Vine was a cultural phenomenon and gave birth to many a YouTube star — some inherently more likeable than others — but the looping video app’s successor Byte has been pretty quiet of late, until word of a closed beta has now been confirmed.
The original founders of Vine are behind Byte, but it does remain to be seen if they can compete directly with the growing might of Snapchat, Instagram, and now TikTok, all of which have emerged and grown since the death of Vine in 2017.
Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann posted a teaser of what to expect, as the internal beta tests continue ahead of a future, wider launch event. That said, only 100 lucky beta testers will get to trial this very early version of the looping video application.
A post on Twitter confirmed that 100 invites had been sent out, with an expansion expected very soon. We reported previously that registration had opened for content creators to trial the Byte platform, which clearly had eyes for YouTube stars looking for another avenue.
just sent out 100 byte beta invites for our first closed test, which starts tomorrow. will expand to more testers soon
— byte (@byte_app) April 22, 2019
One core difference between Vine and Byte is that the app uses portrait video instead of the 1:1 ratio video squares used previously. Hofmann’s teaser post shows the Byte app feed and it does feel very similar to the Vine of old.
Videos currently appear in a reverse-chronological feed, which will seem familiar to past Vine users.
the byte beta we’ve been running with friends and family *feels* exactly like the vine friends and family beta, down to the weird but appealing randomness of the videos. that’ll change as we expand, but it’s a pretty good sign pic.twitter.com/rBbQrNtTJ7
— dom hofmann (@dhof) April 22, 2019
TechCrunch has confirmed that unlike Vine, direct video recording via your camera application is currently the only way to share a video. Considering the level of production in some older 6 second Vines, we would be surprised if the ability to upload from your camera roll or file management system wasn’t added in future updates — although this may be how Byte differentiates itself from apps like TikTok.
We’ve signed up for the closed beta, so should we be among the next wave of sign-ups to receive an invite, we’ll be sure to share all of the juicy details.
More on Byte:
- Byte from Vine creators opens creator program, clearly targeting YouTube creators
- Vine 2.0 is coming: Cofounder teases spring 2019 launch for new app ‘Byte’