Sign up here to receive our free Work Tech newsletter in your inbox.

On social media, video is more important than ever, whether it’s the vertical format now ubiquitous on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube shorts or more traditional marketing videos on feeds across platforms. Two-thirds of social media users rate short-form videos to be the most engaging content online, according to a report from the social-media management platform Sprout. With new artificial intelligence-powered video editing tools, anyone can create simple videos without deep expertise. After trying several platforms, we recommend Runway and Lumen5.

Lumen5 is our pick for marketing and social teams hoping to create quality content quickly using templates and automated processes, with no prior video editing experience required. Runway is best for those who want to harness the full power of generative AI within their video-editing platform and either have some prior experience with editing or are willing to learn a somewhat more involved platform.

Both of our picks have multiple subscription levels, with a free version to try out the platform. (See the Pricing Deep Dive section below for more on how to choose a subscription tier for your team’s needs.)

Note: This review focuses on the tools available to marketing and social media teams hoping to adopt new tools to create simple videos to post online—the equivalent of design tools like Canva and Figma that made graphic design accessible to individuals and resource-constrained teams. It doesn’t include AI software geared towards experienced editors and content creators, many of whom have already incorporated AI-powered tools to speed up workflows and generate new kinds of footage, like that featured in Coca-Cola’s viral ‘Masterpiece’ commercial.

Our picks:


Lumen5 is primarily a tool for turning text—such as a blog post, article, or research paper—into video. It automatically summarizes longer texts and uses AI to create captions, match footage and images, and cut the script into scenes. Users can also upload their own images and footage to place in the video.


  • Lumen5 is the easiest to use among all the platforms we tested. The menus and features are well-organized, attractive, and intuitive, and the tutorials are clear and easy to access. Both features lessen the learning curve for users without video-editing experience to learn the platform.
  • The AI-powered transcription, text-to-video editing features, and stock footage to keyword matching tools all worked as well or better than the same features on other software. It boasts an impressive set of AI-powered capabilities even without generative AI, or algorithms that can generate new content versus manipulating existing audio, video, or images.
  • The brand kit on the starter pricing level and above allows marketing and social teams to easily produce videos in line with their brand’s look and feel.


  • There isn’t a lot of flexibility in the templates and designs, and customization is limited largely to colors and fonts.
  • We experienced some performance issues when uploading larger files that required us to restart the program.


Runway is a video-editing platform that offers a full suite of AI tools, which they call their “AI Magic Tools,” including the ability to generate video and images, train custom models to generate images based on existing data sets, erase backgrounds and objects, generate transcripts, and automatically detect scenes in longer videos to cut into shorter clips.


  • Runway offers the most extensive and advanced set of AI tools out of all the platforms we tested.
  • The high degree of customization and broad set of editing tools, both AI-powered and otherwise, allows users a significant amount of flexibility in creating content.


  • The video generation is limited to 15-second clips, and like all generative AI, it isn’t perfect. We noticed mistakes in synching face movement to audio, minor errors in object recognition, and misidentification of a Black speaker’s race.
  • The platform is not the most beginner-friendly. If Runway is your first introduction to video editing, it may take some time with tutorials and experimentation before you feel confident in manipulating all of the features.

Read the full review at

Read more from Charter

The handbook for the future of work, delivered to your inbox.