I really need to get on Musical.ly to find out all the fuss is. Fifty million users, all under the age of 21? Instant music videos? What’s going on here? VICE takes this look.
Musical.ly is both a utility app and a social network. Users select from a menu of their favorite songs, then record a 15-second video of lip-synching, dancing, or clowning around to the music. There is also an in-app livestreaming feature called live.ly. As with Instagram, its suite of editing tools and filters enables users to easily and speedily create content and then share it with their followers, who reward the videos they like with a dizzying proliferation of views, hearts, and comments. Musical.ly users who receive the most hearts over a given 24-hour period rise to the top of an in-app leaderboard displaying the most “popular” musical.ly users—dubbed “musers”—at a given moment. Of particular interest to young artists like Dae Dae, there’s also a song chart, ranking the most popular songs on the app.
Approximately 50 million people under the age of 21—or roughly half of the teens and preteens in America—are on musical.ly, and a handful of that generation’s most beloved viral stars got their start on the app.