At a time when the Chinese application and video-hosting service TikTok is under scrutiny in the United States (which would like to ban it), India (which has already banned it) and other countries like Australia (which suspect it of collecting personal data), interest is growing in its American rival Byte. What are the real differences between the two apps?
The most downloaded mobile application in the world in 2020 is also one of the most controversial. Like the Chinese hardware producer Huawei, TikTok is the object of intense scrutiny. The innocent looking application is "suspected" by some countries of massively collecting private data for the Chinese state.
However, if it is outlawed TikTok's many users can always fall back on other options that offer the same functions for editing and sharing short-form videos, which have been embellished with music and filters. Among them is Byte, an application by one of the co-founders of Vine, which launched in January 2020.
Byte is an application that allows users to create and share short videos of no more than eight seconds in length, as opposed to a maximum duration of one minute on TikTok. That is the main difference between the two applications, the idea being with Byte to keep content short so as to rapidly catch the attention of other users of the network, exactly in the spirit of its ancestor Vine. As to the other details, the application is almost exactly the same as TikTok, with an extensive library of music, sound effects, and filters.
Having said that, the current situation is that Byte is struggling to gain traction in a market dominated by its Chinese rival, which is used by more than a billion people around the world. TikTok, which has also taken advantage of the lockdown to grow its user base, has been downloaded more than two billion times since it launched, and that includes 87 million downloads in June 2020 alone. Byte, on the other hand, had a spike in its numbers in early July with 622,000 downloads in one day, as opposed to its usual 120,000, according to a report from Sensor Tower.