Short form video apps Musical.ly and TikTok are coming together into a single app, a move which will see the Musical.ly moniker ditched.
Musical.ly was acquired by Bytedance, the company behind TikTok, in November 2017: at the time it was said Musical.ly would “continue to operate as an independent platform”. Since then, however, the apps have become closer, with an integrated launch in Indonesia reported earlier this year.
And Musical.ly is also potentially facing competition from social media giant Facebook, which could explain Bytedance’s decision to broaden and enhance its proposition.
Under the TikTok name, the combination will offer “a unified user experience”, with new logo and user interface. Existing creators’ accounts, content and fan bases will move automatically to the new TikTok, preserving existing material while giving “the opportunity to reach a bigger and more diverse global audience than ever before”.
The new app is said to include the most popular elements of both apps, with a feed which highlights the user’s community, and a For You feed which delivers personalised recommendations. Other new features on the way include a “reaction” feature, enabling users to respond to videos directly from the phone; enhanced creative tools; “VR-type filters” which can be activated by blinking; and green-screen style background effects.
TikTok is also launching a new Safety Centre, providing tips and resources to “build an online experience that feels safe and welcoming”. The new app has a screen time alert for when users have been on TikTok for more than two hours.
Alex Zhu, co-founder of Musical.ly and SVP of TikTok, said: “Musical.ly recently reached a new milestone of 100 million monthly active users and we are excited to enter into a new chapter.”
“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.”