How Byte – the new Vine – could impact influencers

Found out what all the hype is about with Byte - the new Vine and Tik Tok's latest competitor

The latest viral video app, Byte, has been the most hyped comeback since TV show Brooklyn 99 was cancelled by Fox one day and picked up by NBC 31-hours later.


Four Vineless years after the app was shut down, co-founder Dom Hofmann has released the latest short-form video app, called Byte. The new app lets users shoot and upload six-second videos, and comes with standard social features like a home feed, explore page, notifications and profiles.

As an emerging app, Byte faces huge competition from others offering similar characteristics. One being TikTok, which has been quickly embraced by young users. It was the fourth most downloaded app in 2019 and sparked countless viral challenges. Does Byte have what it takes to compete? Only time will tell, but it’s already making an impact on the social scene.


So, what does Byte mean for influencers?


Byte does have one major edge and that’s its plan for influencers. The app has revealed the details for its partnering programme, which will allow its most popular users to earn a share of its ad revenue. Hofmann said that he plans to share 100 percent of the apps ad revenues with creators during an initial pilot programme period, which will provide payment to approved creators based on their viewership.

Their partner programme is due to start in April. They’ll offer $250,000 in total payouts to the first group of creators in its partner program. It will be a fairly limited group at first, no more than 100, and they have to apply – and be chosen – by Byte. The app says it’s looking for people who post regularly, make full-screen vertical videos, and are positive members of the community.

Byte’s ability to pay influencers will have a lasting impact on whether the app becomes a meaningful competitor to TikTok and other apps who don’t offer monetisation benefits. Many creators who have grown popular on TikTok have tried to pull audiences over to YouTube where they can earn a steady ad-revenue. By offering these monetisation benefits early on, Byte has the opportunity to lure influencers over to its app and be able to retain them long-term.


If you’re planning on becoming a ‘Byter’ here are five things you should know about it:


It’s aiming to fill the six-second video gap in everyones heart

Byte brings back the looped six-second videos, made popular back in the day by Vine. Similar to Vine, users can either shoot videos within the app itself or upload directly from their camera roll. This means videos can be edited by a number of third party apps before being uploaded to Byte. Users can also ‘rebyte’ other videos to share with their followers.

Fans of Vine have longed for the return of the app and Byte aims to capitalise on this nostalgia. This has already been picked up on, driving users and former Vine stars to join the app and begin crafting their own short videos.


It’s coming for you, TikTok

The app has already been heavily promoted as TikTok’s next competitor. Byte’s home feed looks similar to TikTok, with its Discovery feed autoplaying the 1,000 most popular posts from the app’s community and shuffles each time a user loads it. The second tab is also familiar with category splits like ‘pets’ or ‘chill’.

However, TikTok’s biggest hook is its viral-friendly features, providing users with a collection of editing and visual effects tools. It has also struck licensing deals with record labels, making it easy for users to utilise a large playlist of the latest tunes. So far, Byte isn’t equiped with musical or sophisticated editing features, beyond introductory video tools. But it’s possible the app could develop more options in the future.


It topped one million downloads in its first week

The new short-form video app has launched with a bang. Byte, not only takes advantage of its association with Vine, but also arrives at a time when short-form videos are now hugely popular thanks to TikTok. Byte saw 735,000 worldwide downloads in the first weekend of its release, topping the App Store chart in the US. It has now reached over one million downloads, with 70% originating from the US and a further 7% and 6% made up by the UK and Canada.

By comparison, Vine attracted only 105,000 downloads in that same period when it launched back in 2013. Byte has a long way to go to catch up with TikTok. In the same weekend that Byte attracted 735,000 downloads, TikTok achieved 8.2 million downloads and has more than 1.5 billion all-time downloads.


Bots have already surfaced

Byte has already reported teething problems amid a surge in bot activity. The app saw huge comment spam bots quickly fill the comment sections, along with follow requests. The app’s early adopters are also creating accounts with usernames that aren’t theirs and claiming to be famous tech executives or celebrities.

Hofmann and the team at Byte quickly acknowledged these spam issues and claimed that addressing it is their top priority. This includes making changes to the comment sections with the functionality to like, block, filter or limit comments.


It’s planning to improve discovery functionality

Currently, Byte users can view the top 1,000 most popular posts in their feeds. But it has been announced that the app will be receiving a large upgrade in the near future. This will improve its content-discovery functionality, giving users a more accessible experience to personalise their feeds. The upgrade will utilise machine learning and act as a personalised recommendation feed designed specifically for each user. Users will also be able to subscribe directly to channels to include them into ‘Your Mix’.

We’re hoping Byte turns viral like its late-sibling, Vine. The app still has a little bit of work to do before it’s perfect but it definitely has a solid foundation to succeed. Especially with its plan to partner with influencers.


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