The social media landscape changes so quickly even the most switched-on digital user can struggle to keep up. So, just in case you didn’t already know, the most exciting new place to be in the world of social media is quite probably an app called musical.ly.
Musical.ly, in their own words, is all about ‘connecting individuals to a vibrant community of content creators’. More specifically, the app allows its users (or ‘Musers’ as they’re known) to create 15-second looping videos and soundtrack them with songs from the app’s library or the user’s own collection.
The content created ranges from dancing and singing, to the wildly popular lip synching video, and can be enhanced with a collection of filters, editing tools, a clever ‘duet’ mode and the now obligatory ‘stories’ feature.
Now, you may be forgiven for thinking this all sounds a little familiar. The recently deceased Vine was built around a similar model of short, looping film, while Dubsmash has been a lip-syncher’s favourite for some time.
But, dig just a bit deeper into the musical.ly experience and you soon realise that it presents a very different proposition to either of those platforms.
For starters, the numbers are extraordinary. The app has 133 million users and is apparently adding an additional 13 million every month. It has also earned its place as the iStore’s number one free app in astonishing 19 different countries.
Most interesting – from a social media influencing point of view at least – is the type of people downloading and using Musical.ly. With a massive community of young users, the musical.ly app can be found on the smart phones of 50% of teenagers in the USA.
So with such an enormous community, such impressive growth and such a high concentration of the lucrative millennial audience, it’s no surprise to find brands exploring how they can leverage this platform.
Naturally, given the nature of the app, the music industry have been amongst the first to take musical.ly seriously. Already, stars such as Ariana Grande and Jason Derulo have joined, and many artists are using Musical.ly as a way to launch teasers for their new material.
When Grande campaigned her new single using the platform, it earned her 150,000 fan lip-synch videos.
Brands from different sectors are also starting to pay more attention to this exciting new space. Coca Cola were one of the very first to experiment with musical.ly’s pulling power by launching a #ShareACoke campaign alongside influential ‘Muser’ Baby Ariel.
What’s more, musical.ly have also been incredibly smart about how they can transfer this fun and entertaining social space into something that could become an essential part of a brand’s influencer strategy.
The launch of their Live.ly feature allows users to broadcast their videos live, a move that is openly targeted towards enabling influencers to monetise their content more effectively. And while there is currently no paid advertising functions on the app, initiatives such as ‘Project Next Wave’ (designed to help discover and launch the music industry’s next big talent) make it an intriguing space for brands looking to engage this type of customer.
So, whether it’s top music stars getting closer to their fans, big brands teaming up with influential content creators or hopeful young artists propelling themselves into the music mainstream (see top muser Jacob Sartorius’ appearance in the iTunes top 10) musical.ly suddenly seems to be about so much more than the guilty pleasure of a good old lip-synch.