In October of 2016 the world lost one of the greatest platforms for short-form comedy of all time. The app that gave us masterpiece skits such as ‘Chris, Is That A Weed?,’ ‘And They Were Roommates,’ ‘Um, I Never Went To Oovoo Javer,’ and ‘Fre Sh A Vacado’ was cruelly taken away from us. In its wake, the world mourned and, if we’re honest, we never got over that loss. To this day, Vine lovers spend hours reliving the glory years. Like a person sadly scrolling back through their ex’s Instagram thinking about what went wrong and how it could have been different, we latch onto compilations like Vines That Keep Me From Ending it All, Vines That Butter My Croissant, Vines That Give My Depression A Suppression, and Vines That Are Cleaner Than Your Grandma’s Kitchen on YouTube to recapture some of the glory.
Fans were given hope when Vine co-creator Dom Hofmann announced he was creating a successor called Byte and, despite some doubt as to whether it would be realized, the app has launched on iOS and Android. Designed for the modern age of social media, Byte allows users to shoot six-second videos and upload them, which others can share (ReByte).
In a Twitter post announcing its launch, Hofmann described Byte as “both familiar and new” and said the team behind it hopes it will “resonate with people who feel something’s been missing.” If you’re wondering whether that’s you, take a look at the image below and if you know who that lad is going to see, it is.
The next step for Byte, and what distinguishes it from many other social video platforms, is its partner program, which will be implemented to pay creators. “Byte celebrates creativity and community, and compensating creators is one important way we can support both,” reads a tweet from the Byte Twitter account. As of yet, details on the partner program have not been provided.
While getting a Vine successor from one of the original creators is certainly a big deal, whether it succeeds remains to be seen. Byte joins a competitive landscape–one that is very much built on the successes of Vine. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram all offer users a way to deliver bite-sized videos to their followers and have additional social networking hooks. TikTok is perhaps the most direct competitor to Byte and its where much of the same kind of content is now being produced. (Read: TikTok has big Vine energy). Stars are being created on TikTok daily, and major celebrities have a presence there. Global corporations are also recognizing its marketing capabilities and potential to reach a massive audience. TikTok is very much having its moment right now, and it may be difficult for Byte to draw attention away from it.
Nevertheless, a new video platform that evokes the heyday of Vine is certainly exciting. Plans to compensate its creators give it an edge in theory, and if it can execute could be just enough to make Byte competitive.