In October of 2016 the world lost one of the greatest platforms for short-form comedy of all time. The app that gave us masterpiece skits such as ‘Chris, Is That A Weed?,’ ‘And They Were Roommates,’ ‘Um, I Never Went To Oovoo Javer,’ and ‘Fre Sh A Vacado’ was cruelly taken away from us. In its wake, the world mourned and, if we’re honest, we never got over that loss. To this day, Vine lovers spend hours reliving the glory years. Like a person sadly scrolling back through their ex’s Instagram thinking about what went wrong and how it could have been different, we latch onto compilations like Vines That Keep Me From Ending it All, Vines That Butter My Croissant, Vines That Give My Depression A Suppression, and Vines That Are Cleaner Than Your Grandma’s Kitchen on YouTube to recapture some of the glory.
Fans were given hope when Vine co-creator Dom Hofmann announced he was creating a successor called Byte and, despite some doubt as to whether it would be realized, the app has launched on iOS and Android. Designed for the modern age of social media, Byte allows users to shoot six-second videos and upload them, which others can share (ReByte).
In a Twitter post announcing its launch, Hofmann described Byte as “both familiar and new” and said the team behind it hopes it will “resonate with people who feel something’s been missing.” If you’re wondering whether that’s you, take a look at the image below and if you know who that lad is going to see, it is.
The next step for Byte, and what distinguishes it from many other social video platforms, is its partner program, which will be implemented to pay creators. “Byte celebrates creativity and community, and compensating creators is one important way we can support both,” reads a tweet from the Byte Twitter account. As of yet, details on the partner program have not been provided.
While getting a Vine successor from one of the original creators is certainly a big deal, whether it succeeds remains to be seen. Byte joins a competitive landscape–one that is very much built on the successes of Vine. Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram all offer users a way to deliver bite-sized videos to their followers and have additional social networking hooks. TikTok is perhaps the most direct competitor to Byte and its where much of the same kind of content is now being produced. (Read: TikTok has big Vine energy). Stars are being created on TikTok daily, and major celebrities have a presence there. Global corporations are also recognizing its marketing capabilities and potential to reach a massive audience. TikTok is very much having its moment right now, and it may be difficult for Byte to draw attention away from it.
Nevertheless, a new video platform that evokes the heyday of Vine is certainly exciting. Plans to compensate its creators give it an edge in theory, and if it can execute could be just enough to make Byte competitive.
New York prosecutors have evidence suggesting that Jeff Bezos’ girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, shared compromising texts about her affair with Bezos to her brother, Michael Sanchez, TheWall Street Journal reports. Michael then reportedly sold those photos to the National Enquirer, which then published a story about Lauren and Bezos’ affair last January. The WSJ says its reporters have seen the texts themselves.
Bezos’ affair returned to the limelight this week when The Guardian reported that it was “highly probable” that Saudi Arabia hacked Jeff Bezos’ phone in May 2018. According to this theory, Bezos’ phone was compromised when he received a WhatsApp message with a malicious video file from the crown prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin…
Sorry, fans of extremely niche Marvel superheroes, but The Hollywood Reporter has reported that Hulu will not move forward with two of its previously announced animated superhero shows. Both Howard The Duck and Tigra & Dazzler have been given the ax and will not proceed. The other two shows announced on the animated slate, M.O.D.O.K and Hit Monkey, however, are apparently still happening.
This news doesn’t come as a complete surprise. Since the advent of Disney+ and the shift of Marvel Television over to the MCU-integrated Marvel Studios under the direction of Kevin Feige, the era of disparate, disconnected Marvel shows seems to be drawing to a close. It was also recently announced that Hulu’s plans for a live-action Ghost Rider TV show had been similarly called off–though, at the Television Critics Association winter press tour this month, Hulu VP Craig Erwich did confirm that the live-action Helstorm show was currently in production. Likewise, the cast list for the animated M.O.D.O.K show was announced, confirming that the streaming service still plans on the comedy seeing the light of day.
This news also likely means that the animated crossover event, The Offenders, which was slated to bring the casts of all four animated Marvel shows together, will also not be happening. After all, it would be pretty challenging to do a major crossover event with only two surviving shows to pull from.
Meanwhile, production on the Disney+ Marvel TV shows is proceeding with the first of the roster, The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, well underway. It is scheduled to premiere in the fall.
Dom Hofmann, the co-creator of Vine who has been quietly working on a successor to the short-form video platform, says the new app, called Byte, is available now on iOS and Android. The app has been available in beta form for quite some time, but its launch late on Friday afternoon came as a complete surprise.
There’s a sports tradition in the early part of every year: EA Sports uses its latest entry in the Madden NFL series to predict the outcome of a sports ball contest known as the Super Bowl. (Subsequently, real-life people act this out in a live-action version.) That’s expected to be the case again for the 2020 Super Bowl, Super Bowl LIV, which takes place on February 2.
EA’s official Madden simulation typically comes out in the week or so prior to the big game itself, so you can look for Madden 20‘s Super Bowl 2020 prediction to arrive in the next week. You could also just run a simulation yourself if you own the game and are especially eager, but it’s the EA-sanctioned one that’s most fun to look at and pick apart.
The franchise’s simulations have a spotty track record at best, as is to be expected from any prediction–let alone one that’s done using a video game. Madden 20’s pre-season simulation for this year suggested the Dallas Cowboys would top the Cleveland Browns in Super Bowl LIV. The Cowboys went 8-8 and the Browns went 6-10, with neither making the playoffs and both moving on from their head coaches. Predictions are hard, okay?
We’ll have to wait until February 2 to see if Madden makes itself look downright foolish or not. You can also likely look forward to a sale on Madden 20, as the latest game in the series is traditionally discounted just in time for the big game.