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What Is Byte?
Eight years after the meteoric rise of the original short-form video format platform Vine, Vine creator Dom Hofmann has returned to the social media scene and released Byte. Byte is an app that gives users the chance to make short looping videos similar to its predecessor, Vine. However, unlike Vine, Byte is not the first of its kind and is going to war with the newest social media sensation TikTok.
Byte was released on January 24 and while we do not yet know the current active user count, the app was downloaded 1.3 million times in the first week. Compared to the 775,000 downloads of Vine in its first week, we think it is safe to say that Byte is off to a rocking start with predictions for user counts in the first year to exceed 50 million. That puts it right on pace with TikTok’s status in year one.
Byte User Demographics
Byte started its download base with a drove of users that are faithful to Vine’s lineage. In the first few weeks, we have seen former Vine stars come to the new platform and start creating content. This is a great sign for Byte and tells us that their market base is likely going to be similar to what was once Vine’s base.
Byte is most popular with Gen Z audiences with most users falling between the ages of 16-24. Almost 70% of the 1.3 million downloads came from the United States and the rest came from the UK and Canada. Byte also seems to not be gender polarizing while its competition, TikTok, has a 60% to 40% distribution in favor of female users. This could be an advantage for the Vine 2.0 app as they look to outpace TikTok within the first year.
Since the app’s launch, ex-Vine star Chirs Melberger and TikTok star Benji Krol have both started accounts on the platform and are soon to release content. This is a great sign for Byte and they have responded by announcing a pilot program to monetize content creators and allow for a partner program that supports users, a feature that was never talked about with Vine.
So far, the most popular videos on Byte have been videos of users mocking TikTok videos and dances as a jab at the competing platform. The format of Byte videos is a looping 6-second video with user audio, a feature that TikTok does not offer. The style is almost exactly the same as Vine and is looking to take advantage of a nostalgia that Vine has created.
Advertising on Byte
As mentioned before, Byte has started a pilot partner program with content creators to make sure that creators have a viable option for monetization. Part of this program includes being able to pre-roll ads in front of videos in order to give content creators a chance to have sponsors. Perhaps the best part of this deal is that Byte is planning to share 100% of ad revenue with creators in the initial pilot period. This program is integral to beating out TikTok which currently has no monetization features.
Byte vs. TikTok
This app is different from TikTok because users can speak during the video instead of just using music to dub over a dance or action. This gives Byte users the ability to connect deeper to their audience and show their flare through their content. Moreover, Byte’s format is better suited for comedy and gags than TikTok because of the audio and continuous loop feature.
While Byte is by no means nipping at the heels of TikTok’s 1.5 billion users, it does have some advantages over TikTok that are worth pointing out. Firstly, this app is American-made: while this might not seem like a big deal, content creators strive to be with a platform that has good communication with them and gives them something more than just a digital partnership. Byte’s location in the US means that it is likely to pull US users who are looking for more personalized programs. Secondly, as mentioned before, Byte has the ability for content creators to speak in the video. This is a massive advantage because it gives users a wider range of content to create and lets them have a unique spin. Lastly, Byte has a nostalgia advantage. Vine was the first of its kind and it developed a loyal fanbase that loved using the app and creating content. In the future, it is almost certain that those fans come back to the company and join the new app.
What Is Byte’s Future?
Byte’s future success has many variables in play that need to be considered. Unlike Vine, Byte is entering a market with massive competitors and needs to make sure it maintains the advantages it has right now. Byte has the potential to be successful and, with any luck, hopefully, Vine 2.0 will make its resurgence as one of the largest social media platforms available.