On Tuesday, Clash announced it was acquiring Byte, a short-form video app launched by a cofounder of Vine, the beloved six-second video app owned and shut down by Twitter.
Terms of the Byte deal were not disclosed.
It’s just the latest example of M&A activity and strategy shifts among TikTok rivals after a roller coaster year. TikTok appeared to be on the cusp of getting banned in the US, where it counts 100 million users, only to outlast the Trump administration, which had been pushing to shut it down in the country because its parent company is based in China.
Dubsmash, another TikTok competitor with a similar algorithmic feed serving up entertaining videos, was acquired last month by Reddit. Meanwhile, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, which launched a TikTok clone called Reels days after then President Donald Trump said he would ban TikTok, recently admitted “TikTok is ahead.” He also hinted at a need for Instagram to simplify or consolidate its video product offerings.
Clash was one of the many competitors that seemed poised to benefit from TikTok’s troubles. Like TikTok, Clash lets users upload short videos set to music and offers an algorithmic feed serving up content it thinks you’d like. Byte offers a similar experience, except with hidden follower counts and likes.
As headlines swirled about a potential TikTok ban, social media creators quickly started posting about Clash as they tried to find ways to fill a potential TikTok void. The app, which officially launched in August, saw 100,000 new downloads in just three days. To date, Clash said it’s had more than 500,000 downloads.
But with Trump now out of office, TikTok’s future in the US looks less uncertain.
The Byte app will “continue to have the same great in-app experience” Clash said, but it will add new ways to monetize and other features. Clash said it’s working on ways for its creators to earn money directly on the platform, including from viral videos and top fans giving payments on a regular basis, which it hopes will help it stand out in a crowded market.
The competition for social media creators is fierce. TikTok has established a fund that will top $1 billion to pay its stars, while Snapchat is giving away $1 million a day to the people who create the most entertaining videos for its Spotlight short-form video feature.