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Parents' Guide to

byte - creativity first

By Chris Morris, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Vine revival has some iffy stuff, offers nothing new.

byte - creativity first Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this app.

Community Reviews

age 12+

Based on 4 parent reviews

age 12+

What is the review you gave this

Well it has 3stars on everything on things but your old ppl and you don't understand life in 2020 so whatever *elders* I have no trust for this site!! Cause of the dumb ratings
age 16+

Much worse than tik tok - bad language and messages abound

Like many of your kids, ours LOVE tik tok. And due to concerns of privacy we are considering shutting it down at our house even before the government shuts it down (perhaps). But I think there are some redeeming qualities and good things that are there, like creative videos time lapsing a painting, craft, makeup challenge, cooking recipe, viral dance moves, PSAs, etc. I don't even mind their exposure to wholesome social media stars like Lil Huddie, Charlie Demelio (however you spell it). When I tried byte out to see if it was appropriate I found several things. 1. shorter videos - tik tok could be up to 60 second long and though that seemed interminable when the videos were lame, it did leave ample room for creativity and expression. Byte videos are 6 seconds long leaving a much shorter time and more frenetic experience. 2. Atrocious language - There were tons of the F-word. To me this is the most offensive curse word and if you only have 6 seconds to express yourself, you need to use the strongest language in the shortest amount of time. More than 50% of the videos I scrolled through in 10 minutes included the F-word. This should not be common vernacular in my opinion. 3. less creativity - 90% of the videos that I saw were teens' faces while their text and hashtags were on the screen. This is not nearly as interesting as tik tok was. 4. features missing - by the time this review gets read by enough people Byte will likely have fixed this. It lacks many of the features of tik tok which were most attractive to people including comments, and the ability to use an audio again for your own vidoes or "duets". All Byte has is a constant scrolling of 6 second looped videos. Lastly and most importantly my 10 year old has been obsessively talking about tik tok. Constantly she is showing me videos which she makes, talking about videos that she has seen, social media stars. She is practicing tik tok dances and repeating POV and memes. We limit exposure to 1 hr a day and she is still this constantly focused. I feel like subbing another app would just continue this living in a crack video world and decreased ability of her own mind to be creative and find something else to do. So I think for our house, there is no appropriate substitute for tik tok and we need to leave this crazy phase behind. Hopefully this review encouraged you to think critically about your kids consumption of these sorts of videos. If you're looking for details, just download it on your own phone, sign up and start scrolling for yourself. In the case of byte, this is a critical step to take before saying OK to your kids about it.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (4 ):
Kids say (3 ):

Just like the original Vine, this six-second video creator hosts a mixed bag of content, but it doesn't add anything new and might have trouble competing with similar apps (cough -- TikTok -- cough). While byte - creativity first is trying to steal audience away from that mega-popular app, it doesn't offer any new features to woo people over. The interface is largely the same. The tools are the same. But the audience is smaller. There's no built-in music to inspire users which might be less enticing to teens who are too young to remember the original Vine. And if you're hoping to escape the bot comments and fake accounts that have overrun Tik Tok, it's already too late for that.

Though there's no music with iffy lyrics built in to the app, a large number of users have embraced profanity, drug use, and crude humor to stand out. For instance, during review there were jokes about incest and masturbation, as well as 'pranks' that could hurt people in the real world. The comments encourage users to "Say Something Nice," but there was little evidence that people were following that advice. Comments are unregulated, as (apparently) is the video content. The lack of direct messaging within the app might ease some parents' concerns, but watch for the online forum where interaction happens. So, while it might eventually grow into a phenomenon like TikTok, and it lacks a few of the features that pain parents, it's still inappropriate for kids.

App Details

  • Devices: iPhone , iPod Touch , iPad , Android
  • Pricing structure: Free
  • Release date: January 27, 2020
  • Category: Social Networking
  • Publisher: Byte Inc.
  • Version: 0.2.1
  • Minimum software requirements: iOS 11.1 or later; Android 5.1 and up
  • Last updated: January 30, 2020

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