Is Byte the New TikTok?

by Kedet | August 14, 2020

You might have heard in the news that Trump is planning to ban the popular video app, TikTok. What is that all about? We also think that newcomer Byte might just be the next big thing.

Read on and learn about the current situation with TikTok and more about Byte!

Here’s what we will cover in this blog:

What’s Happening To TikTok?

In early August of 2020, President of the United States, Donald Trump issued executive orders of banning the popular video app, TikTok and social platform, WeChat. What these two channels have in common is that they are both owned by Chinese technology companies (ByteDance and Tencent).

Trump says that (TikTok) “may also be used for disinformation campaigns that benefit the Chinese Communist Party. The United States must take aggressive action against the owners of TikTok to protect our national security”.

The reason for this is the fear of China potentially collecting vast amounts of personal data and information of Americans. The main issue is around data privacy and how it may interfere with the United States’ national security, foreign policy and economy.

However, TikTok was taken aback by the executive order and has been denying all of the allegations. TikTok stated that the user data collected from the United States are stored in America and the backup is located in Singapore, both outside of China’s jurisdiction. Experts and politicians are still concerned that China could force Chinese companies like ByteDance to hand over the collected data to the Beijing government, due to their existing legislation.

The deadline of the ban is September 15, 2020. Microsoft is in talks with ByteDance, expressing the interest to acquire TikTok in the countries of: United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand. Experts say that it wouldn’t really change anything of the app aside from it then being owned and operated by an American company, outside of the Chinese government’s control.

Okay, let’s just keep the politics at that. What we are here to discuss is if TikTok does actually get banned in the United States, what happens next?

What is Byte – Could It Be the Next Big Thing?

As an advertising agency that runs a variety of ads across different channels, like social (including TikTok), we are keeping a close eye on the shifting landscape.

One platform that has stuck out to us is a new video social platform called, “Byte”.

Yahoo stated that in August 2020, Byte has already surpassed TikTok in Apple Store downloads. New York Post reports that over 600,000 people had left TikTok and downloaded Byte. People are catching on and looking for alternatives already!

The co-founder of Byte had previously founded Vine, the popular video app a few years back. This is a new project that launched on the Apple and Google Store in early 2020.

What we all loved about Vine when it was around was the condensed consumption of media. The 6-second limit and loop allowed people to get creative, tell stories, serve punchlines quickly and effectively. The endless loops sometimes made us rewatch it 22 times because it was just that funny. Not everyone’s got time for filler, man!

Byte is about going back back to basics.

Byte currently has all the basics of a social platform. It comes with a newsfeed, notifications, profile pages and an explore page.

The application is still new, so doesn’t have functions such as augmented reality filters that are popular on Instagram stories, Snapchat and TikTok. To bypass this for now, people can record videos on those other apps with the filters and upload to Byte.

Byte also doesn’t have messaging features so no sliding into anyone’s DMs. It allows comments under each video and that’s it. So far, the users are really enjoying the app as it’s no frills and focuses more on quality of content versus quantity.
SmartSocial did a quick breakdown of the Byte App versus TikTok, take a look at their video:

What is War Room’s Take On This?

In a recent article, HubSpot reported that video content is not only dominating, but the consumption of video content is also evolving with every generation. In the past decade, with the introduction of smartphones and tablets, people have access to the internet and countless content at their fingertips. You don’t even need a video camera anymore to make a video. Because of the accessibility to view and record videos, we predict that Byte will be a social app that is extremely easy for users to download and navigate.

We see a lot of influencers crossposting their video content across multiple platforms, for example reposting their TikTok dance video on Instagram Stories, prompting people to follow them on both platforms. We believe that that’s the reason why over half a million people have already switched over to Byte. They can promote their new Byte account on Instagram and Tiktok (when it’s still around) and get their followers to transfer over, making it an easy transition and not having to build their Byte following from nothing.

There hasn’t been talks of advertising on the platform yet, in an interview with TechCrunch, Don Hofman said, “we’re looking at all of those (advertising), but we’ll be starting with a revenue share and supplementing with our own funds. We’ll have more details about exactly how the pilot program will work soon.”

We predict that if there will be ad space for purchase on Byte in the future, visuals will be crucial for social display ads. We’ll be curious to see if they support In-stream ads. It’s still early on in predicting what Byte will become, but we are optimistic to see the emergence of a new player in the field of social media!

What Have We Learned?

  • President Trump signed an executive order to ban the social video app, TikTok because it’s owned by Chinese tech firm, ByteDance. This is due to the concern that the Chinese government may potentially misuse the huge amounts of data of American citizens collected from the application, negatively impacting the United State’s foreign policy, national security and economy.
  • Microsoft is in talks of purchasing TikTok amongst US, Canada, New Zealand etc.
  • With TikTok’s presence in potential jeopardy, people are beginning to jump ship over to Byte, a US owned app. It has already surpassed TikTok in downloads on Apple Store.
  • Byte is a newly launched social video application in 2020. Its founder is Don Hofman, who also founded the viral video app Vine.
  • Byte will follow Vine’s 6-second video format, which will allow users to storytell in short, bite-sized chunks.
  • Like other social applications, Byte is equipped with a newsfeed, explore function, profile pages and notifications. It currently does not have any filters or abilities for remixing like its competitors.
  • Byte’s founder says there currently isn’t any advertising options available on the platform at this stage, but will be examining that at a later date as the app matures and grows momentum.
  • We think this US-based video app has the potential to be the next big video platform!
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