When Twitter shuttered the well-loved Vine app in a cost-cutting measure, many creators and fans of the short-form video platform were bereft. Since then, TikTok, Snapchat, Instagram stories and other formats for short-from video have come along. The competitive market didn’t stop one of Vine’s original founders, Dom Hofmann, from launching Byte, a short-form video app that offers a “bite/byte” of content with six-second videos, just like its predecessor. However, this time, Hofmann made Byte a little different. “It's both familiar and new. We hope it'll resonate with people who feel something's been missing,” Byte tweeted Friday.
What Does Byte Offer?
Byte began beta testing in April 2019 and is now ready for primetime — although unfortunate hiccups with comments after the first weekend have required some fast troubleshooting from the app. Byte is essentially the same concept as Vine, allowing creators to shoot or upload, and then share, six-second looping videos. The six-second concept keeps Byte true to its Vine roots, and differentiates the new app from TikTok’s one-minute maximum video format. Similar to other video-based social feeds, Byte offers an Explore page, notifications and profiles.
Byte doesn’t currently have AR filters or effects for videos like some of its competitors. According to Hofmann’s Twitter feed, there are creation features and other enhancements in the works, including a recommendation feed and forums for creators.
How Is Byte Different Than Vine And Other Short-Form Video Apps?
Byte wants to give creators a way to make money off their work. Monetization seems to be an integral part of Byte’s brand, and a distinct difference between Byte and other similar apps. At this point, a pilot program is set to launch in the near future which includes a partner program offering monetization opportunities for popular Byte makers. From Tech Crunch, “When asked if Byte would offer ad revenue sharing, tipping or other options to partners, Hofmann told me that ‘We’re looking at all of those, but we’ll be starting with a revenue share + supplementing with our own funds. We’ll have more details about exactly how the pilot program will work soon.’”
It took Byte quite a while to get off the ground following the end of Vine, which could impact whether or not creators are interested in trying it out given all the other possibilities in the short-form video app universe. Offering monetization could be the key for Byte when it comes to positioning in a crowded field — and the nature of the partner program could offer some clues about the value of Byte to advertisers.
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