Threat Level – Moderate
Musical.ly is an app developed by the same named company. Musical.ly is available for mobile markets on App Store, play store and Amazon store. They took an app that was originally generated as a lip sync app to allow you to select songs to sing along with and put a social twist on it.
When you launch the app, similar to other socially connected apps, you are required to either create an account or sign in with your Facebook login. The app will then set your account up with a username. For example @aarony. This username style is similar to Twitter. Once your account is setup, you are ready to record and post your videos. The app allows you to select a song from the library inside the app and then let’s you speed up or slow down as you lip sync and record your song. After your video is made, you can post it to your user page. At this point, others can follow you and like your videos. One thing to remember, the account is created unlocked and you have to change it to private. I figured this out the hard way after I was testing app and made myself a video singing to Lionel Richie (which was pretty bad) and noticed two strangers had already liked my video for some reason. I am not sure who would ever like my rendition of a Lionel Ritchie song, but they did.
The videos after recorded are saved under your page with whatever hashtag you want to make it easier for people to find. As I looked through the videos however, I did noticed there was a lot of people that actually didn’t lip sync songs, they made other kinds of videos. There were several videos trending and one that caught my attention was a hashtag labeled #unicornchallenge. This was a viral video of different kids of videos from around the world doing the unicorn challenge. If you are wondering what this is, the unicorn challenge is when you take an ice cream cone and press it against your forehead. The cone makes what looks like a unicorns horn, hence the name unicorn challenge. Kids have added music to different unicorn challenge videos and are doing it in public at lobbies of fast food restaurants. They’re also other trending hashtags that are in the trending page such as Grammy awards and snowvids (snow videos). While browsing through other people’s videos whether trending or not, I did notice a lot of what appeared to be kids, but did not see any sexually explicit content. The app does have filter for sexual related searches which is great on their part. The company seems to be trying to make a respectable community of video sharers with proper filters for young adults.
One thing to remember about Musical.ly is that the app calls its users ‘Musers’ and will show you top ‘Musers’ of the app. On one of the menu options, it gives the user the top ‘Musers’ list with the top poster getting over 2 million likes. This app is slowly growing as more children find out about it. The popularity is growing daily.
As for the rating, I am going to give a moderate threat level. Most of the posts that were viral were legit hashtags and silly videos like the unicorn challenge. I feel you should still make sure that your child’s account is locked down so that everyone cannot access their videos and also to monitor their social side of app to make sure strangers don’t become obsessed with following every post your child makes. We have to remember as parents to follow our children’s online social life just as close as we do their physical one.
App description – red circle, red and white, white squiggly line, audio line, white red with line, audio, lip sync app