musical.ly - your video social network

App review by
Patricia Montic..., Common Sense Media
musical.ly - your video social network App Poster Image
Sing, lip-synch, and share videos; watch for iffy content.
Popular with kids

Parents say

age 14+
Based on 85 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 176 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Ease of Play

Interface can be unreliable, and it's awfully busy, but it's fairly intuitive once you get the hang of it.
 

Violence

Unless a song's content has especially abusive language, there's unlikely to be any violence depicted.

Sex

Some sexy stuff, including "musers" in revealing clothing, dancing suggestively, or singing provocative lyrics. Experience will vary widely depending on how you browse and what you choose to watch. 

Language

Between lip-synched popular songs and original compositions, there's a lot of variety here. Some songs are G-rated, but there's also music featured with mature themes and strong language such as "bitch," "p---y," and "motherf----r."

Consumerism

Lots of the content is user-generated, but some comes directly from professional artists and performers. Listening to songs on this platform might make kids want to buy those songs elsewhere. As of 2017, brands are also advertising in videos on the platform, and there's a virtual marketplace where users can sell and exchange songs and AR objects.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Depends on the song, but there are definitely verbal references to alcohol and marijuana. No substance use was seen during time of review.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that musical.ly - your video social network is a social network for sharing user-generated music videos that was created by the same developers as live.ly - live video streaming. You can upload your own videos, remix others' work, or browse content created by other users and by famous recording artists. Because it involves popular music, there's lots of swearing and sexual content in the songs, though the videos seen during the review process only contained some tight and revealing clothing. However, some families have encountered explicit sexual material despite the available settings and controls in the app. Because teens can select whether to share their videos with their friends or the general public, they'll want to adjust their settings carefully. As of 2017, the app will feature its own original content that kids can watch and respond to. Also, parents should note that this app has its own celebrities, and some kids may use it with the intention to get famous. The developers even have a Creator Fund that offers scholarships to users. Read the app's privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

User Reviews

Adult Written byKraftster February 4, 2016

**Warning....this app contains Adult Video Content!**

I allowed my daughter to put this on her iPod, not putting nearly as much time into looking it over as I should have. I thought it was just an innocent app wher... Continue reading
Parent of a 10 and 12 year old Written byKitsmom February 22, 2016

Caution! Very fun but not for Tweens!

This app is so easy to use and allows the creative juices to really flow. It seemed potentially much more desirable than having the kids stare at the TV for the... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old March 6, 2016

I love it!

9+ is a good age IF you have a responsible child. You can even make an account private, and only accept people you know. I said earlier if your child is respons... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byMediaCrack May 15, 2016

PARENTS MUST READ THIS

I cant explain how angry I am with this generation of parents. Musical.ly was intended to be a site where teens can make fun videos with their favorite songs, b... Continue reading

What's it about?

MUSICAL.LY - YOUR VIDEO SOCIAL NETWORK is a lively social network built around creating, sharing, and searching for user-created music videos called "musicals." "Musers" -- as enthusiastic users of the site call themselves -- can upload videos of themselves singing, lip-synching, or dancing. Some also use it to post short videos that don't involve music at all. Ongoing challenges spur users to create content related to a particular theme (such as the "Don't Judge Challenge"), and they can use a "Duet" feature to create a video that features their own video integrated with another muser's submission. Once musers submit videos, they can choose to keep their videos private or share them publicly. If you do share your video, you can expect to have it viewed, commented upon, or remixed by other users. Musers can access and remix some professional musicians' work, too; keep in mind that accessing those pages will likely result in kids being marketed to directly by those artists. As of 2017, the app has other content kids can watch and then respond to by making their own content; if they use particular hashtags, their videos get linked to the shows. Kids who use musical.ly often use live.ly as well, and it's easy to jump between the apps.

Is it any good?

The idea behind this musical social network is great, but the features are sometimes buggy, and teens should adjust the privacy settings before using. With cool features for searching for content, sharing your own videos, and remixing work from other musers, there's terrific potential in musical.ly - your video social network for an exciting, creative space for making music. That being said, because it's all about popular music, there's lots of swearing and sexual references, and many parents have reported that kids have come across explicit sexual content. Other parents report self-harm content. Also, keep an eye out for privacy and safety concerns with this one: Make sure kids understand the settings and know whether they're sharing only with friends or the general public. Overall, for older teens who are more developmentally able to deal with the mature content in the app, it can be a fun diversion -- if they don't get too caught up in the idea of getting famous. For younger kids, however, there's a good chance that they'll see mature content of some kind and potentially feel pushed to act older to be like their favorite musers. If parents decide to let their kids use this app, they will likely want to establish some limits ahead of time, set the account to private, and talk about what to do if they see something upsetting.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about family rules for privacy and social networks. Talk about when it's OK to share information and what kind of information should be kept private. What are your rules around your kid using musical.ly - your video social network? Can your kid share videos publicly or only with friends?

  • Before downloading, discuss your family's rules around profanity and sexual references in music. What are your teens allowed to listen to? What kinds of videos can they post?

  • Talk about songs that might be fun to lip-synch to and how you can get creative with that 15-second time limit for videos. Think about what kinds of movements or dance might work well within that time frame. 

App details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love music

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