As we approach the end of 2012, many of us take the time to reflect on what we did over the past 12 months — the highs, the lows, and fun times, and the accomplishments. A lot of that information is shared with friends on Facebook and offers up a chance to get a larger perspective about what happened this year.

To help share that experience with friends and family, Animoto has launched a new feature called “Best in 2012 Facebook video” that enables anyone to create their own highlight reel.

screenshot inkwell style selected.png.png.png 730x475 Animoto launches Best in 2012, a DIY way to create a yearly recap video using Facebook photos

Known for being a service that takes photos from a variety of sources, including Instagram, Flickr, Facebook, Smugmug, Photobucket, and Picasa, and creates a video clip that can be shared across the major social networks, Animoto wanted to allow people to collect the best moments of the past year and create a 1 minute-long video of their top moments as determined through Facebook’s Open Graph.

Anyone interested in creating this free video can go to Animoto’s site and connect their Facebook account to the service. Yes, you need to be a member to use this service, but if you go to the site and connect with Facebook, the company says that it will kill two birds with one stone (not literally) and you’ll be registered and on your way to creating your own video. Approximately a minute later, it parses through all the photos that the user is tagged in, the most popular ones based on number of Likes and comments, and produced a video for people to review.

screenshot Best of 2012 Facebook Video Player.png.png.png 730x799 Animoto launches Best in 2012, a DIY way to create a yearly recap video using Facebook photos

The video is completely private and can be edited after initially compiled. Brad Jefferson, Animoto’s CEO and co-founder, tells us that it’s looking to help eliminate the thought of creation anxiety — the phenomenon whereby people tend to have problems starting a project, but are able to handle it when it has been started for them. The user has a lot of control of the final product, which makes sense because it’s their recap video: photos can be edited, video clips can be added, music changed, captions updated, and much more.

Right now, only photos can be used to create the first draft of the recap video — yes, we did mention video clips above, but those can only be added after it’s been initially compiled.

With over 300 million photos on Facebook, chances are that a single user has few photos that really represented what happened over the past year. And while Animoto’s algorithm is all about importing popular photos, it is also going to be tweaking it in the future depending on people’s behaviors with click-through and sharing. Jefferson says that with Facebook, it was all about the social data and that’s why he chose to use that in this service — it just made sense because where else are you going to share photos about your life and have it cataloged? If anything, Facebook’s Timeline was probably a great sign that something like this should have been done.

Animoto has created videos with over 30 million phots and says that it’s focused on finding ways to “blow people away and impress them with the video quality”.

Photo credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images