Thats actually a pretty good idea! But I feel like Byte needs to stand out more in order to compete with TikToks. Now I am sure I am not the right person to say this because I have been in a long hiatus from Byte because I have been extremely busy with college however the main reason I haven’t returned is that I don’t see the point to do so.
When I first heard that Dom and the other developers were working on Byte I was extremely excited. I joined Vine a couple of weeks prior to Vine shutting down and I saw Byte as an opportunity to present my self and grow my brand like everyone else. And when Byte finally launched I got to do so and I loved it, however I started to see a barrier forming that separated the top Byters (who had hundreds to thousands of followers) from the rest (who had tens to hundreds). Now I am not saying that these top Byters didn’t deserve to be there because they did, they spent countless of hours and time and effort into making their Bytes and they uploaded multiple times a day in order to get to where they were but I began to see many things that discouraged me from the app.
First, some of the top Byters put in a lot of time and effort into creating their Bytes, from recording using expensive cameras to editing videos in order to make their videos professional. When I began to see this trend pop up I knew I would never achieve my dream because I was essentially competing with these elite content creators who had lots of money to spend on high quality tools in order to expand their brands while I was down here recording on a potato because I couldn’t afford any of those tools. The thing that made Vine and TikTok great apps was due to how they allow just about any content creator to make any content they wanted to. The vines that are the most memorable to me aren’t those that had weeks of planning and professionally made (live KingBach’s, Logan Paul’s, Amanda Cerny’s). There was nothing wrong with their contents as they had fans that loved their contents and still do to this day. However for me and alot of people the vines and viners that they adored were the “in the moment” ones that had little to no planning done. To this day I still see many people quote these vines. No again, I don’t have a problem with people people planning and using expensive materials to make their content as that is how one grows and is what one uses to showcase their skills on a resume but you also have to see it from the other people’s point of views, it is really hard to grow as a channel when there are those top elites whom overshadow every other creators.
That leads me to my other point, the featured section. It would have been much better if there was a follower limit where only creators who had less than a certain amount of followers to get their bytes onto that category. Now people will argue that everyone should get a chance to get there but think about it this way: If a creator already has hundreds to thousands of subscribers wouldn’t people, through just the word of mouth, know who they are already? Like I have never had a tiktok account and I have barely seen any tiktoks but I don’t need to go into their featured section to know exactly who Charlie, or Dixie, or Chase, or Addison are because I have heard of them through the word of mouth. Wouldn’t it be better to go into the featured section and discover a creator that you have never seen before and then fall in love with their content? This would allow people to discover new creators, but also helps struggling creators get an audience. The whole point for apps like TikTok, and Byte is to provide a platform for people to find entertainment while at the same time provide creators with a platform to help them grow? I feel like instead of trying poach people from TikTok to join Byte it would be better to advertise Byte as a place where creators have a guaranteed chance of getting their content seen and the best place for creators to grow.
There needs to be a way to promote up-and-comers who don’t have as many followers but have quality (in the sense that its enjoyable to watch) content that people have been enjoying. This can be done by having staff members look through bytes and promote those that they believe are entertaining, or by seeing the number of interactions to a specific content in a given period of time and the promoting that content (obviously just ideas as I am not a professional at this) but we need to convince people that Byte is the go to place for people to grow their brand. There are so many struggling creators in TikTok, Youtube, Instagram and other social media platforms and by targeting them Byte will easily grow.
Another thing that I have seen during my time on Byte (and things could have changed as I haven’t used the app in a couple of months now) is how people interact with others. Most of my Bytes consist of comments like “That was funny!”, “Good Byte”, “I relate to that” and yes this makes me feel better, but it doesn’t help me improve my self. I feel if people gave me more creative criticism on different aspects of my bytes so that I could improve as a creator. Stuff like “It would have been more funny if you instead did/said ___” or “maybe try doing __ with you body expression”.
It would also be really cool if Byte started doing other things rather than just 6-8 second videos. Like for example incorporate a live feed, similar to Reddit where creators have a certain amount of time allotted and if they are consistently getting enough likes it could increase the amount of air time they have. Or like allow people to share pictures like Instagram so that those who are not comfortable with videos can share things like cool scenery, or things that they found funny/interesting. There could even be things like a collab channel for musicians, similar to duets in TikTok where musicians can post something like a cool beat they created and another creator can add other touches to it, like lyrics or add to the beat with other beats. The 6-8 seconds material was a good idea for Vine because it was original, but now it has been over used and Byte needs to find other ways of showcasing the app.
*Quick Idea popped into my head as I was writing this. Why not have a part of the app be competition that is streamed live and recorded:
-Amateur Gamers competing against each other in a tournament style in games like Fifa, Fortnite, Street Fighter, Smash or other games created by smaller game developers out there. These developers could sponsor the tournament as Byte would be advertising the games to an audience while to competitors would also get something in return
-Musicians for creating original music preforming in a tournament style
-Artists for their drawings and arts in a tournament style
Now obviously people will disagree with me on this but this has been my experience with the app. Instead of trying poach people from TikTok (which will work to an extent) it would be better to instead advertise Byte as a go to place for creators to get the audience they deserve. By trying to poach people from other social media platforms we would see a temporary spike in users (similar to launch) but they will leave once they get bored or they see that they are unable to grow their brand. Feel free to ignore this massive rant if you disagree with it as I am an unknown person expressing an opinion that so far only I have but I just wanted to write this here because I want Byte to succeed and I want myself as well as other content creators to have a platform where they can achieve. Thank you for attending my Ted Talk!