No, this won’t be a threat to TikTok. But “Byte” is a relaunch of the once popular micro video app called Vine.
It’s confusing and seems like a long time ago but Vine co-creator Dom Hofmann has officially launched Byte, the unofficial six-second sequel to his iconic looping app that spawned timeless memes and viral stars before its death in 2016. Apps are born and die every day but Vine was loved and so is TikTok now.
Hofmann has been developing Byte on and off for years, after he quit Vine just after its acquisition by Twitter.
What can you say or do in six seconds? Byte lets you shoot or upload and then share six-second videos. The tiny time limit necessitates no-filler content that’s denser than the maximum 1-minute clips on TikTok.
As TikTok settles into its new LA pad to take on giants like Instagram and YouTube, by the company “ByteDance”, this is a different kind of byte.
Here we go again! Byte comes equipped with standard social features like a feed, explore page, notifications and profiles. But this ain’t no Snapchat either. For now though, Byte lacks the remixability, augmented reality filters, transition effects and other bonus features. It’s not fancy or teen friendly.
Micro content has been trending, though more in the musical.ly tradition. However TikTok also has an educational aspect that’s taking off. Byte could have its own weird niche of memes, I suppose
Even though Byte has just publicly become available, some users have already been beta testing it and creating content, allowing a very early culture to emerge on the platform.
What Hofmann hopes will differentiate Byte is an early focus on helping content creators make money — something TikTok and other micro-entertainment apps largely don’t offer. The app plans to soon launch a pilot of its partner program for offering monetization options to people proving popular on Byte.
Currently you can make very modest amounts of money on apps like Medium or Quora, if you like to write or ask questions. Others make money with gifts on TikTok or on apps such as livestream gaming Twitch. It’s not a content basic income, but it’s a start.
Byte is planning a creator’s program to help influencers cash in. But I’m not sure that’s enough to excite anyone quite yet. You actually need an audience first and few apps can scale, and if they do, to kill them Facebook acquires them. It’s been a common trend over the past few years. Luckily, Snapchat or Musical.ly were’t prey to Facebook’s foul techniques to stay ahead.
Byte may have literally just been born yesterday, but content is already steadily flowing onto the six-second looping sequel to Vine.
There have been a lot of pretenders too. At the Last Futurist we don’t have our hopes up.