R.I.P. Musical.ly Gone Too Soon

Last August, high schoolers nationwide were heartbroken to discover that they had lost a critical, nostalgic aspect of their middle school careers with the simple update of an app, as Musical.ly was a safe space for many. Users could build each other up by complimenting their “sick” choices of songs, hilariously lip sync to their favorite vines, use intricate hand movements, all the while brimming with a small glimmer of hope that their motions would be sharp enough to wind up on the featured page.
However, this does not call for an immediate panic among high schoolers and musers alike, because Musical.ly is not entirely gone. Instead, large features have either been added or removed. In November of 2017, Musical.ly was acquired for reportedly $1 billion by Chinese internet firm, Bytedance. After making consolidations to the company, it gradually merged with an already existing lip-syncing app called TikTok. In order to relieve potential muser outrage, Alex Zhu, co-founder of Musical.ly and senior VP of TikTok, came out with a statement regarding the app’s merging.
“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,” Zhu said.
Large changes have now been made to Musical.ly’s remains. One pivotal feature under the Musical.ly app, Live.ly, was shut down. In Musical.ly’s prime, when a muser was not busy scrolling their friends’ lip-syncs, they could check out their live streams, in a similar way that they would be able to on Instagram. In an effort to appease past musers TikTok encourages users to use their live stream app, Cheetah Mobile’s LiveMe, as an alternative. Additionally, new features to the app are being added, including a “reaction” feature that allows users to react to friends’ videos, enhanced creative tools like interactive gesture filters and “fun-house mirror camera effects,” and greenscreen-like background effects. Luckily, TikTok’s new features have created fantastic meme opportunities, which could perhaps compensate for the tragic loss of Musical.ly.
Despite the shift to Tik Tok, however, there is still a nostalgic and blue undertone surrounding the discussion of Musical.ly’s passing. For many, it was the epitome of middle school carelessness, when the only bit of stress one may have had was not emulating Loren Beech’s hand movements perfectly, having sub-par song choices, or not getting featured. Because of this, Musical.ly may be gone, but it will never be forgotten. The only thing grieving musers are able to do now is welcome TikTok with open arms. RIP Musical.ly, 2014-2018.