Vine — the much loved and mourned short video hosting platform — will return, kind of, sort of. Co-creator Dom Hofmann announced on Twitter today that its spiritual successor is set to arrive next spring.
Details? We don’t have many. Though Hofmann did give us a name — Byte — and logo to match. From the sound out of, things will operate similarly to Vine, with short, looping videos. So far it’s got a domain and a couple of admittedly clunky social media handles.
Twitter unceremoniously shuttered Vine two years back, after acquiring it back in 2016. There certainly appears to be some desire for the network lo these many years later, given that Vine compilations are still very much a thing on one-time competitors like YouTube. Hofmann is clearly among those who believes the idea of six-second videos still has some life left in it.
He has for some time now been discussing launching his own successor to the service, initially deeming it V2. He even went so far as to launch a logo for that service, and detail the offering. Earlier this year, however, Hofmann announced that he would be postponing its launch. Things have gone completely silent until now, and you would be forgiven if that roller coaster left you skeptical about Byte’s launch.
We were apprehensive too, and hoped to see more than just a logo and landing page before declaring Vine’s successor would actually become reality. In response to our tweet about what progress he’d actually made so far, he claims to have funding, a team and a product:
This planned return still leaves plenty of unanswered questions about who is on the team, how the product works, and where the funding comes from, the latter of which became an issue in earlier attempts to launch the service. The Byte name, meanwhile, is borrowed from an earlier tool created by Hofmann in the wake of the original Vine.
So how did Interspace and Byte turn into this new video app? Hofmann tells TechCrunch, “We paused work on our previous project at Interspace and our entire team is all in on this. Interspace is VC-funded, and I put in a little bit as well.”
The reason this all matters at such an early stage is that Vine had an incredible impact on society despite its relatively small user base. Scores of popular memes, future YouTube/Snapchat/Instagram/Musically stars, and the sponsored social content craze all came out of the app. The massive outpouring of grief when Vine 1 shut down is evidence that if Byte can even offer a facsimile of its community vibe, the youth might flock back to Dom. In an age when social media increasingly is blamed for generating envy and inauthenticity, Vine was about pure entertainment. It’s worth watching if it can be revived under a different name.