Is Byte the New TikTok?

By Brooklyn Reich

We’ve all seen the TikTok dance trends during quarantine (and maybe partook in them ourselves), but the app beloved by Gen-Z may be in trouble and a new platform is waiting on the sidelines to take its place. 

TikTok has skyrocketed in popularity since launching in 2016 to the third-most installed app worldwide during the first quarter of 2020. However, the Chinese-owned company has been accused of collecting data from its users, leading countries like India to ban the app. 

In an interview on July 7, 2020, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the Trump administration is considering banning the app. In the following days, many creators chose to go live on the app, in fear of the potential shutdown (largely related to an unrelated glitch in the app causing likes to appear as 0) and began directing their followers to follow them on other alternative social media platforms, including Byte. 

Byte was publicly launched in January 2020 and developed by Vine creator Dom Hofmann. In response to many TikTok users downloading the app, it jumped from No. 210 in Social Networking in the U.S. App Store on July 5 to No. 1 in Social and No. 1 Overall in less than 48 hours. ?

We advise influencers to always maintain a following on a variety of social media platforms, and most importantly their own website. As seen with the shutdown of Vine, popular creators who did not diversify are often lost when platforms seemingly disappear overnight – which may be the case with the biggest TikTok creators. 

A good example of maintaining influencer status after such shutdowns is comedian Sarah Schauer. Reaching 850,000 followers during her time on Vine, she also grew her YouTube and Twitter fanbase, leaving her followers with alternatives when the app ended. With TikTok, the creator has surpassed her Vine following, managing to grow an audience of 1.1M followers on the app.

Do you plan to download Byte? Vine and TikTok stars including Zach King and Casey Frey have already become creators on this growing platform. This app will definitely be one to keep an eye on over the next few weeks! 


  • Byte 
    • Beta Testing began April 2019, Officially Launched Jan 24 2020
    • Created by Dom Hofmann, the creator of Vine
    • Downloaded at least 1.3 million times worldwide in its first week of public availability.
    • As of July 9, 2020, it is the top downloaded free app available on IOS

  • TikTok 
    • Initial release in Sept 2016, Released worldwide after merging with on 2 August 2018.
    • Owned by the Chinese company, ByteDance (no relation to the Byte app). 
      • Since June 2020, Kevin Mayer is CEO of TikTok and COO of parent company ByteDance.[17] Previously he was chairman of the Walt Disney Direct-to-Consumer & International