It was a sad day in 2017 when Twitter announced it was putting a halt on Vine–the six-second video looping social app that launched many content creators into an influential career. Although users pivoted into Musical.ly, YouTube, Instagram and other video platforms, they still yearned for the quick and quirky humorous videos Vine inspired them to create.
Meanwhile, a company based in China, ByteDance, was gaining momentum. After seeing Musical.ly’s success, they decided to purchase the social app and eventually merge it with what we now know as TikTok.
“Combining musical.ly and TikTok is a natural fit given the shared mission of both experiences — to create a community where everyone can be a creator,” Musical.ly cofounder Zhu said.
To date, there are over 1 billion TikTok users worldwide, and the 7th most downloaded app of the last decade. It’s worth noting TikTok wasn’t around for the first six years of the decade.
This begs the question, how can this powerhouse be stopped?
Enter: Byte, an app that lets users share just six seconds of footage, created by one of the founders of Vine. Byte was downloaded over 780,000 times in its launch weekend (January 24) and has surpassed 1.3 million downloads.
But, what are the clear differences between Byte and TikTok? Let’s dive into it.
In its simplest form, TikTok is a destination for short-form videos up to one minute. Content relies on tools such as labels, music, sometimes lip-syncing, in order to be understood.
While these features make it simple for absolutely anyone to make a video, Byte’s co-founder Dom Hofmann criticized the app saying, “adding new features doesn’t always mean more creative possibilities, sometimes it means less.”
Who has it downloaded?
So far, TikTok has over 1 billion users worldwide, with the majority of users coming from Android. There are at least 100 million downloads in the U.S., but India has the most downloads at 119 million. Additionally, 60% of users are Gen Z (16-24 years old), also known as the most ethnically diverse generation.
Why should we care about TikTok?
The average time spent per user is 52 minutes a day, which means people are using the app daily for creating and sharing videos, or watching the plethora of entertaining content TikTok users endlessly supply.
The unique aspect about TikTok is that it lives across platforms. While you wouldn’t see an Instagram Story on TikTok, you’ll most certainly see a TikTok video repurposed on Instagram Stories.
What makes TikTok unique?
Special effects and tools in the app allow anyone to be a creator. It rewards reality, meaning, there’s little scope for over-edited content often portrayed on social platforms, allowing people to truly be themselves.
Byte is an app that lets users shoot or upload content and then share six-second videos. SPOILER ALERT! The co-founder of Byte was also a co-creator of Vine, so, so far, Byte is basically a reincarnation of the beloved app we said goodbye to almost three years ago.
Who has it downloaded?
At least 1.3 million people have downloaded it, with the majority coming from Apple. U.S. users account for 70% of first-week installs (Keep in mind, the app launched Jan. 24, 2020). Additionally, former Vine stars turned TikTok stars such as Chris Melberger, Joshdarnit and Lance Stewart are already on Byte, and we can expect more creators will follow suit.
Why should we care about Byte?
It’s worth keeping an eye on audience demographics as the user base grows and the unique opportunities for brands to engage.
What makes Byte unique?
While TikTok has a dedicated team for helping creators boost engagement and offer fixed fees for promoting brand content, Byte is taking a step further. Executives plan to be more forthcoming about advertising sales, launching a Partner Program which, at first, will see 100% of ad revenue go to creators. This will most likely change over time, but in the interim, will win over the hearts of creators aiming to partner with brands to develop stellar content, and will remain loyal to Byte over time.
Both apps offer an array of benefits and a blank canvas for creativity, and because they are similar, they run the risk of bringing each other down while competing for the spotlight.
Since Byte is still new, it’s hard to effectively compare both apps, but we’ll continue keeping this blog updated as we learn more information!