- On Friday, Facebook released a direct competitor to TikTok, called Lasso.
- Lasso is a social video app that caps posts to 15-seconds and lets creators add their favourite songs to play in the background.
- The features and design of Lasso are almost identical to TikTok.
- Facebook’s new, standalone app is a direct target at the growing user base of TikTok, which in September was the most downloaded social app in the US.
Facebook has cloned another popular social app. And it’s called Lasso.
The world’s largest social network is essentially re-creating its own version of TikTok, the 15-second video app that’s become increasingly popular in the US. In September, TikTok was the most downloaded social app in the US.
Facebook’s Lasso functions almost exactly the same as TikTok. Videos are capped at 15 seconds, and users can add their favourite tunes to play in the background. Facebook told Business Insider that users will be able to choose from millions of songs in its licensed catalogue.
New videos are seemingly endless – just swipe up for more content to be served your way. As The Atlantic’s Tayor Lorenz pointed out on Twitter, it appears that Facebook seeded content on Lasso with videos that were already on TikTok.
Reports of Lasso’s creation were leaked by TechCrunch two weeks ago.
“It’s basically TikTok/Musically,” a source told TechCrunch in the report. “It’s full-screen, built for teens, fun and funny and focused on creation.”
The rollout of Lasso on Friday was quiet, with no official statement from the company on its website. When asked about the new release by Business Insider, a Facebook spokesperson said: “We’re excited about the potential here, and we’ll be gathering feedback from people and creators.”
Though Facebook seems to be playing it cool with the Lasso release, the company knows what’s at stake. TikTok’s fun layout and interactions have attracted the attention of a young demographic and as of June, the company said it had 500 million users worldwide.
Facebook is no stranger to cloning an app to kick out an incumbent.
Instagram Stories notoriously copied the ephemeral nature of Snapchat, and by June of this year, it had twice as many users (400 million). Interestingly, Facebook had launched its original Snapchat killer – a standalone app called Slingshot – in June of 2014. By December 2015, however, Slingshot was no longer available in the App Store.
With the release of Lasso, the short-form video space is heating up. Just yesterday, Vine founder, Dom Hofmann, announced that his new 6.5-second looping video platform, byte, will launch in spring 2019.