After the Trump administration announced they were “looking at” a ban of TikTok due to national security concerns, TikTok teens are one the move. Now they’re leaving TikTok in masses in favor of a new app — Byte.
What Is Byte?
Byte is a platform made of user-created looping videos. When it first launched earlier this year, it was dubbed “the new Vine.” Not only did Byte mimic the now-defunct app’s short videos, but it also has the same co-creator, Dom Hofmann.
It shouldn’t be a surprise that teens are finding a replacement for TikTok in Byte. Both allow users to boast their creativity in short videos, and the possibilities to go viral are available on both platforms.
Despite its promising description, one of Byte’s early shortcomings was that it didn’t have as many ways to customize/edit videos as TikTok did. However, it’s not stopping teens from jumping off TikTok and onto Byte as shutdown rumors swirl.
The Move to Byte
The transition from TikTok to Byte isn’t all smooth sailing for Gen-Z teens. Byte was primarily used by millennials, who were more likely reminiscing their time on Vine while using the app. The difference in generations is sparking more conflict between Gen Z and millennials.
“Alt TikTok” Leading the Charge
A particular crowd of TikTok users is leading the migration, known as “Alt TikTok” or “Elite TikTok.” This group’s activity is often the opposite of what the public usually sees on the platform; no videos made of dance routines and viral challenges, here. Alt TikTok users refer to this more mainstream side as “Straight TikTok.”
When you find yourself in Alt TikTok, your “For You Page” is a mix of weirdness: bean-worshipping, fairy-speak, obsessing over Hannah Montana’s Jason Earles, and plenty of other bizarre content. Both Alt TikTok and Straight TikTok content is presented on the same platform, but finding either “side” is determined by a user’s interactions, which influences the app’s algorithm to suggest certain content.
Some teens are still complaining about Byte having limited editing functions in comparison to TikTok. Most teens, however, are embracing the fresh start away from Straight TikTok and glad they’ve found a TikTok backup if it does face government restrictions.