INTRO: Facebook’s ambitious attempt to lure TikTok users is coming to a halt. The social media giant is reportedly shutting down its TikTok clone ‘Lasso’ next week, on the 10th of July.
As it was reported by TechCrunch, Lasso users were alerted about the shut down on Wednesday. Facebook is now urging Lasso users to download videos they would like to keep, since they will no longer be available to access after July 10.
For the uninitiated, Facebook launched Lasso in a bid to attract the TikTok audience in November 2018. The app was essentially a TikTok clone with similar functionalities for short-form content, which the company thought young users would find appealing.
As per data from Sensor Tower, Lasso was live in select regions including Colombia, Mexico, the U.S., Argentina, Chile, Peru, Panama, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador, and Uruguay. The app never made its way to India.
Facebook is not entirely giving up hope on copying TikTok though. The company is now focusing on Instagram’s Reels. Alongside Reels’ expansion to France and Germany last week, the company added dedicated sections for Reels in Instagram’s Explore and Profile.
Facebook’s decision to sunset Lasso is a clear indication of its bigger plans to expand Reels to more regions. If scaled up properly, Reels could capture the scattered TikTok crowd and creators in India, now that the app has been banned in the country at least for now.
In fact, the ban of TikTok in India has led a lot of creators to shift to homegrown alternatives such as Mitron, Chingari, and Roposo. Since the future of TikTok remains uncertain in India for the foreseeable future, one would expect Facebook to utilize the situation and expand Reels to India. However, we will have to wait and see what Facebook has planned for Reels.