Musical.ly users opened their
phones to a surprise today as they found the app replaced with
a new logo and name: TikTok.
The app was acquired by Chinese company ByteDance in November
2017, which absorbed Musical.ly
into its own TikTok app this morning. Existing Musical.ly users have been migrated
over to their new TikTok accounts, which have been updated with
a new interface but still retains the core feature of both
apps: short-form videos up to 15 seconds.
Teen karaoke app Musical.ly,
which had just reached a milestone of 100 million monthly
active users, is part of ByteDance’s larger strategy to break
into the US market. In the first quarter of 2018, TikTok was
the world’s most downloaded iOS app, according to a report from
US research firm
TikTok will remain a standalone app in China, where it operates
as Douyin and boasts over 300 million monthly active users. You
might have even seen Douyin clips floating around before: maybe
in the form of the “Karma’s
a bitch” makeover meme that went viral earlier this year,
or news of Peppa Pig getting banned from the platform due to
her status as a “subversive
Some Musical.ly users are welcoming the changes, while others
are debating how to identify themselves going forward:
musically is now “tik tok” but i will always be a muser.
not a clock.
— Brian (@brianbertoline)
August 2, 2018
With Vine successor v2 “postponed
indefinitely,” TikTok seems like the closest thing we’ll
get to having Vine back. But although Musical.ly and TikTok are
both platforms for sharing 15-second videos, TikTok will be
missing an essential part of the Musical.ly history, which was built on
teens lip-syncing and dancing to music. All the features to
make karaoke videos are still there, but rebranding the app
with a new name and forcing the old Musical.ly users to migrate to a new
platform is a move that may alienate the original community.
It’ll be up to the teens to decide whether TikTok’s popularity
in China will translate to success in the US.