Video-sharing app musical.ly set to make a push in PH

MANILA, Philippines – If you're a regular at the video-sharing network musical.ly, you might have recently noticed the hashtag "#DuetWithMissPhilippines" on top of the trending list.

The tag is a collaboration between the app and Miss Philippines International 2010 Krista Kleiner, and invites "musers" to perform a duet with the 27-year-old former beauty queen to the tune of "Don't Let Me Down" by The Chainsmokers.

Users can go to the trending page on the app, and tap on the "start duet" button, which intersperses clips from Kleiner's video with the user's own clips – thereby producing a "duet."

If you want to see the clip, it's also available on Kleiner's Instagram page here.

Back to musical.ly, the campaign has produced a wealth of these entertaining personalized music videos, each of which attempt to give their own creative spin. It's part of musical.ly's initial push to bolster their presence in the Philippines.

Launched in 2014, the app has since garnered 90 million global users – an estimated 4 million of them from the Philippines. That's nearly 10% of the total number of social media users in the Philippines, according to a musical.ly press release. Of these 4 million users, 60% is said to come from the 13- to 18-year-old age bracket, possibly a big reason why the community has such a frenetic, energetic atmosphere. 

Musical.ly's hope is to increase their local user base to 8 million by Febuary or March 2017. The app's senior marketing manager, Mauricio Garcia Lievana, talking at a media round table held in Makati, Friday, August 12, credits the app's success to users not having to be a "super-professional director" to create stuff that's fun, entertaining, stuff that might amaze their friends. According to him, that's an important thing for Generation Z a.k.a. the kids born from 1995 and up. 

Some examples are 18-year-old Psalm Ramos, a mechanical engineering student at the Mapua Institute of Technology in Laguna and a muser who currently has 12,400 fans; Elly de Villa, a student at Centro Escolar University with 2,060 fans; and 16-year-old actress Bianca Umali who has more than 241,000.

Proving that the musical.ly platform rewards not just established celebrity, even a 30-year-old freelance graphic designer Vinzer Felix can gain an audience. With his quick dance and comedic routines on the app, he's garnered a fan base of 197,000 – impressive for someone who doesn't appear on a medium like TV.

Many more of these Filipino online performers can be found on a Facebook page with a community of 1.7 million called "Pinoy Musical.ly," which collects and posts videos taken from the app. 

As the diversity of the samples above prove, on musical.ly, all it takes is some knack for getting people's attention to gain some internet fame. The growth of musical.ly as an app that can compete with giants like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram can be partly attributed to its recognition of girls and boys just sometimes wanting to have fun – similar to Snapchat and its wacky filters.

On the other side of the fence, marketers would do well to pay attention to these platforms that have engaged the younger generation. – Rappler.com

Gelo Gonzales

Gelo Gonzales is Rappler’s technology editor. He covers consumer electronics, social media, emerging tech, and video games.

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