Facebook’s TikTok-clone Lasso is shutting down as Zuckerberg gears up to launch Instagram Reels

Facebook’s TikTok-clone Lasso is shutting down as Zuckerberg gears up to launch Instagram Reels
Lasso will shut down starting July 10Lasso/Google Play Store
  • Facebook’s TikTok-clone Lasso informed users that it will be shutting down starting July 10.
  • The news comes a few days after Facebook announced that Instagram Reels will be expanding to new markets.
  • After TikTok being banned in India, users are looking for a friendly 15-second video streaming app — an opportunity that Instagram Reels could capitalise on.
Mark Zuckerberg’s attempts to clone apps after they become popular to keep Facebook relevant don’t seem to be playing out in his favour. Facebook’s latest attempt, TikTok’s clone Lasso, will reportedly be shutting down on July 10.

The news of Lasso’s exit comes on the heels of Facebook planning to launch Instagram Reels, another app that functions almost identically to TikTok. The app was initially announced in November 2019 exclusively for users in Brazil. Now, it plans to also extend to users in France and Germany as well.

Unlike Lasso, Reels will be able to use Instagram’s users — which stood at 1 billion as of 2018 — to cross-promote itself.
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For users in India, this could be a boon after the government banned TikTok from its stores amid border tensions with China. Most TikTok creators are now relying on Instagram to create content, and having Reels to generate 15-second videos will allow them to return to their favourite format.

While this may be the perfect opportunity for Facebook to capture the market leftover by TikTok, there are currently no plans of Reels being launched locally.

Another Facebook clone bites the dust
Facebook had earlier tried to launch its own Snapchat killer — an app called Slingshot — in June 2014. As with Lasso, Slingshot was pulled from the App Store a year later.

Launched “quietly” in November 2018, Lasso functions exactly like TikTok with videos capped at 15-seconds and users’ favourite tunes playing in the background. The only difference is that it didn’t quite capture the users’ fancy as Facebook hoped it would.

Even the guy who led Lasso's development, Brady Voss, left Facebook within days of the app hitting the market.

Since its launch, Lasso has only been downloaded a sum total of 300,000 times, according to Sensor Tower. In comparison, TikTok has been downloaded more than 40 million times.

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