What is it? Biteable is a free online video maker that allows users to create snappy animations in minutes, and customise them by adding text, images and sound.
How is it of use to journalists? While publishers are trying to figure out the role video should play in their output, research has shown that when it comes to news, audiences still prefer text – people would rather watch other types of video, such as lifestyle or entertainment.
Biteable is a useful tool for creating short explainer videos, teasing or promoting an upcoming story, project or event.
How does it work? First, sign up for a free Biteable account. This will give you easy access to all the videos you create using the platform and allow you to go back and edit or duplicate a project at any time.
In the 'My Videos' panel, click on 'create new video' and give your project a title. Next, choose your first scene to get started.
You can have as many scenes as you would like, and there are three types of format you can choose from: animation, footage and still image, which you can mix and match.
Each section offers a variety of options, across categories such as education, technology or travel, and you can narrow them down by selecting one or more categories from the menu on the left hand side.
The 'image' option allows you to upload your own images from your computer, in a .png, .jpg or .gif format, up to 3MB in size.
Hover over each animation to preview the motion and click on it to add it to your video.
For each scene added, you can add text, which Biteable recommends keeping to a maximum of 50 characters, although it is possible to have more.
You can preview your text and animation together, although there are no options currently to change the text's alignment in the scene or the font style.
Using the menu at the top, click 'colour' to change the colour palette of your animated scene and text from a list of pre-set options, or tailor it in the 'custom colours menu', which allows you to change the colour of the font and the background(s).
Next, go to the 'music' tab to add a soundtrack to your video from the existing list, or upload your own track, in an .mp3 format up to 6MB.
Once you're happy with the options, the fourth and final tab, 'preview', is where Biteable will build your video.
The platform will then take roughly one minute per scene to render your project, which can then be shared on Facebook, Twitter or downloaded to your computer. You can also go back and edit your project once it has been exported, making it easy to re-arrange scenes or change the soundtrack.
However, it is worth knowing the free version of the software will leave a watermark on your videos and removing it costs $99 (£74) per year. Here's an example video I made using Biteable:
Have you tried Biteable or any other tools for animated videos? Tweet us @journalismnews – and if you prefer to edit and produce videos on your mobile device, we've got you covered too: check out #mojomonday, our weekly guide of tools, tips and features on the latest developments in mobile journalism.
Free daily newsletter
- Martin Baron: 'There is a business case in addition to the moral case for investigative journalism'
- How NBC News designs digital products with the audience in mind
- Tool for journalists: Enigma Public, for finding and analysing public datasets
- Tool for journalists: Opt In, for newsletter optimisation
- New tool from Google helps you to visualise data using GIFs