Chime’s Slowdown Highlights Limits of Bank DisruptorsRead more

Art by Shane Burke

How Creators Are Making Money From ByteDance-owned CapCut

Photo: Art by Shane Burke

So many TikTok videos on my For You Page the last few weeks have featured a CapCut overlay of “The Last of Us” actor Pedro Pascal eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The template, made on the app owned by TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, has been used more than 1.15 million times on TikTok and other apps, according to metrics from the CapCut app. 

The viral spread of the Pascal-PB&J template illustrates the recent surge in popularity of CapCut. The video-editing app, launched globally in 2020, has skyrocketed to the top of Apple’s App Store free-app charts in recent weeks, an indicator of recent popularity and number of downloads. That’s thanks to frames or templates—sometimes made from an existing YouTube video, like the one featuring Pascal—that CapCut users can overlay on their vertical videos and export directly into TikTok or other social media apps. Other hit templates have included dancing dogs featured in an animated “Barbie” film and moon phases determining soulmate compatibility.

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