Kapwing is a free online video editor for casual creators and creative professionals. We’re a startup and have grown quickly since launching in October 2017; now, more than 17,000 clips are created on Kapwing every day. Kapwing’s customers are generally creative professionals without any formal video expertise, some from big companies like Sony and most from smaller businesses, nonprofits, and schools.
What can you do with Kapwing? Kapwing helps people create visual content and apply post-production edits to video from the browser. We offer a suite of free media tools centered around the Studio and the Video Maker. Kapwing also has the web’s most popular video meme generator and open captions creator.
There are lots of video editing options out there on the market, each with its own tradeoffs and price-tag. In this article, I want to describe why I think Kapwing is the best video editing software for beginners and people making videos for the first time.
Kapwing is designed for speed. We removed the fancy options and high-precision processing in favor of quick defaults.
As a result, Kapwing accelerates the tasks you do everyday. You don’t need to open a slow-loading desktop program for simple tasks like trimming and resizing videos. Another example: You can import videos and music directly from YouTube URLs. This speeds up your workflow significantly since you don’t need to download content that’s already online.
We’ve invested a lot in performance, which means Kapwing’s servers can often process your video edits faster than your computer can. Your Kapwing videos are processed in the cloud, so it won’t heat up your computer or crash your phone.
Takeaway: Kapwing saves you time.
2. No installation
Kapwing loads instantly in your browser — there’s no installation process or start-up time. You don’t need to download an app that will take up valuable space on your phone or computer. Plus, it’s always up to date so you won’t get annoying software update notifications.
Takeaway: It takes less time to start and maintain Kapwing, which is ideal for people just getting started.
3. No registration or sign in
On Kapwing, people can make and edit photos, videos, and GIFs without entering an email address and password. We don’t collect personal data unless it provides value for you, like saving videos for later or getting receipts. A Kapwing Account is not required. This is especially important for privacy-sensitive, like elementary school classes.
Takeaway: Try it out without giving us your email address.
4. Unbundled tasks
Kapwing was designed around tasks instead of tools. Instead of having one tool that you need to use sideways for different use cases, we’ve customized the features for your workflows.
Let’s say that you need to make a Live Photo longer to publish it to Instagram. All you need is a tool to loop your Live Photo multiple times to meet the 3 second requirement. Kapwing has a tool that helps you complete that task in three clicks: upload, select the number of loops, download. Creators save a ton of time they would have spent figuring out how to duplicate the footage and append clips together without a transition.
Takeaway: Get what you need without the steep learning curve.
5. Works on all devices
Unlike iMovie or Windows Movie Maker, Kapwing works on any kind of internet-connected device (phone, computer, Chromebook, tablet, etc). You can recommend it to everyone since it works on Macs and PCs, Android and iOS. Since Kapwing works in the cloud, users can access the benefits of high-end hardware without using a fancy laptop.
Kapwing’s website responds to the size of your screen such that it’s intuitive on mobile and desktop. Users only have to learn how to use the tools once rather than learning new software every time they switch devices.
Takeaway: Access Kapwing anywhere: on your tablet, computer, and on the go.
With 25-year-old founders, Kapwing was designed for modern social media formats. We support vertical (9:16) video, which is essential for creating Snaps, IGTV videos, and Instagram Stories. We love memes. We moved away from stale animations like the Ken Burns effects and mimicked more familiar user interfaces like Google Docs.
Kapwing supports GIFs, graphics, memes, videos, and images so that you don’t have to worry about file formats.
Takeaway: Make the cool formats you actually want to make.
7. Straight-forward Tutorials
Kapwing’s video editing resource library, YouTube channel, and Medium publication help you explore the tools, get inspiration, and learn from the experts. Many of the tutorials contain step-by-step instructions that are easy for beginners to follow. There’s no jargon, technical assumptions, or complex steps.
Kapwing’s template collections, moreover, give creators a starting point for beautiful videos and graphics. If you’re not sure what you want to make, browse our collections to get inspiration and drop your content into modern layouts.
Takeaway: Explore our intuitive tutorials to learn more and templates to get started.
8. Real-time Support
All of our features have a help widget embedded in the corner. When you ask us for help, you’re getting a direct line to me (CEO) or Tara (Head of Creative Operations), not a third-party customer support agent. We’re in-house experts in the product and can give you step-by-step help and investigate issues you’re experiencing in real-time.
Takeaway: Get help when you need it.
9. View and Edit from a URLs
Since Kapwing hosts all of the edited videos, users can share the URL to their creation rather than downloading and emailing huge video files. They can also edit videos they’ve created in the past, enabling smooth collaboration with colleagues, remixing others content, and fixing mistakes.
Because you can edit, replace, and remix videos made on Kapwing, it’s an awesome platform for branded scaling video production. Teams can make a reuseable template that they recycle with different content.
Takeaway: View and edit all of your videos in the Cloud.
10. Free, Forever
Kapwing is free and always will be. There’s no free trial — all of our features are available to any user at no cost.
Takeaway: $0 every time.
11. Ad Free
Unlike other websites that help people edit and create video, Kapwing doesn’t have any pre- or post-roll ads, spammy download buttons, or distracting third-party content. We developed the website ourselves in-house and fund it through the Kapwing Pro payments, so we don’t rely on ad clicks for revenue.
Takeaway: No advertisements.
12. Real-Time Preview –> Simplicity
As you apply different edits, Kapwing has a real-time preview of what your output video will look like. This takes the guess work out of video editing – you can see the final product as you go. Users have full creative control.
As a result, it’s easy to learn and use the tools since you can experiment with different options and tools. Even someone with no video editing expertise should find Kapwing intuitive and straightforward. The best way to experience this is to try out the tools yourself!
Takeaway: Second-graders use Kapwing every day. So can you.
Tradeoffs: Who shouldn’t use Kapwing?
Kapwing isn’t perfect for everyone — we’ve designed the product with casual creators and creative professionals in mind. Here are the features and tasks that Kapwing does not support:
- Large video files: Kapwing is not ideal for long or very high resolution videos. Users cannot upload files that are longer than 30 minutes or larger than 300 MB.
- Motion Graphics: Kapwing does not yet have animation or motion tools, so if you’re dreaming of fancy animations (things flying across the screen) you’ll need to find them elsewhere. We do have tools for making text, shapes, images, etc appear and disappear at different times in the video.
- Pixel-level adjustment: Although Kapwing has tools for adding overlays and correcting color, but we don’t yet enable creators to tweak pixels in their video clips.
Lastly, Kapwing free videos and photos have a watermark on the output. It looks like this:
We think the watermark is cute, discreet, and generally not distracting from your content, and we’re happy for users to share the watermarked version for free. But every video does cost us money, and we need to fund the growth and improvements on the Kapwing software. To remove the watermark, user can pay a one-time fee or subscribe to the Kapwing Pro plan for unlimited videos without a watermark. Right now, Kapwing Pro costs $20/month. Read more about Kapwing pricing.
As the CEO of Kapwing, I often get questions from friends, investors, and potential customers about what makes Kapwing different than the existing options. Hopefully this article clarifies why I believe Kapwing is a 10x improvement on software for creators.
Please feel free to reach out to me (Julia [at] kapwing dot com) if you have any other questions or want more information. I’m always happy to chat with people who are making video for the first time!