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Wannabes Wanna Bite of TikTok


Is time up for TikTok? (Narrator voice: No!) But if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, the platform has plenty of admirers, all eager to break off a piece of that TikTok bar. Everyone wants to get a slice of TT’s creators, and the eyeballs that come with them. Here’s the latest on some of the wannabes wanting in on the market.


Brought to you by the co-founder of the late, great Vine, Dom Hoffman’s newest offering was released January 24, 2020 and received 1.5 million downloads in its first week. Byte has a lot in common with its predecessor, with users posting six-second looping videos. Hoffman has plans (not yet disclosed) to offer creator compensation and directly monetize the platform. Some Vine-turned-TikTok favorites like Joshdarnit and Lance Stewart have taken the bait and started posting on Byte.


African-American teens can take most of the credit for turning an almost-dead lip-synching app into a social sensation that’s now second only to TikTok. With one billion views a month, the scrappy startup has an astounding participation rate, with 30% of its daily users creating their own content, instead of only consuming.

Dubsmash is ground zero for culture creation in America—it’s where the newest, most popular hip-hop and dance challenges on the internet originate,” Dubsmash co-founder and president Suchit Dash recently told Techcrunch. “Members of the community are developing content that will make them the superstars of tomorrow.” (Hopefully that includes 14-year-old Jalaiah Harmon, who created the viral “Renegade” dance, only to see it appropriated by TikTok’s Charli D’Amelio.)


Facebook copied TikTok for its entry into the short-video sandbox—and also helped itself to the trademarked name of one of its advertisers along the way. The lawsuit is still under way, while Lasso lags wayyyy behind its competitors. Zuck’s still trying to make it happen.


Celebrity-backed and studio-partnered Triller is coming in hot, with 500% month-over-month growth, an average of 20 minutes usage time for watchers and an hour daily for creators. Biebs is in, as are Snoop Dogg, The Weeknd and Pitbull. Licensing partnerships with major labels also allows subscribers to stream full-length songs for free. An unprecedented revenue model is attracting the stars—artists, labels, and publishers receive streaming fees. Thrilling.


Facebook-owned Instagram is “borrowing” the 15-second video format for “Reels.” The new feature, which will allow users to post short-forms to their Stories, is being beta-tested in Brazil. Another effort to stop the Tok… We’ll see if it’s for real.

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