Dom Hofmann, one of the founders behind the 6-second video app Vine, just launched a new creative app that wants to bring the psychedelic whimsy of late-1990s digital culture to your smartphone.
Byte, which entered a private beta today, is all about arranging things — videos, GIFs, text, or colours.
Hofmann says the inspiration for Byte comes from the tools he grew up as a kid like Mario Paint for the Super Nintendo, he told The Verge. And when he left his role as Vine’s general manager in 2013, he wanted to see if he could capture the creativity of those kinds of software, and slap it into your phone.
Byte’s creation tool has a variety of buttons and sliders that allow you to insert basically any type of media you want onto the canvas. You can take photos, draw with your finger, or pull in text or memes from the Internet. Byte even allows you to “soundtrack” your work by manipulating emojis positioned on a grid to play different looping synths. Move an emoji around, and listen to the beat change.
Then you can share your creation with your friends in a method familiar to anyone with a knowledge of Vine or Instagram. There are feeds of people you like and ways to discover new content.
As for popularity, Hofmann told The Verge he doesn’t expect Byte to be really big. And it will certainly have difficulty competing with the instant success of Vine, which was snapped up by Twitter for a reported $US30 million before it got out of beta. “I think it’s going to be a slow burn,” he told The Verge. That might fit Byte’s aesthetic better, which if this introduction video is any indication, will tend toward wacky.
You can join the waitlist on Byte’s website.
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