Musical.ly just died. If we could lip-sync to a funeral march and broadcast it into the ether in memoriam we would, but we can’t now. If we could lip-sync to a funeral march and broadcast it into the ether in memoriam we would, but we can’t now.
The ever-growing entertainment app graveyard has a new headstone, and it’s for for the lip-syncing video streaming platform Musical.ly born from the ashes of similar social media influencer machine Vine. Unlike the six-second comedy app, Musical.ly stars, or “Musers,” create videos up to 15-seconds of them lip-syncing to popular songs or performing a cappella to the platform’s library of voices and sound clips.
The good news is that all the data, profiles, and videos on Musical.ly are transferring over to a new app, called TikTok. The Musical.ly competitor was absorbed by Chinese company ByteDance last November, and swallowed up Musical.ly’s 100 million monthly active users this morning. TikTok boasts three times the user base and a seemingly larger genre of short-form videos, also up to 15-seconds.
That weird “Karma’s a bitch” makeover/Riverdale/“Gucci Gucci” meme started on TikTok, and a quick glance at its interface shows that K-poppop and J-Pop stan accounts dominate the platform. But soon, Musical.ly’s tween influencers will reach their teeny-bopper tendrils onto the app, like they’ve already done with YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter. (We assume they aren’t interested in joining Facebook.)
Most of Musical.ly’s stars have yet to celebrate their Sweet 16, and even fewer can legally drink, but a few standouts have adapted their 15-seconds of fame to platforms like YouTube, where they can enjoy the longevity of a vlogging career and brand deals. Two such stars are Savannah and Cole LaBrant, whose Cole&Sav YouTube channel will soon hit 6.5 million subscribers. If these names are drawing a blank, the LaBrant couple drew internet backlash for tweeting about voting for Trump and saving sex for marriage.
But that’s a tame rabbit hole compared to other Musical.ly channels that Tik Tik might inherent, including tween girls and boys twerking, grinding, and all-around engaging in [sexualized]lized] dance moves that would make any sensible adult uncomfortable. Even darker, there have also also been self-harm videos on the platform.
Maybe Musical.ly dying would have been better news if it was actually, y’know, going away forever.