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Social app Musical.ly to shut down after merger with TikTok


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Social music app Musical.ly is being shut down by its owner Beijing Bytedance Technology Co, which plans to merge the app’s community with one of its other apps, TikTok.

Bytedance bought Musical.ly for more than $800m in November 2017, after the latter app had grown to more than 100 million users – mostly in the west. However, TikTok has an even bigger community of 500 million monthly active users in Asia.

“Musical.ly and TikTok currently operate in complementary geographies without much overlap and as both platforms continue to grow rapidly now is the time to bring them together,” TikTok’s head of global marketing Stefan Heinrich told Reuters.

“Supporting one platform will allow us to expand our on-the-ground presence more quickly and easily – building local teams to support each market.”

In a press release announcing the plans, Musical.ly co-founder Alex Zhu – now SVP of TikTok – said that “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”.

Existing Musical.ly users’ accounts will be moved over to a new version of the TikTok app. It will be fascinating to see how many of the former app’s users – many of whom are children – stick with it. Musical.ly was a bona-fide playground phenomenon at its peak.

[Just so it’s clear: Musical.ly the app has nothing to do with Music Ally the music-industry research company – we’re the latter, and have been operating as Music Ally since 2002.]

Stuart Dredge

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