New TikTok competitor Byte already filled with spam after launch

The app created by Vine founder Dom Hoffman will likely present some competition to China's TikTok

A new six-second video app called Byte, which launched Jan. 24, is already experiencing a spam issue.

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Vine founder Dom Hoffman created Byte as an alternative to Vine, which Twitter bought for $30 million in 2012 and then shut down in 2016 after it struggled to expand its user base and make money. Byte will likely present some competition to Chinese video app TikTok, which gained immense popularity starting in 2018.

"Dear friends, today we’re bringing back [six]-second looping videos and a new community for people who love them," Byte announced in a Jan. 24 Twitter post. "It’s called Byte, and it’s both familiar and new. We hope it’ll resonate with people who feel something’s been missing."

Some Byte users, however, are already complaining of spam issues, including comments on videos that come from fake accounts and scammers who register popular usernames on other social media websites and then sell those usernames to people who want them to stay consistent with branding.

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"You'd think a new platform by the makers of Vine and lessons learned from other bot-infested platforms like Instagram and Twitter in the four years since Twitter shut it down, would have stronger protections in place (at least at launch), but nope," tech blogger Raymond Wong wrote in an INPUT post. "Byte's no different than any other social network. What a shame."

"By the time I started to really get into sharing my sixth or so Byte video, the bots started appearing and ruined everything," he added. "Literally, as soon as I post any video, there's already a bot notification waiting to be swiped away."

The spam messages appear to be attempts by bot accounts to get real users to click on and follow their content.

Others complained of their usernames on Twitter being taken within the first few days of Byte's launch in an attempt by scammers to sell usernames in demand.

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"Hey [Byte] ... this user is already selling some username handles," one user wrote. "Pretty sure he was a beta user. Was this allowed for early users to hoard names so they can sell them when the app became public?"

Hoffman responded to the complaints a day after the app launched on Jan. 25, writing in a tweet, "Good morning. Let's squash some spam bots."

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He then issued a statement clarifying how he plans to address bots and scammers that have already tainted the Vine successor's rollout.

"Hey everyone, we're about 36 hours in and I hope you're having more fun than not fun," Hoffman wrote. "I wanted to post an update and make it clear that we're aware of the issues with comment spam and more widely with certain types of comments. This is our top priority. ... It should be noticeably better than it was 24 hours ago and should continue to improve over the next little while."

Hoffman also announced an update that will allow users to like and block comments but did not address the issue of scammers taking users' names.

Byte did not immediately respond to FOX Business' request for comment.

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