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Byte, the new looping video app from Vine co-founder Dom Hofmann, has sent out 100 beta invites for its first closed test, which starts this week.

In a statement tweeted out via the Byte Twitter account, the start-up said that it will expand the trial to more testers soon. Hofmann tweeted last year that the service would launch in spring 2019.

“The Byte beta we’ve been running with friends and family *feels* exactly like the vine friends and family beta, down to the weird but appealing randomness of the videos,” Hofmann tweeted yesterday. “That’ll change as we expand, but it’s a pretty good sign”.

The closed beta will be focused on catching bugs and getting a mix of technical and design feedback, with users invite to test a few specific parts of the app at a time across both iOS and Android.

Byte launched a creator programme last year, encouraging participation in a bid to become “the best video app out there”. The company claimed to have hit 500 beta sign-ups in under a minute.

Hofmann first announced plans for a Vine follow-up in December 2017 after the video service’s parent company, Twitter, shut it down in January of the same year.

Twitter announced in October 2016 that it would discontinue Vine, at the same time as it said it would cut 9% of the company’s total staff in a cost-cutting move.

Twitter launched Vine in 2013 as a mobile app for capturing and sharing six-second video clips, which could then also be shared on Twitter.

It launched the service after acquiring the Vine start-up for a reported US$30 million in October 2012.

Hofmann co-founded vine with Rus Yusupov and Colin Kroll, who went on to form trivia game app HQ Trivia. Yusupov is currently CEO of HQ Trivia. Kroll died of a drug overdose in December 2018.

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