“Musical.ly is no more!” This message must have shocked many teenagers, especially female ones, among whom the app is particularly popular. But that’s not really true at all.
Chinese company Bytedance bought Musical.ly in December 2017. It was merged with its Chinese counterpart TikTok in early August 2018. So Musical.ly is not history, only its name is. Those who have updated will now find the app “TikTok including Musical .ly” on their smartphone instead of the pink Musical.ly logo.
Musical.ly was almost all about music – this basic function also remains. However, the name change is intended to create additional uses. Longer videos, other topics: Beauty, travel and sports are to be given greater consideration. In this way, the app wants to move away from the pure singing and dancing image.
Musical.ly has repeatedly come under heavy criticism. The ease of contact by strangers and the creation of fake accounts worried many parents. Bytedance wants to make the app safer in this respect: Offensive content and comments are to be detected and blocked more quickly by algorithms. The “Safety Center”, which can be accessed in the app, will also provide tips for parents and simplify privacy settings in the future.
Whether this will actually increase security for users is still very much in doubt. Regardless of strangers making contact, other risks remain.
Overall, merging the apps probably won’t change much for you as a parent. Continue to talk to your child about the risks that TikTok now holds.