TikTok might be struggling with the loss of one of its biggest markets following its banning by the Indian government, but it seems there is no matching the formula that has led to its runaway success. Facebook has found out the hard way that in simply trying to offer something similar, even they aren’t able to replicate that same level of success.
Facebook quietly rolled out its Lasso app to a few countries back in 2018, with the intended purpose of taking on the now thriving social media platform that is TikTok. It appears that Facebook has not had the success they were hoping with their copycat-type app and CNN has reported that notifications have been sent to users informing them that Lasso will no longer be useable from July 10.
This doesn’t mean that Facebook has given up on the idea of trying to compete with TikTok in some way though, with ex-TechCrunch editor Josh Constine noting that one of the reasons Lasso is shutting down is to allow the company to focus on a new Reels feature on Instagram instead. Reels is a video editing tool that lets users record and edit TikTok-style videos which they can then post to their Instagram Stories, send via DM, or post to a new section of the Explore tab called Top Reels. It’s perhaps too early to tell though if Reels is going to be a winner for Facebook, but with it taking a different approach rather than being a near copy of TikTok, it could find more of an audience.
As for us, nothing changes considering that Lasso was never officially rolled out in South Africa. Perhaps if Facebook does want to make a success out of their new venture, they should consider rolling it out to more countries. India could be a key market for the taking at the moment.
Lasso is not the only app that Facebook is sunsetting though as TechCrunch has also reported that Facebook is shutting down Hobbi, an experimental Pinterest-like app designed to help people document personal projects. Hobbi was the work of Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team and only launched back in February of this year. Perhaps there is a lesson in this for Facebook. Don’t copy other apps and just stick to your own ideas.
Last Updated: July 3, 2020