Chinese firm kills off popular lip syncing platform Musical.ly to merge it with its own TikTok video app
- Chinese internet giant Bytedance is merging the Musical.ly and Tik Tok apps
- Bytedance, which acquired Musical.ly in December, said the merger was a ‘natural fit’ as both apps enable users to create and share short singing videos
- The new app will allow users to access from countries around the world
Popular lip-syncing app Musical.ly is merging with homegrown competitor TikTok.
The move was announced by Chinese internet giant Bytedance, which acquired Musical.ly for almost $1 billion in December.
Musical.ly was no longer available as of Thursday, as Bytedance will instead move users to a revamped version of short-form video platform TikTok.
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Musical.ly was no longer available as of Thursday, as Bytedance will instead move users to a revamped version of short-form video platform TikTok. Pictured is their combined logos
Like Musical.ly, TikTok also enables users to create and share short singing and dancing videos that are set to well-known songs.
Although both apps were developed in China, Musical.ly became a sensation among teenagers in the Americas and Europe, while TikTok took off among youth in Asia.
Before being acquired by Bytedance, Musical.ly had tried to broaden its reach by introducing more social media features and announcing content partnerships with NBCUniversal, Hearst and Viacom, among others.
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Musical.ly recently reached 100 million monthly active users, according to a press release seen by Reuters on Wednesday.
TikTok touted 500 million monthly active users in June.
‘Combining musical.ly and TikTok is a natural fit given the shared mission of both experiences – to create a community where everyone can be a creator,’ Alex Zhu, co-founder of musical.ly and senior vice president of TikTok, said in a press release.
Like Musical.ly, TikTok also enables users to create and share short singing and dancing videos that are set to well-known songs. TikTok touted 500 million monthly active users in June
Bytedance has ridden the success of Toutiao, a news aggregation app, to become one of the most highly valued startups in China’s red-hot tech sector.
But the company has faced mounting scrutiny from China´s internet censors, with Toutiao temporarily taken off app stores for a cleanup in April while a separate joke app was permanently shut.
Tik Tok had also been temporarily banned in Indonesia for inappropriate content. It maintains a separate app for China, known as Douyin.
The new app will let users access content from new countries and viewing options that were only available on one of the apps, the company said in the release.
Among new features is an alert for when users have spent more than two hours on the app, which is similar to an option social media giant Facebook introduced on Wednesday.
The new app will let users access content from new countries and viewing options that were only available on one of the apps. It will also notify users how often they’re using the app
The press release said existing users’ accounts and content would be moved ‘to the new TikTok app,’ which was expected to be available on app stores late Wednesday.
Bytedance said in November that acquiring Musical.ly would help its users and advertisers tap into new markets.
Last month, Musical.ly shut down Live.ly, a live streaming app it had developed prior to acquisition. The company told users to try out LiveMe, a rival app in which Bytedance is an investor.
WHAT IS LIVE.LY?
Live.ly, a popular live-streaming app, was launched last year by video-sharing app Musical.ly.
Musical.ly focuses on music whereas Live.ly gives users free reign on what they want to share and followers can comment in real time.
The Shanghai-based social network, has more than 150 million global users and the company is now worth more than $500 million (£393 million).
Musical.ly allows users to create 15-second video clips to accompany their favourite songs and share them online.
Most children use the app to film themselves lip-syncing to chart hits.
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