A year and a half after it went live, Facebook has decided to abandon the Lasso short video app designed to replace TikTok. In Wednesday’s announcement, the company unfortunately informed Lasso users that it would close the service on July 10. Launched in the second half of 2018, Lasso has been seen as a strong contender for TikTok, which has a place in both the young user base of both China and the West.
The app allows users to shoot short 15-second videos, plus a BGM of pop music. The video recommendation algorithm is at the heart of the service and allows users to click on subject tags and browse related pages.
According to data shared by research firm Sensor Tower, as of February 2020, Lasso has services in Colombia, Mexico, the United States, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, Uruguay and other places.
Earlier this year, Facebook also added support for Lasso to Hindi, suggesting it was ready to enter the Indian market. As an emerging market with a large population base, we are not surprised by this update from Lasso.
Unfortunately, the competition is so strong that Facebook hopes that the new Instagram reels, which were launched earlier, will help steal some of TikTok’s share.
It’s not clear why Facebook has never expanded Lasso to more markets, but Josh Constine, who first broke the news that Lasso is closing, has revealed its connection to Instagram on Twitter.
It’s clear that Lasso has been through the difficulty from the start. For example, not long after the service went live, Brady Voss, who was in charge of developing the app, left the company. Facebook did not comment on the matter.