+++ Update 07.08.2018: Musical.ly merges with the app TikTok. More information at "Musical.ly = Tik Tok?!" +++
The app Musical.ly has conquered the smartphones of many young people. Around 200 million people worldwide use the social service, which has established itself on the digital market in record time. In Germany, according to Musical.ly, usage has increased eightfold within a year. 8.5 million registrations from Germany are currently recorded. At 65%, it is primarily young people who use Musical.ly. They share famous movie quotes to which they synchronously move their lips or music videos in which they sing and dance along to the music playback(Onlinemarketingrockstars.de, accessed on 18.04.2017). The 14-year-old twins Lisa and Lena from Germany are among the best-known Musical.ly stars. More than 18 million fans watch enthusiastically when the girls post their videos.
Recently, the portal mobilsicher.de tested the app with a view to data protection requirements and security aspects during use.
Test results at a glance
In the test by mobilsicher.de, the app, which is popular with young people, is not convincing. Musical.ly ignores data protection requirements and encourages unsafe use. Children in particular should not use this app under any circumstances. The following aspects are problematic:
- The default setting of the accounts is "public", so that all users of the app can see and follow the uploaded videos. Only when young people actively set their account to "private" is their privacy guaranteed.
- The location is read out by default and communicated to other users. This default setting must also be deactivated manually by the account holder.
- Once accounts have been set up, they cannot currently be deleted.
- When the app is closed, the user is not automatically logged out. This means that strangers with access to the smartphone can also gain access to the Musical.ly account.
- There is no filtering of the video material, so children and young people can come across unsuitable video content or song lyrics.
- The app reads out numerous data and is said to transfer user data to advertising networks and analytics services, among others.
For more information, see the detailed test report at mobilsicher.de.
More on the topic
mobilsicher.de: Musical.ly - Unsuitable for children
klicksafe news article: Musical.ly - Does your child belong to the "musers"? (as of 13.06.2016)
Saferinternet.at: What parents need to know about Musical.ly
klicksafe parents' area: social networks, messenger & Co.
klicksafe flyer: Safer in social services: tips for parents