Two years after Vine’s co-founder Dom Hofmann revealed that he was creating a sequel to the short-form video service, Byte is making its debut today on both iOS and Android. Byte helps you to fire or post, and then shares videos in six seconds. The tiny time limit requires no-filler content which is denser than TikTok’s maximum1-minute clips.
Byte comes with standard features such as a feed, Explore tab, alerts, and profiles. For now, while Byte lacks the remix ability, augmented reality filters transformation effects and other bonus features that you will find in applications like TikTok.
What Hofmann hopes will differentiate Byte is an early focus on helping content creators make money— something that is largely not offered by TikTok, and other micro-entertainment apps. The app plans to launch a partner program pilot soon to offer monetization options for people on Byte who are proving popular. When asked if Byte would offer partners ad revenue sharing, tipping, or other options, Hofmann told me that “We’re looking at all of those, but we’re going to start with a revenue share + adding our own funds. We will have more details on exactly how the pilot program will work in the near future.
Some developers who have become famous with apps like TikTok and Snapchat that ignore strong monetization have tried to pull their followers to YouTube where they can gain a steady share of advertising. By getting started paying early, Byte could lure into his app some of those dancers, comedians, and pranksters and be able to retain them for a long time. Past Vine stars converted stars like Chris Melberger into TikTok stars.
Staying connected to the most loyal users of Byte is another way Hofmann wants to differentiate the software. Since the original Byte release in early 2018, he has been actively running a beta tester site and uses this as a way to find out what apps to develop next. “It’s always a bummer when the people behind online services are disconnected from each other and the people who actually use them.
Byte has come a long time to come. In June 2012, Hofmann co-founded Vine with Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov to rewind all the way, but it was acquired by Twitter prior to its launch in January 2013. Hofmann had quit the company by that autumn. Yet Vine’s success grew in 2014 and 2015, thanks to fast-fire comedy skits and the imagination allowed by its looping power. Over 200 million active users were reached by Vine. Desperate to cut costs, in late 2016, Twitter shut down the streaming feed for Vine, meaning it wouldn’t have to host any more video content. The artistic network was in mourning.