The Chinese Music App That Wants to Be the Next Facebook
Learn about the music app that hopes to compete with Facebook as it attempts to expand into a full-service social media platform after already building a captivated audience of 100 million "musers."This article originally appeared on Bloomberg
The Musical.ly office in Shanghai.
Musical.ly is beloved by millions of lip-syncing American tweens. To survive, it must become a full-fledged social network. That won’t be easy.
Bridget Kelly learned about Musical.ly at a sleepover and was hooked. Before long, the 12-year-old Moraga, California, resident and her friends were using the app to make 15-second music videos showing off their acapella or lip-syncing skills. After school, they choreographed moves for their next music video and performed “duets” with favorite celebrities.
Kelly is one of more than 100 million “musers” around the world who create, share and discover short music videos on Musical.ly. In minutes, users can filter, edit and broadcast short video clips to their favorite songs and browse through the millions of videos created every day in curated and personalized feeds. Founded in Shanghai just two years ago, the app has exploded among U.S. tweens, attracted mainstream entertainers like Selena Gomez and Ariana Grande and even spawned a roster of Musical.ly stars who pull in millions of followers.
Along the way, Musical.ly has captured the imagination of Wall Street and Silicon Valley. The company has raised more $100 million at about a half -billion-dollar valuation, and has lined up backers including DCM Ventures, GGV Capital and Greylock Partners. Analysts have mentioned Musical.ly as a potential threat to Facebook’s user base, while Mark Zuckerberg dubbed the app a new and “interesting” social platform in the same breath as Snapchat...