What is Byte? How to Set Up an Account and Use the New 6-Second Video App Topping the Charts

Byte, the successor to viral hitmaker app Vine, shot to the top of the iOS chart over the weekend after its surprise launch delighted nostalgic short-form video fans.

Despite 2020 teens being locked into TikTok, the new app from Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann, attracted enough interest to jump straight past that rival service in the U.S. On the Google Play Store, Byte is listed as one of the top apps, with more than 100,000 downloads.

Hofmann created Vine alongside Colin Kroll and Rus Yusupov in 2012. It was acquired by Twitter for an estimated $30 million the same year, but discontinued in 2016 after struggling to grow or make money.

In its short existence, Vine became a meme-factory and a hotbed of creativity.

Much like Twitter's own character limit, the 6-second constraint forced users to become more inventive with their time, and 'best of' compilations of old Vines can easily attract millions of views on YouTube.

No-one knows if Byte has what it takes to compete in the modern social media landscape, but it's clear based on the cold hard statistics of download charts that interest is high. Luckily, the sign-up process for the app is quick and easy, putting you one-step closer to Byte-famous.

  • Step One: Go to the Byte website and choose your mobile operating system, iOS or Android. You will be then directed to the relevant marketplace. In addition, you can sign-up via a Google account, which will link those credentials as your login details.
  • Step Two: Create an account by entering a username and password. Doing this means you will be agreeing to the terms of service, so give those a glance at this point.
  • Step Three: You're in! You will be met with a page of featured content. On the bottom there are more options including search, upload, activity and settings.
  • Step Four: Edit your profile by uploading a picture and making a display name. A panel lets you change the color scheme and you can also add 'about' information.
  • Step Five: Scroll through the featured page and search for videos. Or upload your own after granting the permissions necessary to access your pictures, videos and audio.

For now, Byte is available to download internationally, including in the U.S., U.K., France, Germany, Spain, Australia, Hong Kong and Russia. China is not on the list.

Users should be aware some basic features are not yet available, including the ability to make accounts private and turn off comments. Hofmann suggested on Twitter over the weekend that there was an influx of spam bot profiles - so expect some growing pains.

He wrote in a forum post: "We're aware of the issues with comment spam and more widely with certain types of comments. This is our top priority and we're working very hard to address it. It should be noticeably better than it was 24 hours ago and should continue to improve."

Byte has indicated it will soon roll out a partner program to pay content creators who use the app. It remains unclear what the terms of the scheme would be, however based on videos being shared to other platforms like Twitter, the 6-second uploads are already flowing.

I’m dreaming? pic.twitter.com/UDKCR8fvFV

— @truss on byte (@prodtruss) January 27, 2020

The creators are aware the initial boost will be from Vine fans. "Nostalgia is our starting point, but where we go next is up to you," reads a Play Store description. "It's both familiar and new. We hope it'll resonate with people who feel something's been missing," it tweeted Friday.

The Byte website directs users to the relevant app stores for download. Byte, Inc/Screenshot