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Alt TikTok Has Migrated To Byte After The Trump Administration's Announcement And Is Taking Over

Will straight TikTok follow suit?

Posted on July 9, 2020, at 2:54 p.m. ET


The very best part of TikTok is looking for greener pastures now that the Trump administration has set its sights on the China-based app.

In the last few days, Byte has been taken over by "alt TikTok," a section of the app known for absurdist humor, as well as gay TikTok, which is more self-explanatory.

If you're not familiar with Byte, no one can blame you. The app was launched in January by Dom Hofmann, co-creator of the much-beloved and much-missed Vine. Like Vine, or TikTok, it's an app for sharing short, looping videos, but it hasn't caught on with anywhere near the same intensity as TikTok has. But that may be about to change.

According to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, the Trump administration is looking into banning Chinese apps, including TikTok, to stem a potential threat to the private information of US citizens. It would certainly be a big downer for the reportedly 30 million or so users of TikTok in the US, including a whole bunch of Gen Z teens.

That's why they've now turned to Byte. The tags "alttiktok" and "altbyte" have been taking over the app as TikTok users try to navigate its differences.

While similar to TikTok in many ways, Byte is less flashy with far fewer filters and sound bites available. It also lacks features like dueting, and the interface isn't as user-friendly. So there have been some adjustments.


But many people are happy to have a fresh start.


One of the main jokes right now is that there are no big stars on Byte right now — which means no Charli D'Amelio or Addison Rae doing dances.

And there's definitely no Hype House.


Collectively, big-name influencers come from "straight TikTok" — basically the more generic, corporate, and literally heterosexual side of the app.

Another downside of Byte is it is filled with a lot of millennials (who, as we know, Gen Z dislikes) thanks to Byte mainly being Vine diehards who won't give up the dream.


Whether Byte will truly be the next TikTok will depend on whether the US actually bans TikTok, and whether influencers are ready to worm their way into a new platform.

Will TikTok die? Will straight TikTok ruin Byte just as it finally got good? Only time will tell.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Byte for comment.

A BuzzFeed News investigation, in partnership with the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, based on thousands of documents the government didn't want you to see.