- The news of Lasso’s departure comes on the heels of plans for Facebook to launch Instagram Reels, another app that operates almost identically with TikTok.
The attempts by Mark Zuckerberg to clone apps after they become famous to keep Facebook important don’t seem to be playing in his favor. The new attempt by Facebook, TikTok’s clone Lasso , is official to be shut down on July 10.
The news of Lasso ‘s departure comes on the heels of plans for Facebook to launch Instagram Reels, another device that operates almost identically with TikTok. The software was originally marketed exclusively for users in Brazil in November 2019. Currently, it also plans to expand this to users in France and Germany.
Unlike Lasso, Reels will be able to cross-promote itself with Instagram users — who stood at 1 billion as of 2018.
This could be a blessing for users in India after the government banned TikTok from its stores amid tensions with China on the border. Most TikTok creators now rely on Instagram to create content and having Reels generate 15-second videos will allow them to return to their preferred format.
While this could be a great opportunity for Facebook to grab TikTok ‘s business leftover, there are currently no plans to launch Reels locally.
Another Facebook clone bites the dust
Earlier in June 2014, Facebook had attempted to launch its own Snapchat killer — an app called Slingshot. Much like Lasso, a year later Slingshot was removed from the App Store
Launched “quietly” in November 2018, Lasso operates just like TikTok with 15-second limited videos and background-playing favorite tunes for users. The only difference is that it hasn’t quite caught the imagination of consumers as Facebook hoped.
Even Brady Voss, the guy who led the production of Lasso, quit Facebook just days after the device hit the market.
According to Sensor Tower, Lasso has only been downloaded a total amount of 300,000 times since its launch. TikTok was downloaded more than 40 million times, by contrast.
Unlike TikTok, not everything has to be openly posted as users can only post Reels to certain groups or through Direct Message. If publicly shared, it will appear in the Explore tab’s Top Reels page. The new feature is visible under Stories alongside the filters Boomerang and Super-Zoom.
The huge music portfolio of Facebook has obtained Reels from all the major labels and many small publishers. Users choose the chunk of the song they want, and then they can capture or upload multiple video clips to complete their Reel.
It will interesting to see how Facebook leverages this huge opportunity in India after the ban on TikTok.