New data from Sensor Tower shows Vine successor Byte gained more than 1.3 million followers since its launch. In its first weekend alone, Byte scored nearly 800 thousand of those users as well as a wave of spam bots. The new short-form video app is also already running into content moderation issues for its younger users and even criticism of the originality of the clean loops available, according to TechCrunch.
Someone’s popular, kinda — The U.S. seemed particularly eager about a Vine sequel app, accounting for 70 percent of Byte’s installs. The U.K. and Canada followed with 7 and 6 percent, respectively. The majority of the app’s downloads, 950,000, came from Apple’s App Store with Android users accounting for the remaining 350,000 installs.
But this new kid in school energy doesn’t mean the popular kids aren’t still running the show. A few months ago, TikTok passed 1.5 billion downloads, and the short-form video market is already crowded. Dubsmash has made an incredible comeback, and more niche apps like Triller continue to gain funding and celebrity clout.
Are the kids alright? — As TechCrunch points out, Vine was a generally wholesome place on the internet, but the web has changed. Though still in its infancy, Byte’s videos cover a wide range of insensitive content and no clear demarcation of underage users. This can cause simple discomfort from older users, as experienced on TikTok, to pure outrage at racist or abusive videos.
Where’s the originality? — As we mentioned at launch, Byte doesn’t have a ton of features right now. While creators wait, many loops are being created using tools from YouTube, TikTok, and other apps. As a result, some of the videos currently available lack the originality Vine was known for; Byte isn’t yet the origin point of meme-level loops.
Of course, part of the fun of Vine was getting creative with the restrictions of the app, particularly the six-second limit. But with the advancement of video filters and effects, there’s a fine line between challenging creators and pushing them away. If the resurgence of t-shirt and towel "wigs" is any indication, however, Byte has time to work out the kinks.