TikTok is still a relatively new company emerging on the social media app market – but it might already have its successor. A new application called Byte has just hit the app market looking to recreate Vine. We’ve had taken look through the history of Vine, how TikTok came to be and the ambition behind Byte.
What is TikTok?
TikTok is a video sharing social media app owned by a Chinese company called ByteDance. The app (called Douyin in China) was released to markets outside of China in 2017 but gained momentum in its fame last year. The app used to short entertainment video up to 60 seconds in length. 60% of the app’s monthly users in the U.S. are aged 16 – 24 years old. But the majority of it’s monthly users are based in India at 43%. TikTok originated from an app called music.ly, where users recorded themselves lip syncing on video.
What happened to Vine?
Byte appears to be a mix of TikTok and Vine rolled into one application. Do you remember Vine? Vine was an app that allowed users to create a video that was up to 6 seconds long. The platform was founded in June 2012 and then acquired by Twitter in October 2012 (just four months later). Vine was a short-term video hosting service where videos could be uploaded through an app or the website. Vine competed with Instagram and Mobli – who were shut down in 2016 after going bankrupt. In the hope of recreating the community that Vine had, Dan Hofmann (one of Vine’s co-founders) has created an app which “celebrates creativity and community”.
How does the app function?
The structure of Byte follows the same structure as other social media applications whereby it has a home button, search option, a profile and the ability to like, comment and share “bytes”. It does contain a function similar to what Twitter uses on it’s platform. On the platform you have the ability to “Rebyte” a video. This functions in the same a retweet of a tweet, it would then appear on your personal feed. This function, when paired with the ability to comment on other videos, serves Hofmann’s ambition of building a community.
As well as being able to reshare it within the app, there is the ability to share videos externally to other social media platforms. Hofmann has explained they are currently looking to introduce additional features like being able to like comments and the ability to block/filter/limit commenting.
Teething problems or poised for failure?
Like with any new application, there have been some teething issues since it went public last week. In the first few days of launch, the app has been inundated with bot issues. Users of the platform have been complaining that their uploads have been with hundreds of bot comments. In a blog post written in response to the problem, Dan Hoffman explained that they’re “aware of the issues with comment spam and more widely with certain types of comments”. He also went on to explain that it is their “top priority”. Hofmann has also explained that it should be “noticeably better”.
Just over the past weekend, Byte was downloaded 780,000 times. By comparison, Vine only 105,000 downloads in that same period when it launched in 2013. Meanwhile, it’s competition, TikTok was downloaded 8.2 million times this weekend. Obviously, Byte has some catching up to do before it reaches the same wide audience that TikTok has.