Byte App: Similar to TikTok with Shorter Videos

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Byte App: Similar to TikTok with Shorter Videos

August 6, 2020

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The Byte app lets users make and share short video loops. It launched in late January 2020 with a lot of online hype about its similarity to its predecessor, Vine. The Byte app's popularity is now skyrocketing as TikTok's future comes into question.

What is the Byte app?

  • Byte was created by US-based Byte, Inc. (the founders previously created the popular Vine app)
  • The app lets users, called “Byters” watch, create, and share short (6 to 16 seconds) looping videos called “Bytes”
  • Users can like or comment on a video, share it as a “rebyte”, or redistribute it through text, email, or share on another social media platform

Why should parents care?

  • Profiles and videos posted to the app are automatically public, so strangers can watch and comment on your child’s videos
  • At the time of this review, privacy settings are not available
  • There is a “flag” button to report inappropriate videos
  • Users can also block other individual users
  • Since the video feed is user-generated, it could include profanity, sexual content, or violence
  • There is a video category called “/420” that showcases drug paraphernalia and people using drugs
  • Some students will attempt anything, including dangerous stunts, to get more likes and comments on their videos
  • Users could be bullied or ridiculed in the comment section or by others who may share their Byte videos on other platforms

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The Byte app gives users just seconds to show off their humor, talent, or creativity. It launched in early 2020 with a lot of online hype about its similarity to its video loop app predecessor, Vine. Byte is sticking to basic features for now with big plans to unroll more in the future, to better compete with other video sharing apps.

Byte rose to #1 spot on the app download charts in August 2020. Are your students among the millions fleeing TikTok for Byte? This SmartSocial.com app guide explains how the Byte app works.

Yahoo! Entertainment headline: What is Byte, the app that just passed TikTok on the App Store charts?
Byte launched in January 2020... [it’s] similar to TikTok, and lets users capture and edit short looped videos to post to social feeds… While it doesn’t come close to TikTok’s user count, Byte is currently the top-ranked free download on the Apple App Store [as of August 2020]. Yahoo! News

What is the Byte app?

Byte App Guide for Parents by Smart Social
  • Byte was created by US-based Byte, Inc. (the founders previously created the popular Vine app)
  • The app lets users, called “Byters” watch, create, and share short (6 to 16 seconds) looping videos called “Bytes”
  • Users can like or comment on a video, share it as a “rebyte”, or redistribute it through text, email, or share on another social media platform

How does Byte work?

  • New users must sign into Byte with either their Google or Apple accounts 
  • Byters select a username and can create a profile with a photo and bio
  • Users can follow other Byte profiles, but you can’t see how many followers someone else has
  • Users can scroll up from the homepage to watch random videos
  • You can search for videos by username or from one of several categories, including: Popular Now, Latest, Fitness, Food, or Experimental
  • Users can only communicate in a video’s comments. Private messaging is not available through the app
Wall Street Journal headline: TikTok users drawn to rival platforms as Trump threatens U.S. ban
Unfamiliar names such as byte and Triller have charged up the Apple App Store rankings because they offer short videos like those on TikTok, the social-media breakout facing an uncertain future in the U.S. Wall Street Journal

Where is the Byte app available?

What users say about the Byte app

Byte App Guide for Parents on Smart Social
“It brings back the Vine vibe that I dearly missed. I love the 6 second cap again because it urges people and myself to really mix 'smartness' with their content (quality > quantity).” Google Play User
“With so many options for social media platforms these days it’s refreshing to have an app that is stripped down to the basics encouraging the users to actually get creative!” iOS App Store User

Why should parents care?

Byte App Screen Shot
  • Profiles and videos posted to the app are automatically public, so strangers can watch and comment on your child’s videos
  • At the time of this review, privacy settings are not available
  • There is a “flag” button to report inappropriate videos
  • Users can also block other individual users
  • Since the video feed is user-generated, it could include profanity, sexual content, or violence
  • There is a video category called “/420” that showcases drug paraphernalia and people using drugs
  • Some students will attempt anything, including dangerous stunts, to get more likes and comments on their videos
  • Users could be bullied or ridiculed in the comment section or by others who may share their Byte videos on other platforms

What can parents do?

  • Download the Byte app before your kids, use it, and decide if it’s a good fit for your family
  • If your student is on the Byte app, ask for their username
  • Talk with your student about the types of videos they are watching and posting to the Byte app
  • Remind them they can always come to you or a trusted adult if they are feeling scared or sad about something on the Byte app
  • Since there is an endless scroll, students could easily spend a lot of time on Byte without realizing it. Consider setting time limits and encourage offline activities

Conclusion

Students can have a lot of fun and show off their creativity on the Byte app, but if they post anything negative, the whole world could be watching.

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