Byte racks up 1.3 million downloads in launch week

Byte racks up 1.3 million downloads in launch week

Byte, the spiritual successor to Vine, generated over 1.3 million downloads globally during its first week. 

The app launched on January 24th, and the US has led the charge with installs so far. According to Sensor Tower, the app was downloaded 912,000 times in the US alone. In comparison, Vine generated 775,000 installs in its first week back in January 2013. 

The video-app landscape was, of course, much different back in 2013. When Vine launched, the only major video competitor was YouTube, and it catered to a much different type of content. Vine remained uncontested pretty much up until it was shut down in 2016.

Since then, Bytedance's TikTok has taken the market by storm and become the destination for short-form mobile video content. The mobile landscape has changed significantly too, more people are using smartphones than ever before, not just in the west but in rising markets. 

Byte has resonated well so far on the US market, but similarly to Vine during its first time around, it hasn't quite nailed monetisation just yet. The app has a little time - TikTok and Instagram still haven't figured out effective monetisation either. If Byte can give creators a way to generate revenue quickly and keep up the downloads, it may become a serious competitor to TikTok.


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.