Musical.ly, the social platform for creating and sharing short videos beloved by teens, is releasing a new app to build upon its success.
The Chinese startup (which, by its own account, boasts 100 million users on its flagship service) recently debuted Ping Pong for iOS. The app lets you record and share video messages with friends asynchronously, in the vein of Snapchat and Marco Polo. You can add face-warping lenses (much like the type you’d find on Snapchat), of which there are currently only three available. Users can also create groups, and sent clips are stacked along the bottom of the display for you to watch.
On Monday, we noted that despite being available to download on the App Store, Ping Pong wasn’t allowing sign-ups or log-ins. The app didn’t even offer an error message, it just got stuck on a loading screen until we were forced to quit. The issues could have resulted due to Ping Pong still being in test mode, claimed TechCrunch, which first spotted the app. We reached out to Musical.ly via Twitter, and this is what the company said: “Our ping team is currently working very hard! We will announce it ASAP! Stay tuned!”
Then on Tuesday, we tried logging in and (all of a sudden) Ping Pong was working, but only for those users with existing Musical.ly accounts — Facebook and Twitter activation is still prone to errors. On the app store it does state that Ping Pong released updates on Monday and Tuesday, so perhaps that did the trick.
Whether Musical.ly’s large collective of younger users adopt Ping Pong remains to be seen. The startup has reportedly already found success with its Live.ly live-streaming service, released last summer. Just three months after its launch, the app had already overtaken Twitter’s Periscope on iOS with almost 4.6 million monthly active users, according to Variety. And, last month, Musical.ly quietly dropped a group video chat app for iOS in the form of “Squad,” which immediately drew comparisons to Houseparty (the buzzing comeback app from the makers of live-streaming also-ran Meerkat).
Ping Pong is available to download on iOS now. This is a developing story — we’ll update this article with more info as it’s released.
Updated 02/15/2017 by Saqib Shah: Added info about Ping Pong functionality