Musical.ly

Parents need to know that musical.ly – your music video community is a social network for sharing user-generated music videos that’s similar to Dubsmash. You can upload your own videos, remix others’ work, or browse content created by other users and by more 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. Because teens can select whether to share their videos with their friends or the general public, they’ll want to adjust their settings accordingly. Read the app’s privacy policy to find out about the types of information collected and shared.

WHAT’S IT ABOUT?

Musical.ly 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 like Vine and 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.

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 here for an exciting, creative space for making music. That being said, the system doesn’t always work as well as it should. Though there are frequent app updates, sometimes core features for watching or recording can be a little buggy and unstable. Also, there’s no tutorial in the app, so some users might have trouble jumping in. Of course, because it’s all about popular music, there’s lots of swearing and sexual references, but the videos themselves don’t seem to have a lot of racy stuff except for suggestive dancing and tight clothes. 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.

RATING AND CONTENT

Recommended for ages 16 and older

Quality: 4 out of 5

Ease of play: 3 out of 5

Violence: 0 out of 5

Sexy stuff: 3 out of 5

Language: 4 out of 5

Drinking, drugs, and smoking: 1 out of 5

Consumerism: 1 out of 5 (Are products/advertisements embedded? Is the title part of a broader marketing initiative/empire? Is the intent to sell things to kids?)

APP DETAILS

Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad, Android, Fire phone, Kindle Fire

Price: Free

Release date: January 14, 2016

Category: Music and sing-along

Size: 62.90 MB

Publisher: HYPERLINK “http://musical.ly”musical.ly inc.

Minimum software requirements: iOS 7.0 or later; Android 4.1 and up