Thursday, November 17, 2016
HOW A CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA APP MADE IT BIG IN THE U.S.
The app co-founded by 37-year-old Alex Zhu is filled with teenage girls and 20-somethings making funny faces into their smartphone cameras as they lip sync and mime the lyrics of hit songs.
Musical.ly has attracted celebrities like Ariana Grande, partnered with the NFL and turned several American teenagers into online stars.
Right now, it has about 20 million monthly active users in the US, and people spend about about 3½ minutes on the average every time they open the app.
Musical.ly is also constantly adding new features to try to keep users hooked -- letting them post videos that are longer than the original 15-second limit, adding stickers and promoting live broadcasts on sister app live.ly.
The company chats every day with hundreds of its users on Chinese messaging app WeChat to get feedback on planned changes.
Musical.ly is also looking to expand internationally. It has strong followings in the U.K. and Germany.