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China’s Bytedance makes bold move: Consolidates Musical.ly into TikTok


In what could be considered as a sudden move, Bytedance merged two of its applications Musical.ly and TikTok (Douyin in Chinese), in favour of the latter.

It’s a seamless switch where over 200 million registered users and 100 million MAUs of Musical.ly will directly upgrade to TikTok’s application as soon as they hit update in their respective App Stores and will find all their videos, fan following, and viewing preferences intact.

On both Google Play and iPhone’s App Store, searching for Musical.ly’s application, redirects the users to ‘TikTok- including musical.ly’, solidifying the China-based giant’s sudden but swift shift. On Musical.ly’s website as well, clicking on ‘about musical.ly’ takes you to ‘About TikTok’ webpage.

The amalgamated platform is better for the users as it increases their global reach and they get to enjoy the best features of two apps in just one. Now, Musical.ly’s users can also share their videos with and gain followers from TikTok’s user base, and vice versa.

Launched in August 2017, Musical.ly had amassed 15 million registrations by February 2018 in India. Now this entire user base would shift to TikTok.

For Bytedance, the move is strategical. Musical.ly and TikTok were two of the fastest growing short-form video applications. With this fusion, TikTok now claims to be the world’s number one short form video networking application and Bytedance is in better position to expand its user base worldwide and India.

Prior to this merger, TikTok and Tencent-backed Kwai had been claiming lead over each other in terms of MAUs and DAUs. According to a report by South China Morning Post in May this year, Kwai had 120 million daily active users and as Entrackr reported it had crossed the 400 million registered user mark a year ago.

Whereas, a recent report by Fast Company mentioned that TikTok had 150 million daily and 500 million monthly active users.

With Musical.ly’s integration in to TikTok, Bytedance’s application will surpass Kwai’s user base with a decent margin. While the genres of content produced on both the applications was different, the functioning and interface was largely similar. Hence, it made sense for Bytedance to adopt this action and reduce the twin effort and cost invested in both of these, paving way for a more efficient growth of ‘TikTok – including musical.ly’.

Going further, it would be interesting to see the future growth of the combined application, in terms of user base, monetization, and its competition with various other short-form video content based applications including Kwai.

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