First impressions: Shakr.com

Video editing has gotten insanely easy (even since I started doing it a few years back). This is always a good thing as it means more people can get started and learn about editing no matter what their background is.

I think a huge leap in ease-of-editing was when Apple released iMovie '11 with a built-in trailer creator. It made it ridiculously simple to drop in a few assets, and have a slick trailer built right in front of your very eyes.

Well, Shakr are doing something very similar, and arguably better.

Their online editing platform allows you to pick a template, throw in a few images/videos/pieces of text and next thing you know, your video is ready to share and embed.

 

I think this is perfect for:

  • Videographers who love to shoot, but don't have time to edit.
  • Videographers who want to turn around a project quickly, or even just send a sample to the client (and edit the full video later).
  • Business owners who have no idea how to put something like this together.
  • Families who want to make a quick montage, but don't have the skills or the equipment.

 

Let's get straight into what I liked about it, and where I think it needs some improvements. 

 

I love:

Easy user interface

This is extremely important. Getting started with Shakr is as easy as watching a 2 minute intro video. You don't even need to do that as it will make perfect sense when you see the editor.

Variation of templates

There are a decent amount of templates already available within Shakr. Being an online platform means that these can be forever updated. Have a browse through them here and see which ones you like!

Here's one I knocked together in a few minutes using the 'Party and Event Poster' template.

Build-now-pay-later

It's free to jump in and play around. You can even build any project you want and see how it looks (watermarked of course, but that's okay).

Fast render and embed

Once you have completed your project, it jumps on a render queue and Shakr will email you when it's ready - for me it was ready within a minute!

Already online

Using an online platform saves all of those wasted minutes uploading your large video file. It's already online, ready to share and easy to embed on your site. You can also download the completed project to pop it on YouTube.

Pricing

Most templates are around $60 to download a watermark-free video. As a one-off purchase for a high quality video, this is perfectly reasonable. (However, I talk a little more about pricing below).

 

I don't love

Pricing

The $60 payment doesn't unlock the template for future use. You are instead paying for the completed edit that you just made. If you wanted to make a whole range of videos with the same template, you'll have to pay $60 each time. This isn't horrendous expensive, but it will certainly add up.

Bad links on the site

I found a few little quirks when clicking on links throughout the site. They brought me to weird places that I didn't expect. This is likely just a case-by-case basis and it doesn't hugely get in the way of the site's main functions. 

Failed video loads

The videos seem a little temperamental at the minute. I've gotten a few 'failed to load' messages, but a refresh fixes this problem.

Drop picture into text box

An odd little thing in the edit UI is that it says 'Place image here' on the right hand side (see image below), when really it is referring to the box on the viewer. Dropping an image on the 'Place image here' text does nothing. Minor issue, but certainly fixable.

Site loads slow

I'm fairly confident this isn't my internet, but I did find that pages take a little longer than I would like to load. It can make site-navigation mildly frustrating, especially if you want to work fast.


My main concern at first was 'Does this put videographers like me out of business?'. Of course the answer is no, but it's worth considering.

If clients can quickly and easily make professional videos at a low price, why would they need to call us video makers?

I don't think I need to answer that question as we all know that creativity, originality and expertise will mean that Shakr cannot compete with a freelance or in-house videographer.

What it can do is bring high-end and polished pieces of work straight to the hands of people who don't have the knowledge, time or perhaps patience to learn Final Cut Pro in order to make a family holiday montage or a business promo.

I embrace these simple tools as they open up more points of entry for all ages, and enlighten people to how wonderful video really is for personal and business use.


I'd love to know if you have used Shakr and what are you thoughts on it? Also, are there other platforms like it that you have used? Let me know in the comments!

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