Vine spiritual successor Byte launched this weekend, but can it compete with TikTok?

Vine spiritual successor Byte launched this weekend, but can it compete with TikTok?

The co-founder of video looping platform Vine has released Byte, a new social video app inspired by the original Vine app.

Dom Hofmann unleashed Byte over the weekend. Its design is very similar to the original Twitter-owned Vine app which was shut down in October 2016. During its development, Byte was dubbed Vine2. 

Vine's short video format exploded between 2013 and 2016 and it bred a new kind of social media star.  Notable personalities that came out of Vine include Lele Pons, Brittany Furlan, and Logan and Jake Paul.

As of writing, Byte is currently the seventh most downloaded free app on the Apple App Store and 26th on the Google Play store in the UK, according to rankings from App Annie. As with any new social network, Byte's launch has been met with interest, and of course, an influx of users hoping to amass some "clout" in the app's early days. 

Will Byte flourish?

The one obvious difference between the market during the launch of Vine and the launch of Byte is the existence of TikTok. Vine's signature video loop format flourished partly because it didn't have any serious rivals. But now, TikTok is a behemoth that Byte will struggle to compete with.

It does seem like Byte is taking a more refined approach to monetisation and creator support than TikTok has thus far. The platform released an influencer sign-up form in November 2018 that allowed creators to snag their handles early, and that form is still available now. 

The creator program gives users access to focused emails, updates, merch, and early access to additional features. It also lets creators give feedback on the app. 

Byte is also already moving towards setting up a partner program that lets creators monetise their content. While TikTok growth has been enormous over the last year, its monetisation efforts are still pretty much non-existent. The only way TikTok creators can make money is if they generate enough views and engagement to snap up a brand deal externally. 

It's early days for Byte, but the nostalgia for Vine is very much alive and kicking. If Byte can utilise that pull and provide a flawless experience and a way for creators to monetise efficiently, it might prove a worthy rival to the social media market. However, it still has a long way to go before it starts hitting TikTok numbers.


Danielle Partis is editor of and former editor of She was named Journalist of the Year at the MCV Women in Games Awards 2019, as well as in the MCV 30 under 30 2020. Prior to Steel Media, she wrote about music and games at Team Rock.