Explained – What is musical.ly?

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musical.ly is a social media platform for creating, sharing and discovering short music videos, think Karaoke for the digital age! People use musical.ly as an outlet to express themselves through singing, dancing, comedy, and lip-syncing. The app allows users to create videos recorded in 15 seconds or less and share them across the musical.ly community.

Are there any age restrictions?

There seems to be a little confusion over the minimum age users should be. The terms on musical.ly’s site currently state:

Eligibility. THE SERVICE IS NOT FOR PERSONS UNDER THE AGE OF 13 OR FOR ANY USERS PREVIOUSLY SUSPENDED OR REMOVED FROM THE SERVICE BY MUSICAL.LY. IF YOU ARE UNDER 13 YEARS OF AGE, YOU MUST NOT USE OR ACCESS THE SERVICE AT ANY TIME OR IN ANY MANNER. Furthermore, by using the Service, you affirm that you are at least 18 years of age.

(NOTE: We have contacted the app to get confirmation on the minimum age.)

How to create an account?

Users or ‘musers’ as they are sometimes called can either sign up using their Facebook, Twitter or email accounts.

Why do teens like it?

musical.ly is a fun app that allows teens to create and share videos with their friends.

Since the early days of social media (in particular on YouTube,) lip-syncing videos have proved a popular form of user generated content among teens. The popularity of TV shows such as Lip Sync Battle has also helped drive interest in this type of platform.

Teens also enjoy competing in the different challenges which can be entered via the trending hashtags on the app. The app has a very dedicated, young community of users. For many of these users, gaining likes, followers and getting their videos featured on the app are important priorities.  Creating and sharing their own content is now a big part of how teens spend their time online. Teens are moving away from being spectators online to becoming content creators. This app can be a really creative way, fun way for teens to express themselves and create their own social content.

How does it work?

Like most other apps and social networks, users can follow other users, like and comment on other users’ videos. Users can select the song they wish to use in their video first, then record themselves miming along to the music. Alternatively users can record their video first and then select a song. The app has lots of ways to add more fun to user’s videos, for example there are options to shoot in slow mo, time lapse, fast etc. Once users are happy with their video, they can post it to their followers and share it on other social networks for example; Messenger, Vine, WhatsApp etc.

The search tool allows users to view other videos. Users can also view content under the trending hashtags and submit videos using these hashtags (similar to how Instagram works). The hashtags are also used to submit videos for challenges – for example; #Lipsncychallenge, #Comedychallenge, etc.

Can I have a private account on musical.ly?

By default all musical.ly accounts are public. Consider setting your account to private/friends only. Go to your profile using the head icon in the lower left corner and tap the gear icon in the upper right corner. Select “settings” and scroll down to the “private account” function. With a private account only approved users can see your videos, however your profile remains public.

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Can I block a user?

To block a user, go to their profile, press on the “…” in the upper right corner, and select “block this user.” You can unblock a user on the same menu.

Users can also Flag inappropriate content. To report a musical.ly press on the button with three dots and then click “report abuse.”

What are the potential risks?

Users may be exposed to bad language and content of a sexual nature.

Users can comment on other videos, this leaves the potential for online bullying or negative comments.The app does appear to promote positive comments and encourages users to ‘say something nice’ however if you come across an inappropriate comment there is an option to report abuse.

Wmusical.lyith anything shared online, we recommend getting to know how the app works, check your privacy settings and always use the Granny Rule!

By default the ‘hide location info’ feature is switched off which means users share their location of when they post a video, we recommend disabling this option.

Users should also be aware there is current no option to delete your account. musical.ly are working on adding this feature.

Like all apps and social networks, musical.ly does have community guidelines. If your child is using the app, we recommend familiarising yourself with their guidelines here: musicallyapp.tumblr.com/community

musical.ly also offer information and advice for parents here: musicallyapp.tumblr.com/parents

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