(WFLA) — The smart-phone app Musical.ly makes Snapchat look over the hill by comparison. Its biggest audience is pre-teens, and that means that it’s one more thing parents need to learn about to keep kids safe. Because, like all social media platforms, it has the potential to expose users to danger and bullying.
Here’s a primer on Musical.ly:
- Musical.ly is a music-video-making app that allows those with an account to create 15-second videos, lip-syncing and dancing to popular music.
- Users are known as “Musers.”
- More than 70 million Muser accounts have been created, most by middle school-aged children.
- Profiles include a nickname, photo, Musername and bio. There’s also the option to link to other social media profiles, with Instagram being the most popular.
Parents can control who children are interacting with through the app.
- Click on the Settings option on the profile.
- Switch on the private account button. That ensures only people approved to follow the account can see and comment on that profile’s videos.
- For another layer of privacy, switch on the “hide location info” button.
- To block a Muser from contacting your child, or to report inapporpriate content, go to the offending Muser’s profile and click on the three dots in the upper right corner. From there, select “block user” or “report abuse.” Abuse of reports will be relayed directly to Musical.ly.
You can prevent your child from downloading Musical.ly, or any other app. Apple’s iTunes Store, and Android’s Play Store, have parental controls available in the settings. Those controls include a variety of ways to block your children from downloading apps.
For more tips for parents, visit the Musical.ly site at this link.