Musical.ly Owner Merges App With TikTok

Courtesy of Musical.ly
The old Musical.ly logo

Bytedance purchased Musical.ly for about $800 million in 2017.

RIP Musical.ly. 

Nearly a year after Chinese technology firm Bytedance acquired the video app Musical.ly, the company is merging it with another of its products, TikTok. The new app will assume the name TikTok, meaning the end of the Musical.ly brand name. 

Musical.ly announced the changes at a party on the evening of Aug. 1.

Current Musical.ly users will be automatically signed up for the new TikTok app, which Bytedance says will include upgraded features from both products. Follower counts and past posts will not be impacted by the change. 

"Musical.ly recently reached a new milestone of 100 million monthly active users, and we are excited to enter into a new chapter," said co-founder Alex Zhu, who will now serve as senior vice president of TikTok. "TikTok, the sound of a ticking clock, represents the short nature of the video platform. We want to capture the world's creativity and knowledge under this new name and remind everyone to treasure every precious life moment. 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." 

Musical.ly shot to popularity after its 2014 launch. Its predominantly young user base was drawn to the way the app allowed them to post short clips of themselves lip-syncing to popular songs. But, per industry sources, the app has faced challenges as it has tried to monetize through advertising because of the young age of its core users. Although the app requires users to be at least 13 to join, past reports have suggested that many were in grade school. 

Since Musical.ly's sale to Bytedance in 2017, at a reported valuation of around $800 million, the app has shut down its Live.ly live-streaming service that competed with Bytedance's Live.me product. 

The new TikTok app is available around the world. Existing Musical.ly users will be upgraded to TikTok once they update their existing app.