You don't need editing skills to create polished videos with Adobe Spark

In the world of social media, video is killing the photo star. According to Adobe, video is becoming the new form of visual communication, and will account for 80 percent of Internet traffic worldwide by 2019. This isn’t surprising to anyone who uses a social network – from Instagram and Snapchat, to Facebook and Twitter. In the past year, the aforementioned networks have stepped up their services to include support for user-generated video content (let’s also not forget about YouTube).

Adobe has been focusing on the social space with its Spark “storytelling” mobile (iOS) and web-based apps that let anyone – whether you’re an “influencer,” small business, or just a casual user – create high-design, impactful graphics for social media, all for free.

“Spark users have already created more than 10 million social posts, web pages, and videos, and those stories are read, watched, and viewed by almost two million people every month,” said Aubrey Cattell, Adobe’s general manager for Spark products, in a blog post.

Recognizing that video is playing a bigger role, Adobe is adding new features to the Spark Video app to make it more in line with video features found in apps like Instagram, Flipagram, or GoPro Quik.

Despite its name, Spark Video didn’t actually support video (the app was formerly known as Adobe Voice). Instead, it allowed users to create short videos using still images and audio, making it more like a slideshow than an actual moving image. With the update, users can now incorporate video clips from their phones, tablets, or computers, along with photos, text, icons, music, and even narration.

If you’ve uploaded videos to Instagram or Snapchat, you basically know the process with Spark Video. You can easily trim a clip, picking a start and end point, or breaking it into different segments. The app also lets you easily align an audio narration to whichever part of the video you want. This is ideal for, say, a cooking demonstration, which Adobe shows in the sample video above. You can also add your own tunes or use one that’s included in the app.

You don’t need an Adobe ID account, but if you have one, you can use that to log in, or just sign up using one of the various login options. Upon launch, you are presented with the Inspiration tab, where you’ll find a quick tutorial (you really don’t need it; it’s that simple) along with videos made by other Spark users. The Inspiration videos give users ideas on how to create videos, whether it’s educational/instructional or a marketing pitch for a business. The My Videos tab is where your creations are found, and they are stored in the cloud (you can also download them to your phone or computer).

To start, simply hit the “plus” icon. You can either start from scratch, or use one of the story templates — like “promote an idea,” “personal growth,” or “teach a lesson” — to help you get going. From there, you can start building your story by creating a slide. You can add video, photos, icons, or text to the slide; edit the attached content (clip, zoom, pan, etc.); set the length of the segment; and hold the microphone button to record narration. Sliding your finger left or pressing the “plus” icon starts a new slide. You can also change the layout for each slide, font/theme, and music. Along the bottom is the clip timeline, which you can preview by pressing the “play” icon.

Once you’re done, you hit the share button, add a title and subtitle, credit info, and category. You can then share to Facebook or Twitter; send via email, text message, or URL; or copy to your phone or computer. All projects are automatically synced to the cloud, so you can start on an iPhone or iPad and finish later on a computer.

If you use a template, the app guides you on what you might want to include on each slide. For example, with “teach a lesson,” the first slide asks what it is you are trying to teach — an overview. The next slide tells you describe the concept, followed by an example, explanation, and so on. The templates are useful for when you want to create a video, but aren’t sure what kind. It also helps you keep your messaging on point.

We created this short clip using videos on our phone, and the process from start to finish took less than 10 minutes. Of course, you could spend more time polishing and perfecting a video it to your liking, but it doesn’t take that much effort to create a quick video that tells a story. Here’s our video:

In terms of quick video creation tools, it’s by far one of the easiest to use (remember, we were using our phone, but it’s even easier if you have a keyboard and mouse). Being that it’s from Adobe, it also has a level of professional polish that you won’t find in many other similar apps. The user interface is elegant, and at no point did we have to reference the tutorial on how to use a function. It’s not a heavy-duty video editor by any means, but for anyone who wants to build a quick video, it does the job. If we have to complain about something, it’s the “Made with Adobe Spark Video” watermark that’s automatically added at the end — and there doesn’t seem to be a way to remove it.

Download for iOS

Check out these other videos, provided by Adobe:


Using A.I., Lightroom can now boost the resolution of RAW photos

Need to eek a bit more resolution out of a RAW file? Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw can help with a new feature called Detail Enhance. The tool uses A.I. in the demosaicing process to enhance details and reduce artifacts.

Need a date for Valentine's Day? Cozy up with the best dating apps of 2019

Everyone knows online dating can be stressful, time-consuming, and downright awful. Check out our top picks for the best dating apps, so you can streamline the process and find the right date, whatever you're looking for.

These 30 useful apps are absolutely essential for Mac lovers

There are literally hundreds of thousands of great software programs compatible with MacOS, but which should you download? Look no further than our list of the best Mac apps you can find.

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.
Movies & TV

The best movies on Amazon Prime right now (February 2019)

Prime Video provides subscribers with access to a host of fantastic films, but sorting through the catalog can be an undertaking. Luckily, we've done the work for you. Here are the best movies on Amazon Prime Video right now.

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.
Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.

Corel VideoStudio adds tools for customizing color in simple video edits

VideoStudio is Corel's more consumer-oriented video editor but the software recently gained advanced color correction tools. The update adds custom transitions, along with speeding up performance, and adding new shortcuts.

500px reveals almost 15 million users are caught up in security breach

Almost 15 million members of portfolio website 500px have been caught up in a security breach. The hack occurred in 2018 but was only discovered last week. Users are being told to change their 500px password as soon as possible.

Olympus packs an enormous zoom ability in its latest interchangeable lens

The Olympus Digital ED M.Zuiko 12-200mm F/3.5-6.3 has the widest zoom range of any interchangeable lens with a 16.6x zoom. The lens, which covers a 24-400mm equivalent, is also weather sealed.

Nikon brings a classic workhorse lens to the Z series with new 24-70mm f/2.8 S

The Nikon Z series finally has a bright zoom available without an adapter. The Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S offers new coatings and more customizable controls in a smaller, lighter body than the comparable F-mount lens.

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.