Taking a Bite out of Byte

In wake of Vines’ death, users across the world have been hopefully waiting for its revival or an adequate replacement. Vine, a social media and video sharing app with 200 million users, was officially put down in 2016, and has been revered ever since as “the greatest social media app”. A few apps have popped up in its place, like TikTok, but none of them seem to add up to the hype that Vine has today.

Then, on January 21st, a new app emerged. Created by Dom Hofmann, a co-creator of Vine itself, Byte was released on Google Play and the Apple App Store. It has some familiar concepts: videos are at maximum six seconds long, you can seemingly scroll endlessly through new posts, and a search page that allows you to access whatever you’re in the mood for.

The concept as a whole is smart, take something that people seem to universally love and recreate it. However, there are also quite a few kinks in the app currently. For instance, pausing videos is not functional, the app can be a little rough to navigate, and general appearance feels rough and is slightly off-putting.

According to the creation team, “byte celebrates life, community, and pure creativity”, which is true in some aspects. After only a few minutes of scrolling through the app, there is a clearly established community that supports one another despite their difference in genres. Creators obviously have respect for each other because of their content and bond of joining the app so early on.

But there is definitely a disconnect between the content of Byte and that of Vine. Maybe it’s just nostalgia, but Vines seemed to be created with genuine intent, rather than the more mature and negative themes behind Byte content. In addition to this, there was often a lot of spam coming through on my feed. Whether it be videos re-uploaded from TikTok, or comments asking for follow for follow, it made my experience feel more artificial or manufactured.

While not widely known yet, Byte is on the path to success. With a few tweaks here and there and the prevention of spam accounts, the app will likely stay on course to become the Vine replacement that everyone is looking for.