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Chloe Woodard in the iconic Who is She Vine
‘Who is She’ Vinevia Vine (Chloe Woodard)

Vine is officially back in the form of new video app Byte

TikTok is shaking

When video-sharing app Vine closed up shop in 2017, it left behind a void that has never quite been filled. But fans of the deceased platform now have reason to celebrate, with the app’s rebirth in the form of Byte – a six-second video app that launched over the weekend (January 25), which is likely to have rival platform TikTok shook.

Byte was created by Dom Hoffman – the former co-creator of Vine – and looks to be a repackaged and updated version of the app, allowing users to share short clips in an endless, scrollable feed. For now, it’s more pared down than competitor apps, lacking the remixability, augmented reality filters, transition effects, and other bonus features TikTok boasts.

Coming soon to Byte, which TikTok and Instagram currently don’t offer, however, is a way for creators to easily make money from their videos. Hoffman told TechCrunch that the platform will offer revenue sharing with creators, the same way YouTube allows accounts to make money from ads. He said that further details would be released soon. 

Owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, TikTok has recently come under fire for censoring LGBTQ+ content, and content criticising the Chinese government for its treatment of Uighur Muslims. The app is also currently facing a lawsuit in the US for transferring “large quantites” of user data to China. Being a US-owned company could therefore give Byte a serious advantage as an alternative to TikTok. 

After launching in 2013, Vine rapidly grew its user-base, establishing itself as the go-to platform for idiosyncratic, high-concept comedy. It propelled a number of its stars to widespread fame, among them Shawn Mendes and Jay Versace. Twitter – who acquired the app in 2013 – subsequently shut down the platform in an effort to cut cost. While the creative web mourned, Hofmann reportedly began working on a follow-up app after Vine’s closure, announcing the launch of Byte in early 2018.

Whether nostalgia for the late Vine is enough to get users onboard with another app to compete with the likes of TikTok, SnapchatInstagram and Facebook, is yet to be seen. In the meantime, bask in Vine’s legacy with some of our favourite videos from the app.