What is the Live.ly app from Musical.ly?

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What is the Live.ly app from Musical.ly?

March 2, 2018
Green Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
We believe this app is a STARTING POINT for your student, but that you must monitor your student on every app they are on. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Gray Zone

Parents and Teachers: Please note this app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe.
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Red Zone

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone. We believe this app is not safe for students to use without adult supervision. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Dangerous Social media challenges

Parents and Teachers: This app is listed as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge. Knowing about social media challenges before your teen does can help you keep them safe before an incident occurs. Join our weekly newsletter to learn about the 100+ App Reviews at SmartSocial.com

Table of Contents

Note: Live.ly has been discontinued in 2018, but we leave this app guide here to teach parents/educators how it worked, why it was popular with students, and how they can keep their students safe on similar apps.

Live.ly is a live video streaming app from the creators of Musical.ly where users can broadcast live video or group video chat with their friends.

Listen to this episode on our podcast:

What is the Live.ly app?

  • From the creators of Musical.ly, Live.ly is a live video streaming app
  • Users sign up using their Musical.ly, Facebook, or Twitter account
  • Users can broadcast live video or group video chat with their friends
  • Multiple users can live broadcast video together from different locations
  • Unlike Instagram and Snapchat, when a live broadcast is over it cannot be replayed
  • Users also have the ability to comment on videos
  • There is no verification process or age requirement for users to view live videos
  • Since Live.ly is connected to Musica.ly, it’s easy to share content between the apps
  • Users can receive or give emoji “gifts” through the app using real money (prices range $.50-$50)

Why should parents care?

  • Sometimes students will give out their Snapchat username or phone number during a live video without understanding that strangers watching their video now have their personal information
  • The more money a user spends, the more prominent their username will be in a video’s comments which can turn spending into a competition
  • Even though it’s against the app’s terms of service, it’s not uncommon for students younger than 13 to use this app
  • Some students have been reported as using this app to play “truth or dare”. Users will comment a truth or dare and the student will live stream their response
  • Although users have the ability to report mature content, there is no moderation on the app. Students can run into any type of content - good or bad
  • Live streaming videos can have a serious impact on your student’s privacy and security

What Parents are Saying about the Live.ly app

  • Inappropriate for children. I was doing my usual phone check on our kid's phone and kept getting notifications for Live.ly. When I checked on it, two different times a group video chat came on with a man [doing something extremely explicit] in one of the cameras. There were kids no older than 10 watching and when they realized there was a grown up watching they clicked off. This is not an app for children! This is as far as I'm concerned just another way for pedophiles to get to kids.
  • Pedophile hunting ground! Do not let your children on here. A child close to me had been approached by a man asking inappropriate questions. It should not be allowed to happen, it's sick.


Live.ly App in the News

Children as young as nine are being groomed and bombarded with sexually explicit messages on a popular livestreaming app [Live.ly] that has been branded ‘a magnet for paedophiles’. –The Times
Comments [teens] received [on Live.ly] are extremely explicit. –Channel 4 News
Live.ly has also quickly turned it into a [place] where social media performers angle at cashing in on their elusive celebrity status and fans shell out for the illusion of greater intimacy. –The New York Times
Live.ly’s overnight success can be linked directly to teens downloading the app based on their already honed obsessions with musical.ly. –New York Magazine

What can parents do?

  • If your student has the Live.ly app, have them delete it and discuss the app’s safety issues
  • If your teen is interested in apps like Live.ly, consider creating an Instagram account that can be used as a positive social media resume
  • When you’re ready for your student to be online, work with them to use apps that positively impact their digital footprint. Check out our Parent App Guide page and consider using the apps in our Green Zone (and be on all apps your kids are using)
  • Ensure they understand how to use video apps safely before giving your student access to them
  • Teach students to ask themselves if they would want their video seen by colleges, teachers, or parents before posting or streaming

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