Chances are when scrolling on TikTok or Instagram you’ve come across a vertical video that’s been edited by CapCut. It’s a budding editing app from ByteDance, meaning TikTok isn’t the only successful app to come out of the Chinese-based parent company. Its popularity is evident in the numbers–CapCut is climbing the U.S. app store charts with over 200 million monthly active users.
As platforms like TikTok, Instagram and YouTube continue to expand on vertical-video content, more users are attempting to make their own videos, and apps like CapCut are filling the gap. CapCut gives users a variety of user-friendly editing options, like distinct captions and effects, to spice up their vertical videos.
While TikTok has its own in-app editing features, CapCut, which can be downloaded for free, helps when trying to make viral content that stands out in the oversaturated social media world.
CapCut’s simple nature doesn’t offer as much as more advanced editing platforms like Adobe Premiere or FinalCutPro, but the app makes editing more accessible to amateurs, and even easier for proper editors. “I’m going to use one of those CapCut templates because yes I am a film editor, but I’m too lazy to make a real edit and use Premiere Pro,” writes one user on Twitter.
The original version of the app was named JianYing, and was widely popular for China-based users. In 2020, ByteDance rebranded the app to CapCut and made it available globally.
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CapCut has capitalized on sister company TikTok being the face of vertical-video platforms. On TikTok, the official CapCut account has nearly 10 million followers, with its corresponding hashtag hosting thousands of billions of views on videos that have used the editing app. ByteDance self-promotes CapCut within the TikTok app using language like, “Everyone can be a creator by using CapCut. Start creating your cool video today.”
There are several YouTube tutorials with millions of views on how to create “aesthetic” vertical video content with CapCut—offering step-by-step instructions to viewers on how to navigate the app to add templates, audio and text, transitions, sticker overlays and more.
Concerns are imminent for the editing app, as ByteDance is already on the radar for privacy and security matters for TikTok. The Biden administration and congressional lawmakers are currently calling for an outright ban on TikTok in the U.S. due to their fear that ByteDance and potentially the Chinese government are accessing users’ data. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew appeared before a panel of House Commerce Committee members last week to defend the safety of the app.
“It is our commitment to this committee and all our users that we will keep [TikTok] free from any manipulation by any government,” said Chew.
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