Back at last with another byte bulletin! #10 for all of you keeping count (or…just…reading the post title). We’re hoping to get back into the rhythm of posting these every 3 weeks. Now onto your questions…
The #1 question is still about release date, of course. As the pieces are falling into place (in addition to developing the beta we’re also hiring for some key roles), we are getting a better idea of a release window that we’re targeting, but we aren’t quite ready to name anything just yet. For now we are simply continuing with the beta, adding more fixes, features, and testers. To that end, we will be sending out another round of invites TOMORROW, so get ready.
Many of you have also been asking for creators program details, including the very reasonable question, “What is it?” Here’s what we can say right now:
The “creators program” is separate from the “partner program” (which is pretty much the monetization program). The creators program will let us talk to people who are specifically interested in all things related to byte creation (as opposed to simply watching bytes, or any other areas of culture that might emerge from the land of byte). Through it we will be doing the work of a) helping creators create and b) interacting with and getting feedback from creators. It will be open to everyone and will probably consist of stuff like:
creator-focused emails with tips, news, etc.
updates about events/meetups when we have them
some merch/swag-related stuff
voting on certain features and issues
invitations to participate in surveys, studies, or panels
early access to certain features (like analytics, etc.)
Please note that we might rename these programs in the interest of clarity down the line, but that’s how we’re differentiating between them for now.
We’ll share details about the partner program very close to launch, but we don’t expect to truly kick it off until 3-6 months after launch. (Our takes on advertising and monetization are also related to the partner program and will be discussed in pre-launch announcements, as well.)
Are enough bugs being reported or does the community need to step it up?
We’re really happy with the bug reports so far and have already been able to squash plenty of pesky bugs with your help. There can never be too many, but you definitely don’t need to step it up!
Is byte merch already being considered?
That’s a strong YES! More on this to come.
What are some of the ways that you will try to advertise the app once it’s out to the public?
We’re not focused on advertising immediately after launch. We’ll be focused on supporting the initial surge of people and making sure things are as stable as they can be before we consider that. Organic growth is the best growth, so in the short term we’ll rely mostly on word of mouth and the content itself. We’ll have some more details on how you can help as individuals and as a community as we get closer to launch.
What does the team think about featuring people from the beta in byte’s App Store/Google Play Store listing?
That’s a good idea! We haven’t thought much about it yet, but we’ll see if it makes sense once we start mocking up our listings.
Is there any chance, maybe for one day only, that there will be a beta-tester-only category on launch day?
That isn’t currently on the roadmap, but we’re working on a feature to let you indicate that you are a beta tester in your profile.
How would switching between multiple accounts work?
We’re working on this at the moment. Our current approach is that you’ll need a separate email for each account. At launch you’ll probably have to log out and log into the new account, but we’ll work on adding a feature that makes switching easy once you’ve logged into each account at least once.
Is the idea to have direct messages on your mind for the app?
We’re not focused on DMs at the moment, but they are a natural part of most social-ish apps that grow, so we will probably revisit.
Any news or more information on more beta features?
We’re finally getting comfortable with the fact that the app will never truly be complete and we’ll always be working on it. This beta has been great at helping us understand that. We now know that we need to draw the line at some point and get this thing out to more people!
We’re currently working on hashtags, categories, and more profile options. We’re also working on more ways to discover content and reach new people. We have two other creation features planned, one of which will be the first “seasonal” feature.
Teams, Blasts, Favoriting, and Offline Mode are all still on the roadmap for release after launch.
Will there be pop-up notifications in the byte app like Instagram has the red heart symbol show up? What is the team’s view on the balance of being an engaging app vs being an addictive one?
We don’t have anything like that on the current roadmap, but that’s a good idea. For your second question: if forced to choose, we’d rather be truly engaging for 5 minutes a day than mindlessly addictive for an hour a day.
In what languages will the app be available?
The app will be available in English at launch. Translation is a relatively high next priority once we feel that we’re stable.
When someone registers and enters the app for the first time, will they see a global feed or be shown bytes of their region (Latin America, for example)?
The main public feeds are entirely global and that is the ongoing plan for now. We may have optional localized feeds in the future. We’ll let you know if either one of those changes.
Will Android and Apple versions be released at the same time?
Will there be dark mode?
Right now, there’s only a dark mode.
That’s it for now. If you’re in the beta, keep up the great creating, interacting, and bug reporting! If you’re still waiting to get in, fingers crossed for tomorrow or, if not, soon after!