Keeping children safe online matters
What is Musical.ly?
Musical.ly is a free app to download and is available on the App Store, Google Play Store and Amazon App Store. In its terms of service it states that it is not to be used by anyone under the age of 13, and by using the software you are affirming that you are at least 18 years of age.
Musical.ly was made in October 2014 and is a social media platform designed for people to create and share short music videos (15 seconds or less). A user can, for example, pick a song from within the app and dance or lip sync over it. Once a video has been made, a user can add a range of fun and sophisticated editing effects to it to make it stand out. Videos are referred to as 'musicals' and the aim - for many users - is to become a 'featured top user' with a large amount of likes and fans. Many celebrities also have profiles on Musical.ly.
Creating an account
There are some public areas on Musical.ly which can be viewed by anyone without even having to register with an account. In order to upload videos to the app an account needs to be created using an email address, Facebook account or Twitter account.
What are the privacy settings?
Users can share their Musical.ly videos with the Musical.ly community by selecting 'post' after they have created a video within the app. Alternatively, a user can select 'save private' which will save the video privately within Musical.ly (or a user can also select to save the video within their video file on their phone rather than within the app). Users can also post their videos onto their other social media profiles such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter (see screen shot below). Musical.ly encourages users to share their videos on other social networks as some video editing features within the app are only available if users share on other platforms.
Users can make their Musical.ly account private, which will restrict access to their videos so that they are only available to people who they have approved. To make an account private, go to the user's Musical.ly profile (by tapping the 'head' icon at the bottom of the screen) and then tap on the settings gear icon in the top right hand corner. Select Settings > Private Account. Once this is selected, the user will then have to approve anyone who wishes to follow them and view their musicals.
Users on Musical.ly can 'follow' each other, 'like' videos and leave comments, and become 'friends' (when two users follow each other). Once someone is a friend on Musical.ly, music videos can be created together by using the 'duet function'. This allows both users to separately create videos which are then merged together within the app.
Musical.ly has a function for users to send messages to each other (the lightning bolt icon at the bottom of the screen). The messages section also informs a user when another user is following them and/or has liked their videos.
How do you report to the site?
There is a 'report abuse' function on the app. If a user sees anything that they feel is unsuitable for musical.ly they can click on the '...' icon and then click 'report abuse'.
If you have any concerns about grooming, sexual abuse or exploitation on Musical.ly or on any online app or site, you can also report to CEOP (the National Crime Agency's Child Exploitation and Online Protection Command) at
How to block someone
To block a user on Musical.ly go to their profile and press on the "..." icon in the upper right corner, and select "block this user."
How to delete an account
At the time of writing (February 2016), Musical.ly were in the process of adding a feature which would allow users to delete their accounts. Musical.ly state that they hope upcoming versions of the app will have this feature but do not provide any guidance as to when this may be released. A user will need to know the username and password for an account in order to delete it.
What advice / support is available for parents?
There is a FAQ section on the Musical.ly/Tumblr website at
(the main musical.ly website simply directs you to download the app). This has some limited information on features such as privacy settings and blocking users.
The community guidelines of Musical.ly are also listed on the Tumblr website. The community guidelines state that anyone who posts explicit content or nudity will have their account and content banned.
Musical.ly state that parents who are concerned about what their child is sharing or consuming on the app can email them at
For further advice and support for parents and cares from CEOP please visit:
NB: We endeavour to keep these documents as up-to-date as possible, however due to the changing nature of social media, the information and advice in this document may well date over time. Information is correct as of February 2016.