- Byte, a new looping-video app created by the co-founder of Vine, was the most popular app in the U.S. with more than 1.3 million downloads during its first week, researcher Sensor Tower said in a blog. Seventy percent of Byte's app installs occurred in the U.S., making it the biggest region for the app since its Jan. 24 release.
- The first-week results for Byte exceed those for Vine, which was released in 2013 and initially was limited to Apple's iOS platform. Byte's iOS downloads totaled 950,000, exceeding the 775,000 for Vine during the first week of introduction. Byte also was downloaded 350,000 times from the Google Play store for Android devices, per Sensor Tower.
- Byte also exceeded the first-week results for Musical.ly, the U.S. predecessor to social video app TikTok that has become a global sensation. Musical.ly was downloaded 8,800 times on iOS during its first week in August 2014, per Sensor Tower. Chinese startup ByteDance bought Musical.ly in 2017, and rebranded it as TikTok the following year.
Byte's launch opens a new social ad platform for marketers, though many brands may wait and see whether the app will reach a scale that makes it worthwhile for media buys. Most of Byte's announcements on its Twitter account urge creators to make content for the platform with the promise of eventual revenue sharing from a "Partner Pool." The money will come from ads, but Byte won't have any pre-rolls ads before its six-second video clips, ads in a creator's following feed or ads based on re-targeting, per a tweet. Helping content creators make money could be one way that Byte can differentiate itself from TikTok.
Byte's early download numbers indicate a strong opening week for the much-anticipated app started by Dom Hoffman, the co-founder of Vine, although ByteDance's TikTok is a formidable competitor among social video apps. Vine was a pioneer among video sharing apps when mobile networks and smartphones had slower download times than they do today.
Twitter acquired Vine in 2012 before its initial launch and oversaw its growth to a reported 200 million users by 2015. However, Twitter three years ago announced it would close Vine amid concerns about monetization, The Verge reported. While many fans mourned the loss of Vine, its closure opened the doors for TikTok to develop a user base and ways for creators to monetize their content. Byte is entering a much bigger market for mobile video, but also faces significant competition from other social media platforms that have expanded their video content in the past few years.