I’d like to summarize my experience on Byte thus far and some of positives and negatives I’ve come across.
First the good: the channels revamp! I’m very pleased with how the development team is organizing these channels and how each channel feels like its own little community. The rules guideline really helps solidify the purpose of each channel, and the bytes are organized neatly and it’s easy to navigate and discover new content. Secondly, the beats function. While I’ve never used it, I’ve seen it implemented well and it’s something I’ve yet to experience in a social media platform. Not only does this give musicians more tools to work with, it encourages experimentation. Third, the looping feature is smooth when it is edited properly. TikTok, for example, is much more challenging to make loop as it doesn’t really have a simple transition from last frame to beginning frame. Lastly, the community is great. There’s supportive users and content creators abound, and @dom and his team listen to its users and considers their concerns when updating the app.
Now the “bad” (or not-so-great): Just to get this out of the way, the lack of a large viewer base. I understand that Byte is in its public infancy and expectations need to be reasonable, but unfortunately, people are impatient and often judgmental. People appear to abandon Byte quickly. There was even a “byte is dead” meme going around the community. It would be wonderful if a large content creator on another app supported Byte and informed their audience of the app. Hopefully this will happen. Secondly, there’s a lot of issues I have with the current editing process. For example, it’d be beneficial if there was a slider feature to move to where I want to focus on for the video. Let’s say I just want to hear and watch the last second over and over again. Well, I have to watch the entire 15 seconds just to get to the last one. A more precise tool would be nice. Additionally, and this is a known issue, but the problem with the loop in the preview not being the same as the posted byte is a glaring issue for an app that is built to seamlessly loop. Something else I’d like is if the scrolling of the video while editing would trigger it to play instead of having to tap the PLAY icon to have it start. Lastly, the comment section feels messy. It’s a standard right now to have parent-sibling comment chains. It helps contain a conversation that otherwise looks like spam without it. Content creators like to respond to comments, and I regularly have to scroll past 20 replies to find a new comment that isn’t from the creator.
Overall, I think the app is moving along at a healthy pace and is worth recommending to people. It’s fun and engaging, but I worry that there are some features and UI issues that turn people away simply because they are used to something already completed. Byte is good. It could be better. I want it to succeed! I hope within a years time we have advertising in place and more of a push to attract new viewers.