Facebook is mothballing Lasso, the free app it quietly launched two years ago as a competitor to popular short-form video service TikTok, after it failed to get traction and as Instagram is widening its rollout of a similar feature.
A message sent to Lasso users Wednesday informed them that the app — which, similar to ByteDance’s TikTok, allowed users to record videos up to 15 seconds with added filter effects and music — will be shut down on July 10.
The end of Lasso comes as Facebook’s Instagram is expanding the rollout of a TikTok-like feature dubbed Reels, which also is centered on videos up to 15 seconds set to music and audio clips.
According to Google Play, Lasso has been installed more than 5 million times. The iOS version of the app is available in English, Hindi, Portuguese, Spanish and Thai. Lasso had launched only in certain markets, including the U.S., Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador and Uruguay, per TechCrunch.
According to Facebook’s description of the app, “Lasso makes it easy for anyone to create and share short videos with fun filters and effects… Lasso’s music library is one of the biggest. From trending pop hits to vintage classics, you’ll find whatever song you need to take your videos to the next level.” Lasso also “lets you know which hashtags are trending or going viral and which ones might be trending soon. Be one of the first people to discover a new trend or one of the first to create and share video for it!”
Lasso had fewer than 80,000 daily active users on Android in Mexico as of June 1, according to analytics firm App Annie. There were so few users of Lasso’s iOS app that App Annie was unable to track usage.
The shutdown of Lasso was first spotted by Josh Constine, an ex-TechCrunch editor and now head of content at VC firm SignalFire. “Facebook’s TikTok clone lasso is shutting down ahead of the Instagram Reels launch, so basically Fb lost 2 years by half-assing,” he wrote in a tweet, adding: “Brb, gotta go save my zero Lassos.”
Facebook’s TikTok clone lasso is shutting down ahead of the Instagram Reels launch, so basically Fb lost 2 years by half-assing. Brb, gotta go save my zero Lassos pic.twitter.com/VgKImjgWM4
— Josh Constine -SignalFire (@JoshConstine) July 2, 2020