Launch Byte, and you will find all the same old trappings of video seize apps. There’s your feed with continually looping six-second movies, an Discover web page the place you possibly can take a look at different accounts, an Exercise web page with the same old “like” and “comply with” notifications, a private profile web page and, in fact, the middle digicam button, which is what you’d use to seize your six-second artworks.


Very similar to Vine of yore, the interface is pretty easy — there aren’t any selfie filters or loopy results right here. You may, in fact, remix current movies out of your digicam roll, and there’s a Ghost Mode, which helps with positioning in time-lapse or stop-motion movies. However in any other case, the creativity is as much as you.

That is in stark distinction to the opposite huge identify within the short-video world: TikTok. As a substitute of six seconds, TikTok movies are as much as 15 seconds lengthy (or you possibly can pull 4 collectively for 60 seconds). You may add songs to create your personal little mini music video, or “Duets,” the place you add to a different particular person’s video. These types of options make TikTok the proper medium for viral memes, the place anybody can have their 15 minutes of fame just by dancing to a hooky tune. It is such an affect in in style tradition that Lil Nas X’s “Outdated City Street” skyrocketed from TikTok meme to Billboard sensation in only a few months.

— Kat Tenbarge (@kattenbarge) January 25, 2020

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To focus on how a lot of a foothold TikTok has on this house, one of many first traits to emerge on Byte is about, nicely, TikTok. Scroll by way of the Widespread web page, and you may see Byte movies making enjoyable of TikTok and warning newbies to not publish their TikToks. One in style Byte video captioned “TikTok dancers making an attempt to make use of Byte” exhibits the person beginning to dance, however he stops awkwardly, as a result of his six seconds are up. Positive, these Byte movies are dragging TikTok, however they in all probability would not be doing that if it wasn’t so in style within the first place.

But, Byte appears very conscious of TikTok’s recognition and is engaged on a number of methods to handle that. One in all TikTok’s options, for instance, is the For You solutions feed that pushes to the highest the most well-liked or viral movies primarily based in your use of the app. As compared, Byte has a For Your Consideration video that pops up in your feed sometimes that will help you uncover new content material. Hoffman stated the crew is engaged on a suggestion feed similar to TikTok’s, which ought to assist with attain. “We did not begin with it as a result of there wasn’t sufficient exercise in beta to correctly take a look at it, however now we will,” he tweeted.

we’re engaged on a suggestion feed that learns as you employ the app and also needs to assist with attain. we did not begin with it as a result of there wasn’t sufficient exercise in beta to correctly take a look at it, however now we will. you possibly can comply with our algorithm changelog right here:

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— dom hofmann (@dhof) January 25, 2020

There are different, extra distinctive options of Byte, too. You may change the app’s icon to certainly one of 9 kinds, and you may set the digicam to document by tapping wherever on the display screen. There’s additionally a singular level system of accumulating “stars” for the extra followers and views you get. Hoffman says that is for enjoyable proper now, however maybe there could possibly be extra use for them afterward.

Moreover, TikTok does not at the moment have a approach to assist its content material creators earn a living, whereas Byte, maybe studying from Vine’s errors, has a companion program within the works. “Byte celebrates creativity and group, and compensating creators is one essential approach we will assist each,” the corporate tweeted.

very quickly, we’ll introduce a pilot model of our companion program which we’ll use to pay creators. byte celebrates creativity and group, and compensating creators is one essential approach we will assist each. keep tuned for more information.

— byte (@byte_app) January 25, 2020

Importantly, Hoffman appears to know that one of the crucial essential elements of Vine was its group. It launched a Byte group discussion board alongside its announcement a few years in the past, and Hoffman says the Byte crew is pretty lively in responding to customers and discovering out what options they need.

Nonetheless, it is unclear if Byte can actually decide up the place Vine left off. With Snapchat and Instagram Tales choosing up the mantle for brief ephemeral snippets, and TikTok, these viral memes, a easy six-second-video app won’t be capable of compete. Appetites for brief movies might have modified, and Byte’s super-simple interface could possibly be too depending on creator imaginations, at the very least in its present incarnation. Plus, Byte has fairly a number of teething issues already; it typically crashes throughout longer video edits, the Android model does not allow you to block accounts and it is at the moment inundated with spam bots.

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But, Vine’s legacy might very nicely be motive sufficient for Byte to exist. In a world the place a lot of the web is hostage to advert buys and sponsored content material, it is so refreshing to see an app like Byte that’s devoted to creativity, enjoyable and simply straight-up wackiness. That was what Vine delivered. It helped make the web great and peculiar. And maybe that alone makes the Byte endeavor worthwhile.

Byte’s app retailer description notes: “Nostalgia is our start line, however the place we go subsequent is as much as you.” This is hoping it figures that out.