January 28, 2020
Byte, video app from creator of Vine, is here and it's overrun with spam comments
The six-second video messaging app Vine has officially risen from the ashes under a new name: Byte. And it got off to a rocky start over the weekend.
One of Vine's founders Dom Hofmann launched a reimagined version of the short-form video app on iOS and Android on Friday. As early as Sunday, users reported being greeted by a slew of bots.
Vine was launched in 2012 and quickly shot to popularity after users began uploading humorous short, looping video content. The platform was a hotbed of creativity until it was bought by Twitter, which shut it down in 2016.
Like Vine, the new app lets users shoot and upload six-second looping clips. Its release means that teens on TikTok have a new outlet to express their creativity, and it marks a nostalgic flashback for adults who remember the days before Instagram added video sharing.
"It's both familiar and new. We hope it'll resonate with people who feel something's been missing," Byte tweeted Friday.
Byte has many standard features like activity and Explore pages, notifications and profiles. It also lets users "rebyte" or share videos they are a fan of. Vine feels less AR and filters focused than Snapchat and TikTok, which makes it simpler to use.
Over the weekend, users complained about receiving tons of bot-generated spam comments on their newly posted videos. Hofmann addressed the spam problem in a blog post on Sunday, promising a solution was in the works.
"I wanted to post an update and make it clear that we're aware of the issues with comment spam and more widely with certain types of comments. This is our top priority and we're working very hard to address it. It should be noticeably better than it was 24 hours ago and should continue to improve over the next little while," Hofmann wrote.
Byte is also adding the ability to like comments, moderation tools and a way for influencers to make money on the platform.
"Very soon, we'll introduce a pilot version of our partner program which we will use to pay creators," Byte said in a tweet. Hofmann told TechCrunch that the startup is considering revenue sharing and tipping as ways for users to make money.
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