Enter Animaker, a game-changing DIY content creation platform that combines user-centric design and emerging technologies like NLPs and Generative AI to empower individuals and businesses to effortlessly create captivating animations, videos, and audio.
The Birth of Animaker
Animaker was born out of Raghavan’s frustration with the traditional video-making processes. Before starting Animaker in 2014, he used to run a successful video production company and experienced challenges posed by the existing video editing tools that followed the same “quarter-century-old video-making process.”
“Designers struggled to learn and use professional tools to deliver quality videos. Though other software tools gave better user experience, there were a lot of missing pieces, and needed fixing,” says Raghavan.
This was a time when the demand for videos and video consumption was skyrocketing, and with this, challenges such as the availability of pro-designers, cost factor, and time constraints became high while building visual creatives. This was the make-or-break situation which prompted Raghavan to launch Animaker.
Talking about funding, Raghavan said, “Our previous successful company Bode Animation funded Animaker. So in that way, we are lucky to start. If your unit economics, especially cash flow, is well projected, you can get out of any tough situations in the initial days.”
Enhancing User-Adoption and Retention
To gain initial traction with users, the Animaker team decided to do away with an MVP and plunged head-first into launching a full-scale product in the market. The reason was simple.
He also has another unique way to enhance user adoption and retention.
“We always limit our free vs premium subscriptions/accounts based on usage, not based on features, so users can consume the value better and make decisions easier.”
By allowing users to consume the full value of the platform, Animaker simplifies decision-making and encourages continued engagement. This user-friendly approach has contributed to their success in attracting and retaining a diverse range of users, from beginners to advanced video creators.
Customer feedback plays a pivotal role in shaping Animaker’s product decisions. Animaker was founded on the principle of solving user problems and continues to prioritize and listen to customers first.
Raghavan believes that for creative platforms like Animaker, it is essential to prioritize features according to users’ expertise and experience level. This is the most difficult and important part of product development.
Raghavan finds it very important to ideate on feature prioritization with product teams at the beginning of development to give clarity on what is needed. He says, “This helps set a segment, a time frame, and within that period, we create sub-segments and train users.”
Overcoming Challenges and Embracing Growth
Animaker has faced its fair share of challenges during its journey. The two major struggles were transitioning from Flash to HTML5 and expanding from a single product to a multi-product lineup.
Raghavan advises product founders who are scaling to make careful decisions, select the right technologies and treat each new product as a fresh startup.
Talking about moving from Flash to HTML5, Raghavan says, “It was a very challenging decision to design your architecture, especially on top of new trending technology because most of the time they are not future-proof. But luckily, we picked the right tech stack in the early days, which saved a lot of time later.”
Staying Ahead in a Competitive Landscape
In a rapidly evolving market, Animaker and its product offerings compete directly with industry giants like Adobe, Canva, and other established players. For instance, Picmaker competes with Canva, Sproutsocial and Hootsuite. Getshow.io competes with Intercom and Mailchimp.
“Animaker’s Picmaker is the world’s first vertically aligned product for social media marketers that includes all new trends of Social Media design and marketing. Getshow is the first tool to include customer data, video data and product data, all in one place to run email and video campaigns.”
“We don’t have the habit of chasing new technology and trying to build products around it. We do the reverse. We pick the most impossible problem and try to solve using the emerging technology out there in the best way possible,” he adds.
Video is the Future
Raghavan strongly believes that “‘video creation is the future”, and the only way to build for the future is by placing their customer’s success metrics as their north star metrics.
Jobs in video creation are already amongst the highest-paying in the content creation industry. Raghavan says that the industry is changing rapidly owing to the proliferation of natural language programs (NLPs) and Generative AI.
“The market is changing so fast, especially because of Generative AI. Animaker, with the launch of Steve AI is well-positioned to grow in this trend. I think the future is not for AI or humans, but more favorable for humans who use AI.”
Keeping pace with the developments in AI, Animaker is also launching or already launched a slew of AI-enabled tools for content creation.
Animaker’s audio-to-video AI engine operates on top of Steve AI, poised to be a big deal for podcast creators and music artists. Picmaker’s new Social box – One Inbox for customer communication, helps content creators to interact with followers and turn them into fans using the power of AI and visuals. To top it all, Animaker’s Vmaker is launching AI Video Editor to reduce editing time from hours to minutes!
Raghavan says that emerging technology may not completely change anything in our market, but the positive outcomes of it will. Improvement in vision computing will impact the research of computer vision and the speed it solves the problem.
However, he feels that companies similar to Animaker’s size must focus not just on trends but also prioritization – How to take multiple stakeholder conversations in building new features but still maintain the least time to hit the market.
Animaker’s journey from a personal frustration to a market-disrupting force is a testament to the power of innovative thinking, customer-centricity, and a design-first approach. By breaking barriers, embracing emerging technologies, and putting the user at the center of their development process, Animaker has redefined video creation.
As they continue to evolve, Animaker is set to shape the future of video creation and empower individuals and businesses to unleash their creativity through captivating videos.