Musical.ly is the name of the latest mobile app which seemingly became an overnight hit among American teenagers. The idea behind the app is rather simple: its users can post a 15-second video of their humble selves lip-syncing or dancing to latest pop hits or performing short comedy skits and sharing them with their friends. That's pretty much it. So, it's basically a social media app with a limit that caters to those who are interested in watching shorter clips and focuses exclusively on video content; something like a video-based Twitter. Despite the app being seemingly unknown to older users, it's apparently turning teens into overnight internet celebrities.
The first example of that phenomenon is the 15-year-old Ariel Martin AKA Baby Ariel who currently has over 11 million fans on Musical.ly and is one of the app's top users. She specialized in lip-syncing to pop and hip-hop songs and is enjoying her fame on a daily basis by traveling around the country and meeting with her fans while earning from sponsored content which she uploads to YouTube. The 14-year-old German twins Lisa and Lena are currently enjoying similar popularity in their home country thanks to videos of choreographed lip-syncing performances they're often uploading to Musical.ly. Namely, their videos are literally adored by millions all around the world. Another example is that of Jacob Sartorius, a 13-year-old who started making serious money after promoting his YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat channel to his 8.5 million fans on Musical.ly who are adoring his authentic imitations of Justin Bieber.
The developers of the app which ended up being a Google Play Awards nominee are aware of the fact that their creation made a lot of young folks famous overnight and are doing their best to help them cope with the pressure that internet fame brings. More specifically, the company has started connecting its more prominent users with talent agencies, is organizing meetups for them, and has even tasked its legal department with reviewing some of the contracts offered to the app's young stars. Apart from that, Musical.ly is currently focused on coming up with monetization schemes which would allow their users to earn money through the service itself, i.e. without promoting other social networks. Today, the app is close to reaching 100 million users and has already raised over a dollar per user in funding. It remains to be seen whether it turns out Musical.ly is just a fad or a long-term trend but its future is currently looking bright.