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Byte, a social media app launched in January, would possibly swallow up a great chunk of TikTok’s 800 million customers as President Trump threatens to ban the China-based tech.

On July 9, simply two days after the feds first talked about taking motion towards TikTok over considerations China was utilizing it to data-gather and spy on Individuals, 622,000 internet rats fled the sinking app and downloaded Byte, in response to knowledge from Sensor Tower, an internet site that tracks app knowledge.

Not like TikTok, Byte is American-made. It was created by Dom Hofmann, the co-founder of Vine, one other wildly standard app that was acquired by Twitter in 2012 however shuttered in October 2017. That’s when Hofmann started engaged on Byte.

Confusingly, TikTok is owned by a Chinese language firm known as ByteDance, which has no relation to its similarly-named US competitor.

Whereas many TikTok customers are in a panic over presumably shedding their beloved app, some are taking the transition to Byte in stride.

Rutgers College junior Rotem Cudkevich, 20, says she instantly downloaded Byte in July after listening to of the potential ban. “I didn’t know what I’d do with my spare time with out TikTok. I spend hours scrolling by means of the app daily.”

College of Chicago scholar Jake La Fronz, 21, likes Byte for its “bigger and cleaner icons that make it simpler to navigate … whereas TikTok can really feel clunky and slower at occasions.”

The draw back, he added, was that Byte “lacks the cultural relevance that TikTok has generated.”

Although related, the three video-sharing apps have key variations.

On Vine, customers might report and submit six-second looping movies that followers might repost, like or ship to associates.

TikTok, which launched in September 2016, permits customers to submit movies 15-60 seconds lengthy, however with many extra bells and whistles, together with 1000’s of filters, sounds results and the flexibility to insert textual content instantly into clips.

Like its predecessor, Byte options 6-second looping movies, however with particular results this time round.

Byte and TikTok each have complicated algorithms that present customers with a personalised, endless stream of movies to scroll by means of. On Byte, this function is known as “Your combine” and on TikTok, “For you.”

Some TikTok customers have discovered Byte to be a viable backup.

“I heard that Byte was launched by the creator of the Vine and I used to like Vine so I downloaded it and created an account immediately,” stated La Fronz, of Marlboro, NJ. “I figured it had the prospect to be as large or larger than TikTok.”

Even TikTok stars have begun emigrate to the app simply in case. Addison Rae, whose TikTok has 53.four million followers, opened an account on Byte below the identify “notaddison” with a smaller, however nonetheless large, 15 million-user following.

Byte didn’t reply to a number of messages searching for remark.

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Netflixs Project Power cant compete with traditional superhero movies

When it comes to Netflix-branded action movies, we should all know the drill by now. A bankable star (in this case Jamie Foxx) and an easily-digestible premise (in this case a pill that gives you superpowers), executed with slightly disappointing shallowness. Project Power starts off hot but soon loses steam, struggling with the deeper meanings behind its superhero-adjacent concept. Its all-white creative team (writer Mattson Tomlin and directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman) also make some rather dubious choices for a thriller about cops and drug trafficking that hints at an allegory for the crack epidemic. 

Hide Project Power

RELEASE DATE: Aug. 14, 2020
DIRECTORS: Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost
Jamie Foxx and Dominique Fishback stand out in this otherwise half-baked action thriller about a pill that gives people dangerous superpowers. Hide

Dominique Fishback is the standout star here, playing teenage drug dealer and aspiring rapper Robin. Fishback, a 29-year-old actor/playwright/spoken word poet, is sympathetic and fully convincing as a character half her age, selling Power pills to support her diabetic mom. Her co-stars Jamie Foxx and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have more predictable action movie roles: Foxx as an army veteran searching for his missing daughter, and Gordon-Levitt as a cop. Fishback’s handful of rap scenes felt noticeably better-written than some other elements of the script, which makes sense when you learn that the lyrics were penned by the rapper Chika, who has a cameo in a classroom scene with Robin. Go figure.

In Project Power, the advent of superpowers does not lead to a flood of superheroes. Power pills are a street drug, used exclusively for crime and recreation. Until you take one, you have no idea what your power will be—but it’s always something dangerous, either to yourself or others. If you’re unlucky, your body will explode. Otherwise, you might end up with super-strength or the ability to burst into flames, lasting exactly five minutes before you go back to normal. Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s character Frank gets bulletproof skin, a useful skill for the kind of heroic dangers faced by American police detectives—according to Hollywood, anyway.


The underlying message is that Frank should be allowed to use this illegal performance-enhancing drug, but he’s unfairly held back by “guys in suits.” Never mind the reality that steroid abuse is rife in police departments, to an obviously negative effect. Here, we’re meant to support Frank as the main Good Cop of a partially-corrupt New Orleans PD, even though at one point he almost pummels a suspect to death.

Pushed to the brink while searching for his missing daughter, The Major (Foxx) carries the brunt of the action scenes, more brutal and morally ambiguous than you might expect. Desperate and traumatized, you can understand his cynical worldview. Sadly, the fight choreography is generally unremarkable, although Foxx is as magnetic as ever. Project Power packs enough of a punch that I wasn’t bored until the final act, but there’s a distinct lack of imagination behind how all those superpowers are actually used. It’s hard to suspend disbelief and accept that someone would, say, voluntarily sprout bone spikes out of their arms for hand-to-hand combat, instead of just using a knife or gun.

Silly worldbuilding is fine in a more action-focused film, but Project Power also offers commentary about race and class in America. The Power pill trade touches on Big Pharma, evil South American drug kingpins, government conspiracies, and the lack of resources offered to working-class Black kids, including a scene where Jamie Foxx tells Robin to stay in school or join the army instead of dealing drugs. Some of these ideas work but others are clumsy and ill-thought-out. Especially in the context of including a violent white cop as one of the heroes, popping pills so he can more efficiently shoot the “bad” drug dealers. Project Power has some fun moments and Dominique Fishback is excellent, but the underlying ideas still feel half-baked, despite Netflix winning an intense bidding war for the original screenplay.


Project Power arrives on Netflix on Aug. 14.

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