI, leaves a very mediocre impression of this video creator. There are still many complicated things we haven’t mentioned here, which top video creators have inside them.
For a full feature list, the free version will suffice. There are only minor differences compared to pro-plans.
Regardless of good or bad, we still need to check whatever perks this tool possess. Starting with the text editor, users can add different styled texts into a particular section of videos.
For that, use the bottom panel for selecting time-span of adding your text. Select the text region on the video screen, and then use the right panel for choosing style and animation of this text. Sadly, such a thing is not available.
They must have added an option to personalize this theme. Many other similar products like Powtoon, and Animoto have an alternative to change animations, background layers, etc. in it. Only one thing you can change in text editor, i.e. font shape and color.
In regard to above, the selections are limited. Although, you can upload your custom fonts, which is a plus point. Unlike popular text editors, the position mover is restricted. Since the screen is divided into grid matrices, use placement matrix to set a location for your text from any one of the six matrices.
Now on the top section, we also have color filters. These color filters cover entire screen of the video. Users cannot pick multiple shades here. There are no popular preset color filters like sepia, cyan, night mode, negative, etc.
From the time-stamp, you can compress play time. However, custom time input must have been given. You can delete or duplicate these time-stamps too.
Lastly, there is a button to upload watermarks. This is a premium-only feature, and so free users have no access to imprint their videos.
But, there are many free video converters and editor that can watermark your video, and so restricting this seemed useless. They could have added more themes and effects for premium users, with better editing feature.
Other than this, Promo.com hasn’t given any useful tools. To be honest, these features can be efficiently utilized to form a free video creator. We hope that they improve it drastically, and expand its features than current nominal ones.
The next tab Media, is once again a repetitive function. Instead of here, it can be given in the main menu too. There are three picks for library, upload, and favorites videos. Use them to insert videos between snap shots directly.
The last part is adding music to your videos. In case you are making a slideshow from images, it is safer to enter some music in it. Talking of that, users can add music either from the stock library, or they can upload their own.
The music stock pile was decent. You can sort out the ones you like with filter button. There is single con that we need to highlight. The thing is, an added music/audio is played during the entire video. You cannot trim it for a specified time, or merge multiple audio files into it.
This is again a hurdle for advanced users. Regardless, Promo.com still needs to upsurge advanced editing options in this interface. In our use, we found so many things missing in it.
To be honest, this looks like it is made for typical social media noobs. There are many other advanced video editors like Powtoon, Doodly, Animoto, etc., for pro-users. Promo.com still has a long way to go.
Once you are finished with all texts, logos, and music; you can now use the Save & Preview button. From here, the videos after conversion are sent to the draft section. If you are in the premium plan, you can directly publish it.
Since core features of this video creator are tested, we can now look at some other tools given by Promo.com. As mentioned earlier, Promo.com has given a separate tools section over the top menu bar.
In this part, they have a Video Maker, Image Resizer, Calendar, and a Facebook Video Maker. Out of these, they just repacked the above video editor into separate menu as video maker. Sneaky, isn’t it?
Then comes the image resizer. Similar to any image resizer, this feature permits users to change image size, orientation, mirror effects, etc..
Before that, you are asked to upload a photo for resizing, which supports all top image formats. Then, there is an option to customize the size of a pic. From here, there are usual picks like width, height, X-scale, Y-scale, and Lock aspect ratio.
There is a zoom button below the picture, with a crop area. This can help adjust faces ,and other pics to be within a cropped region.
Other than that, there are no filters for images; no editing features like sharpen, auto-color, auto-brightness, etc. There are many preset templates for resizing these pics just below this.
They are mainly for social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, etc. These templates have sizes for cover photos, profile pictures, news feeds, ads, etc. All in all, with a single click, users can resize an image.
Overall, this image resizer was less than ordinary. The ensuing feature is one of the things that ride current social media. It is a thing that helps recalling important dates, along with other plans on a day.
This is the Calendar Feature. Within this, Promo.com has introduced a simple calendar to remember dates and essential days. Now, despite being so simple, they have included many important dates in it.
From labor day, remembrance day, to women’s day, etc., most of the internationally celebrated days are included in this calendar. For few specific days, they have already included related videos which we can use directly.
However, as seen before, it still lacks sophisticated customization. One of them is ability to edit the given calendar. Along with that, we also need an alarm or reminder feature. Since it lacks these features, they have given an option to compensate for that.
Users can also use the Calendar Sync button to calibrate their calendar with other plugins. These include simplified calendar setups in Apple, Google, Outlook, Yahoo, etc. You can integrate any native calendar app with it.
Now, after we are done blabbering fake emotions and remembrance on social media, the final part is to see a Cover Video Creator.
Like always, cover videos on various social media are a new fad. This feature is mostly used on Facebook. For that, we can create cover videos on Facebook, which is very novice.
Users just need to pick a video from any collection and download it. If they want to edit it further, they can do so using Promo.com video editor. Once done, just upload it on your Facebook timeline, and tadaa!
There are 100s of video to choose from, and many more to be added with time. With this, we conclude video creating features in Promo.com.
In our final words for Promo.com, we would sadly convey that it had an underwhelming impression. Apart from very basic video editing, which is possible in many free cloud and offline tools, there was nothing significant in it.
Yes, the stock images and videos are useful if you don’t want to scrape it from the beginning. It really lacked complex editing features. Another annoying thing was super-slow UI.
They have designed the UI nicely, but it is pretty sluggish. Sometimes you feel like things got stuck. This has to be addressed as top priority by Promo.com. Once done with this, they can shift focus on adding more innovative options in video creator.
As mentioned in almost every section, things are lacking in it, when matched to top products like Wave.Video, Renderforest, Adobe Spark, Animoto, Moovely, Powtoon, etc.
But, they are still new in the market, and so we wish that they work hard to make this a full-fledged video creator. They can add further integrations with other tools, and also for social media in it.
Adding shapes, effects, multiple audios, audio effects, image optimization, and such things will make the product further sought out. Till then, it is not for us to recommend it. We can hope to change this review one day, when Promo.com enhances their entire setup with wonderful features.