When Vine launched in 2012 it created a vibrant community of content creators with its 6-second video loops. Now, founder Dom Hofmann is after the attention of doodlers -- a community that has fallen for popular photo- and video-messaging app Snapchat. Hofmann released his latest creation, Byte, from a private beta test Thursday.
The app, available for iOS and on desktop so far, gives users access to a blank canvas on which to create and share virtual compilations. With a colored pen tool, users can doodle on the canvas. They can also add videos and photos on top of that as well as text and emoji. Creations can include clickable links to a website -- which can include other bytes -- and musical soundtracks built by composing with emoji.
Byte users can also see a live feed of content as well as the most "liked." Each Byte creation comes with its own link users can then share online or on the app. Byte users also can search by the creation’s designated name. A "Remix" button allows Byte users to build on other creators' projects.
Ok byte is amazing and now I am late for work __ (byte://aawsron_w7w) http://t.co/95ifuks2QF
— Sean (@cyanhex) September 3, 2015
“Byte gives you an entire screen to make whatever you want,” the app’s description on the Apple App Store reads. “Bytes can be anything -- from tiny jokes shared with your friends to Choose-Your-Own-Adventure games and miniature websites.”
Since publicly launching Wednesday morning, the app has been populated with an assortment of content -- some with allusions to sex.
Some brands potentially have already tapped into the conversation. One post featured Applebee’s logo and “dancing” chicken tenders. Applebee’s did not immediately return a request for comment on whether or not it was made or officially endorsed by the restaurant chain. (Update: "Definitely NOT us," an Applebee's representative wrote in an email to International Business Times Friday morning.)
Twitter co-founder and interim CEO Jack Dorsey endorsed Byte via Twitter. The company, which is searching for a CEO, bought Hofmann’s previous company Vine in 2012 for an estimated $30 million.
Byte! _ https://t.co/hlq208VS6t
— Jack (@jack) September 3, 2015
But Hofmann, who left Vine in 2013, admitted he does not have lofty goals for his latest product. "The expectation is not for it to be really, really big," Hofmann told the Verge in June. "I think it’s going to be a slow burn."
For now, the app is a fun product that’s reminiscent of Twitter co-founder Biz Stone’s Super app -- for making virtual postcards -- and projects out of Facebook Creative Labs, like Riffs and Rooms. Byte is currently available on iOS with an Android app in the works.