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Musical.ly launches live.ly for live streaming

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Musical.ly is expanding beyond music videos with the launch of live.ly, its live stream platform. Users will be able to broadcast through the live.ly app, and the streams will be viewable on musical.ly.

Launched last year, musical.ly is growing fast, with about 80 million young teens using it around the globe. The app makes it easy to create music videos by allowing users to dub over their voices with songs from popular artists like Rihanna and Meghan Trainor.

Now the app is moving beyond recorded videos with the integration of live.ly. Live streaming has become increasingly popular, with the launch of Facebook Live and the continued evolution of Twitter’s Periscope. Musical.ly is hoping it can capitalize on this trend and be a force in the live video business.

It began as lip syncing, yet “people started using musical.ly in different ways which we didn’t anticipate,” Alex Zhu, co-CEO of musical.ly tells TechCrunch. From comedy to animal videos, Zhu says they saw that musical.ly was being used for more than music, and he hopes live.ly will help “users to interact with others in real-time.”

The video social network has already begun rolling out live.ly to select users and will be expanding access to its whole user base in the coming weeks.

Musical.ly is one of the first social networks to gain significant traction since Snapchat rose in popularity a few years back.

TechCrunch previously reported that the Shanghai-based company is in the midst of a significant funding round, valuing musical.ly at about $500 million. GGV Capital, Greylock and others have participated.