Vine is back as Byte, but still in beta


Vine co-creator Dom Hofmann reveals the video sharing is app is back, though in Beta for now, and will bring a different experience from TikTok. — AFP Relaxnews

Vine co-creator Dom Hofmann reveals the video sharing is app is back, though in Beta for now, and will bring a different experience from TikTok. — AFP Relaxnews

Short-form video sharing service Vine is back as Byte, though still in beta testing and now facing stiff competition from China's TikTok.

Its founder Dom Hofmann told TechCrunch it is a closed beta of 100 users and is still in the process of adding and subtracting features based on user feedback. 

Byte works by having users live record or upload short looped vertical videos that appear in other users' feed in a reverse-chronological order.

However, the current version allows only recordings with no uploads yet, and has just a feed with Likes and comments but no account following. 

Hofmann says the Beta was proving the app to be compelling, getting testers to behave off-the-cuff even before the pro creative and funny video makers joined. 

He adds that the top priority is doing right by creators to win them over and use Byte when it officially launches, even if they could get more views elsewhere.

Hofmann reveals to TechCrunch that he is a fan of the competitor TikTok, seeing it as one evolutionary step past Vine, though it is not the same direction that he intends to go with Byte. 

He says Byte will differentiate by focusing less on lip syncing and "teen nonsense" to avoid alienating older audiences.

The original Vine was bought by Twitter in 2012 for an estimated US$30mil (RM125.37mil), though it closed the service in 2017. 

Last November, Hofmann, who is Vine's co-creator, revealed in a tweet that Vine 2.0 will be called Byte and aims to launch by Spring 2019.