The internet lost something truly entertaining and fun when Vine stopped publishing user-generated six-second videos back in 2016. Vine’s short video loops took the internet by storm when it first started up in 2012 and the app rose to prominence quickly until Twitter bought it and then, ultimately, pulled the plug.
It was good news for every internet user who has a funny bone when one of the Vine co-founders announced in November that he was working on a reboot. Dom Hoffman said he was working on a new Vine app called Byte, that would launch in Spring 2019. Best of all, the app would have nothing to do with Twitter. Today, it seems Hoffman is making good on that promise.
Byte has sent out 100 beta invites and people are already sharing videos across the new platform
Byte will allow users to make their own short videos that can be uploaded to the platform. The videos will be vertical only and can be looped. Overnight, the first 100 beta users set about doing just that and there is already a stream of videos on the app. According to a Tweet put out by Hoffman, that shows the Byte feed, posts will appear in reverse chronological order with videos scrolling up to the top of the screen.
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
So far, it looks like the Byte team is happy with the content that the beta community has been uploading. The content seems random and off-the-cuff, and fits with the type of content that was regularly being posted on Vine, helping the app carve a space for itself on the modern internet.
The current state of the Byte beta is still pretty basic, however. The app only allows for direct camera recordings and there is no upload feature. Also, although the feed does allow users to post videos and have other users comment on them and like them, at the moment, there is no facility for users to follow their favorite accounts.
Speaking to TechCrunch, Hoffman has said that getting the content right is the top priority for Byte. This means that he is determined to create an attractive space for content creators that works well for them. As the beta test continues, the team will add and remove new features to the basic set described above, and see how the community responds to them.
Hoffman has also promised to expand to the testing pool, too, so more testers will be receiving invites soon. If you’re one of the lucky ones, you’ll find yourself at the new Byte sign up screen, which Hoffman recently shared on Twitter.
It is good to see a new and updated version of Vine coming back to the internet. As with everything these days, however, the world moves quickly and there is no guarantee that emulating a once successful app will guarantee success. With TikTok, a notable successor to Vine, having over 500 million active monthly users, this beta testing stage is more important than ever. We’ll be watching this one intently.