The first download numbers for Byte, the app heralded as Vine 2.0, show it still has a long way to go to catch up to TikTok


byte app

  • Byte, the long-anticipated successor to the video-sharing app Vine, launched to the public on Friday night.
  • Over the weekend, Byte was downloaded 780,000 times, according to data from app analytics firm Sensor Tower.
  • By comparison, Vine — whose cofounder is behind Byte — attracted only 105,000 downloads when it launched in 2013. Meanwhile, the viral app TikTok was downloaded 8.2 million times this weekend — over 10 times more downloads than Byte.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The new app from Vine’s cofounder is already being teased as a true competitor to TikTok, but it still has a long way to go before it reaches the viral fame TikTok achieved in the US.

The debut of Byte on Friday was met with rapt attention from creators and fans who adored the six-second video app Vine and mourned its death when Twitter shut it down in 2016. Terms including “Vine” and “Byte” quickly began trending on Twitter as users flocked their mobile app stores to download Byte, claim their usernames, and start searching for meme-worthy content.

The immediate hype surrounding Byte translated to around 780,000 downloads of the app over the weekend, according to data provided by app analytics firm Sensor Tower. More than three-quarters of those downloads came from the US alone, Sensor Tower told Business Insider.

This number is nothing to scoff at, as compared with the debut of its bonafide predecessor. When Vine launched in January 2013 (solely on the App Store for iOS devices), it accrued 105,000 downloads in its first few days, according to Sensor Tower data. Byte launched simultaneously on both iOS and Android.

That means Byte lapped Vine’s download numbers by more than seven times over in its debut. Byte is the product of Vine cofounder Dom Hofmann, who has been teasing a follow-up to Vine for more than two years. The journey to bring his project to fruition appeared to hit some bumps: He indefinitely postponed his first iteration, V2, before picking up with Byte. Hofmann introduced Byte’s closed beta in 2018.

Meanwhile, the world of social platforms has drastically changed thanks to TikTok, a short-form video-sharing app that’s developed into a launchpad for viral hilarity and widespread memes. The app now has more than 1.5 billion all-time downloads, and has rocketed in popularity in the US in the year since it first touched down here.

With a number that big, Byte has a long, long way to go to catch up. In the same timeframe this weekend that Byte attracted 780,000 downloads, TikTok racked in 8.2 million downloads, Sensor Tower told Business Insider.

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