Vine 2.0 has arrived in the form of Byte.
Almost eight years after starting Vine, a mobile app that focused on short-form video, Dom Hofmann has launched Byte, another mobile app that's out for iOS and Android, allowing users to make brief looping videos. It's similar to Vine, which Hofmann - along with Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov - sold to Twitter in 2012, only for it to be shut down in late 2016. Here's what you need to know about Vine's successor.
What is Byte?
Byte is available on iOS and Android. It allows you to create and share six-second looping videos. It's early days still, however. So, at launch, it does not allow side-by-side video reactions, and it doesn't have filters or augmented reality effects. Hofmann suggested these are coming.
While Vine may no longer be a thing, short videos are alive and well, with apps like Instagram and, more recently, TikTok capitalising on the format by giving users an easy way to make creative clips. Byte is the latest mobile app replicating some of what made Vine rise so quickly, and, already, several former Vine stars (aka Viners) have joined and begun sharing their first videos on the newborn platform.
How does Byte work?
Byte has a navigation bar running across the bottom of the app, with tabs for the following: Home, Search, Camera, Activity, and Profile.
When you open Byte, you'll immediately see a feed of videos from people you follow. This area serves up a stream of videos that you can mindlessly scroll through, much like you would on TikTok's For You page. You can switch over to the search page to discover new content, too, such as videos popular now, or videos by category like comedy, pets, gaming, fitness, sports, music, food, beauty, and so on.
If you want to start contributing to the new community, you can upload videos you've recorded or use the app's built-in camera to shoot six-second videos. Videos are posted to your profile and can be shared with others so that they appear in other users' feeds or discovered.
Videos can also be downloaded from the app, and they can be shared on other platforms like Twitter or Instagram.
Byte might soon launch a partner program, which will pay content creators on the platform. "Very soon, we'll introduce a pilot version of our partner program which we will use to pay creators. Byte celebrates creativity and community, and compensating creators is one important way we can support both. Stay tuned for more info," Byte announced in a tweet on launch day.
The history of Byte
Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann announced in 2017 via Twitter that he was about to actively develop “a follow-up to Vine". He said that he'd been "feeling like it" for some time and that he'd seen a lot of tweets and direct messages, presumably, from fans of his old app.
He also said he was funding the project himself.
i'm funding it myself as an outside project, so it doesn't interfere with the (quite exciting) work we're doing at the company, which is my first priority— dom hofmann (@dhof) November 30, 2017
Originally, he called the successor "V2", and according to TechCrunch, Hofmann contacted former Vine stars and other social media celebrities and influencers in an attempt to round out the product’s development and figure out the monetisation angle. As a result, several details about the product have leaked over the past few years, including that the app would focus on recordings six seconds in length.
Hofmann planned to release V2 around summer 2018. That, of course, never happened. Now, in 2020, he's finally launched Byte.
Are there alternatives to Byte?
Yes. Besides the obvious players like TikTok and Instagram, Byte has to contend with Dubsmash, Triller, Firework and Facebook’s Lasso.