Byte has been coming for some time, but it is now finally here. Byte is a video-sharing app that is the reincarnation and spiritual successor of Vine – the first real social video-sharing app that left this world back in 2016.
Announced as V2 back in 2017 from the Vine co-founder Dom Hoffman, Byte has taken its time to come to fruition. A beta was released a few months back in 2019, but it is now officially launched.
What does this mean for social media?
Essentially, TikTok has a new challenger. TikTok is a video-sharing app that seemed to be a spiritual successor to Vine with a lot more features, and arguably more popularity. This is largely down to the fact that mobile phones are now better, the youth are now ingrained with technology and social media, and they simply know how to market the platform. And make money by doing so.
Vine did not have this fate. Vine struggled to monetise the platform. Even when it was purchased by Twitter in 2012, it couldn’t escape it’s fate of being closed down in 2016, despite fan protests. Vine videos are now no longer viewable – all users could do is download their old Vines and archive them. But the founder has spoken about attempting to monetise the platform for creators as soon as possible. At least they have learned from mistakes. However, the platform really does need to establish itself as a popular app first, before people will take it seriously compared to the likes of TikTok and YouTube.
If popular, it’s likely we will see more innovation from other platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook/Instagram. They will want to steal the thunder of TikTok and Byte if the hype continues to grow.
How’s it all work?
Byte works similarly to the Vine of old. It’s a 6-second video which plays on a loop. You have a profile, it has a home feed, ways to search for videos, and everything else. It is currently a bit behind TikTok when it comes to the editing side, but this is to be expected of a new platform without significant money behind it.
However, Hoffman does not see TikTok as competition – but the fact they are both video-sharing apps means they inevitably are competition. Differentiation and a unique proposition will be critical if Byte is to take on the social media landscape that has been rather similar for the past few years. Aside from TikTok which has taken the world by storm. But who knows how long that will last.