Reviving The Six-Second Social Media Platform

The founder of Vine has created its successor during a time where TikTok reigns supreme.


Byte is a new social media app based solely on sharing six-second video content; most of the current content uploaded is comedic. Byte is also the first app created by Dom Hofmann since he released the viral social media platform Vine. Hofmann has worked on Byte since Twitter shut down Vine in January of 2017, culminating in the app’s public release on January 24, 2020. Since launching, Byte has reached over 1.3 million downloads, according to Sensor Tower and data from their Store Intelligence software.

The major competitor for Byte in the current market is TikTok, which is currently ranked No. 1 in free applications on the Apple App Store and the No. 3 free app on the Google Play Store. In the first days of the app’s release, creators on the app discouraged users from posting TikTok content on the app, and made fun of adapting lengthier TikTok videos to fit the Byte platform. In the eyes of TikTok user and sophomore Jasmine Ametovski, she finds more enjoyment in the longer videos on TikTok but believes people would join Byte to re-experience Vine.

“You have to fit a lot of stuff into a really short amount of time with six-second videos and it might just make things messy,” Ametovski said. “If people knew it was by the same creator, they probably would want to use it to reminisce.”

Byte has dealt with the issue of robot accounts in the first days of the full release. The development team for Byte has tried to work on the issues through the app’s infancy. According to Hofmann on the Byte community forums, the team has identified and taken out a majority of the bots on the app and they are still working on further countermeasures. For sophomore Sean Wagner, he believes the continued support of the developers after the app’s launch will help the app grow in the long run.

“I think they should probably work on those problems first because they could mess everything up in the long run,” Wagner said. “It can become unfixable if they don’t do anything about it now.”

Within the first weeks of the app’s launch, the Byte community has slowly decreased in the number of active users, with top videos on the app receiving roughly 1,000 likes. Byte has focused heavily on comedy in the first weeks of the app, compared to the variety of content on TikTok. As senior James Taylor describes, there is more variation between content on TikTok than Byte while maintaining a central purpose for each video.

 “TikTok is a lot more formulaic with lots of groups of people and stuff,” Taylor said. “It still has its beginning purpose, which was making little music videos, like”  

Byte is ranked within the top 100 social networking apps on the Apple App Store and is unranked on the Google Play Store two weeks after launching. Even with a declining amount of downloads, Hofmann claims that the decline is expected and that growth will come when the app resurges in popularity without launch hype.