Facebook is no longer betting on Lasso, an app it launched a year and a half ago, to take on TikTok. The social juggernaut’s TikTok clone is shutting down on July 10, Lasso alerted users on Wednesday.
Launched in late 2018, Lasso was seen as Facebook’s answer to TikTok that’s gained ground with young users, both in China and in the West. Lasso allowed users to shoot up to 15-second long videos and overlay popular songs. The app centered around an algorithmic feed of recommended videos, but also allowed users to tap through hashtags or a Browse page of themed collections.
“We place multiple bets across our family of apps to test and learn how people want to express themselves. One of these tests was Lasso, our stand-alone short-form video app, which we have decided to shut down. We thank everyone who shared their creativity and feedback with us, which we’ll look to incorporate in our other video experiences,” a Facebook spokesperson told TechCrunch.
As of February, Lasso was available in Colombia, Mexico, the U.S., Argentina, Chile, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador and Uruguay, research firm Sensor Tower told TechCrunch.
Lasso added support for Hindi language earlier this year, prompting speculation that Facebook may eventually bring the new app to India, the American tech firm’s biggest market by user accounts.
Lasso’s demise comes ahead of the launch of Instagram Reels — the new horse Facebook is counting on to steal TikTok’s lunch, said Josh Constine, who first spotted Lasso’s announcement.
It’s unclear why Facebook never expanded Lasso to more markets. But what is clear is that Lasso’s journey was troubled from the beginning. Brady Voss, who led the development of this app, left Facebook days after the launch of Lasso.
Lasso had fewer than 80,000 daily active users on Android — the highest it has ever had — in Mexico — its biggest market — on June 1, according to mobile insights firm App Annie, data of which an industry executive shared with TechCrunch. The app had so few users on iOS, and it struggled so much in other markets. that the figures were too low for App Annie to track.
Earlier this week, Facebook announced it was also shutting down Hobbi, an app that allowed users to document their personal projects. Hobbi, too, was an experimental project by Facebook.