RIP, Vine. If you share that sentiment with the millions of other internet users around the world, you’ll be pleased to know that its spiritual successor, Byte, is bringing Vine back – albeit in a new format.
Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann previously teased the return of the service in a new wrapper back in December 2017, but we had heard little more than a peep out of Hofmann or anything about Byte (or what it might be called) since then. Now, it looks like the self-funded project is entering its first closed beta, with the first 100 invites having been sent out to users to test it out.
Looks like the return of one of the most popular video sharing services ever is finally upon us with Byte. Here’s what you need to know about what its, for all intents and purposes, the second coming of Vine.
What is Byte?
Byte is a new platform designed by the co-founder of Vine, Dom Hofmann. It’s poised to include everything that helped to make its predecessor unique in the first place, only with a few tweaks here and there. It’s a self-funded project from Hofmann that’s meant to offer a similar experience to Vine, in a nutshell.
Originally, Byte was referred to as “V2” by Hoffman, but plans for V2 were unceremoniously scrapped. They morphed instead into Byte, which is what we’re seeing come together now.
Currently, it’s in closed beta, according to its official Twitter account, which announced on April 22 that the first 100 beta invites were sent out – though it’s not clear who all has been contacted just yet.
Byte is a bit different from its predecessor Vine in that it utilizes vertical videos instead of square, looping clips. Currently, according to TechCrunch, it only offers direct camera recordings instead of uploads, and a user feed that only supports comments and Likes. Additional features are reportedly on the way, though Hoffman hasn’t indicated what all the service is eventually planning to include just yet.
TechCrunch states that the team’s first priority is to build upward and “learn” from the mistakes Vine made in addition to supporting its content creators. As a result of being unable to earn revenue directly through Vine, many of its premier users ended up utilizing YouTube or other platforms like Patreon to supplement their income.
What was Vine?
Vine was a massively popular short-form video hosting service that people uploaded six-second-long clips to. They ranged from short skits to music and everything in between. Videos published via Vine could be shared throughout a range of other platforms like Twitter and Facebook, and several notable social media stars got their start there, such as Logan Paul. At its peak, the service had 200 million active users, and had spawned plenty of memes and other memorable clips that have since been archived and shared around the internet in various video compilations.
Twitter originally acquired Vine in October 2012 ahead of its official launch, meaning the platform had full control over its operations. Unfortunately, by October 27, 2016, Twitter announced it would be disabling viewer uploaded to the service, though users could still download and view their favorite clips.
An announcement soon followed that Twitter would be discontinuing the Vine app. In January 2017, Twitter debuted an internet archive of every Vine video posted to the service, so people could continue watching the ones that had been on the site forever – at least users’ hard work wasn’t lost.
How can I get a Byte beta invite?
Right now, your best bet is to watch the official Byte Twitter feed (and other social channels) for updates directly from the team. There aren’t any avenues through which you can request directly request a beta invite at this time, but you can sign up at the official Byte website to begin receiving email updates if you prefer. If there are any beta opportunities coming soon, they could potentially come through the emails Byte sends out regularly with news on the service.