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Byte, the US homegrown competitor to TikTok, admitted to a huge bot problem just 2 days after launching

Published by Business Insider on Mon, 27 Jan 2020

Byte, the new 6-second video app from Vine cofounder Dom Hofmann, admitted to a serious bot problem just two days after its release.Byte launched on Friday for the iPhone and on Android and lets users create six-second, looping videos.But early users have complained of numerous bot-generated spam comments being left under their posts.In a blog post published Sunday, Hofmann said Byte was aware of the problems and has made resolving them its "top priority."Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.Byte, the spiritual successor to looping video app Vine, is already facing a bot plague.The app was created by one of Vine's cofounders, Dom Hofmann, and launched for the iPhone and on Android on Friday.Byte lets users create and upload looping, six-second videos, much like Vine ' a much-loved, often hilarious app that offered a similar service until it was bought by Twitter and shuttered.Byte has generated considerable buzz from users still nostalgic for Vine, but the new app's first few days in the public eye have been marred by complaints about bot-generated spam comments under people's posts.One Byte user, Manu, expressed frustration at the spam. He posted a Byte video to Twitter and claimed the post had been beset by spam. "I legit just made this a few minutes ago, and it received 10 different bot comments in less than a minute," he wrote.In a blog post published Sunday titled "Taking out the garbage," Dom Hofmann addressed these concerns.He wrote: " We're aware of the issues with comment spam and more widely with certain types of comments. This is our top priority and we're working very hard to address it."It should be noticeably better than it was 24 hours ago and should continue to improve over the next little while."In the medium term, Hofmann said Byte would be making "more dramatic changes" to users' ability to like, block, filter and limit comments, as well as "ramping up" the platform's video moderation.So, @byte_app, I legit just made this a few minutes ago, and it received 10 different bot comments in less than a minute pic.twitter.com/gG2zKrN392' Manu (@manulotto) January 27, 2020Byte's community guidelines ask users to not 'be a bot (or act like one)' by leaving spammy links under videos.Byte enters a competitive market, given social media has evolved considerably since Vine's heydey in the early 2010s. Its main competitor is TikTok, created by Chinese unicorn ByteDance, which is neck-and-neck with Instagram in terms of popularity. It's also going up against Facebook-owned Instagram.Byte is smaller than both companies. It isn't clear how much the firm has raised, but LinkedIn postings suggest the firm has around 14 employees.The firm is hoping to build on Vine's cult status and its early pioneering of the looping video format.Logan Paul and Shawn Mendes are among the present-day celebrities to have significantly boosted their profiles through clever use of Vine, while Hollywood celebrities such as Ryan Gosling were famously parodied on the platform.SEE ALSO:The co-creator of Vine is back with a new viral video app to take on TikTok, and you can download it nowJoin the conversation about this storyNOW WATCH: People are still debating the pink or grey sneaker, 2 years after it went viral. Here's the real color explained.
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