Through the looking glass: Vine successor Byte is facing an entirely different landscape than the original did when it launched. At that time, the market was wide open but now, we’ve got apps like TikTok with over 500 million active users and several other established platforms that have already integrated this sort of functionality directly into their service. Can Byte differentiate itself in a crowded market?
Twitter’s decision to end short-form video service Vine was spurred by rival platforms’ adoption of similar (and some would say better) offerings. As marketers increasingly jumped ship, Twitter decided it was best to discontinue the service. Not everyone believes Twitter made the right decision, however, including Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann.
In December 2017, Hofmann announced plans for a successor to Vine. The project, codenamed V2, was ultimately postponed indefinitely due to financial and legal issues (it wasn’t affiliated with Twitter or Vine). Nevertheless, the idea lived on and eventually morphed into a new app called Byte that just entered closed beta testing.
the byte beta we’ve been running with friends and family *feels* exactly like the vine friends and family beta, down to the weird but appealing randomness of the videos. that’ll change as we expand, but it’s a pretty good sign pic.twitter.com/rBbQrNtTJ7— dom hofmann (@dhof) April 22, 2019
Byte will allow users to record and upload short, looping vertical videos to the app’s feed.
The first 100 invites have already gone out and according to Hofmann, it feels exactly like the friends and family beta for Vine did, right down to the weird but appealing randomness of videos. This will change over time as more users enter the mix, of course, but Hofmann still said it’s “a pretty good sign.”