Facebook has silently announced its TikTok competitor, an app / service called 'Lasso'. This announcement comes via The Verge, who picked up on a tweet from the Product Manager for Lasso, Bowen Pan. Facebook did not share an official press release, or anything of the sort. In any case, this new app lets users create short videos, and is made to compete with TikTok, a very popular application in this field. Using Lasso, users can record themselves while dancing and lip-syncing to music, while you can also create short video clips (general content) and share them with the public, similar to what Vine offered. The Lasso app is available for both Android and iOS, and it's free to use, needless to say. Facebook allows you to sign up to its new service using your Instagram account, or you can create a new account using Facebook, though as it usually goes when logging in to other apps using Facebook, you'll need to allow Lasso to get access to various parts of your Facebook account, in this case, you'll need to allow it to access your profile page, photos, and videos. Like many other social media platforms, Lasso relies heavily on tags, so you'll probably see a ton of them attached to videos, similar to Instagram, actually.
The Lasso app currently has 67 reviews (at the time of writing this article), and it has a 3.9-star rating in the Play Store. Interestingly enough, this application seems to be region locked, as it doesn't seem to be available in Croatia at the moment. Chances are it is locked to the US, but we cannot confirm that, it's possible it's available in other parts of Europe. In any case, there's already a ton of content on Lasso, despite the fact it's a brand new app / service, which suggests that Facebook worked with some people to prepare the content for the launch, it's even possible that the company ran a beta test of the app for months now, but we cannot be sure as Facebook did not share any official info just yet. The design of the Lasso app is quite simple, as it puts a huge focus on the content itself, and it keeps everything else out of the way, the design is flat and clean.
Background: We've been seeing rumors for months now that Facebook is getting ready to launch this application in order to compete with TikTok, but we did not have any official info until now. Truth be said, it was expected for Facebook to release info piece-by-piece before announcing this service, but the company has opted to just get it out of the way, and release the whole thing, without properly announcing anything. There's still a chance that the company may announce its release, though, of course. Facebook is probably trying to bring back teens to its side, as Facebook is losing teens at a really fast pace. In 2018, only half of the teens say they still use Facebook, compared to 2018, which is concerning for the company, but a ton of them use Instagram, which is also Facebook's service, so… it's not like Facebook is lacking users.
Impact: Lasso is an obvious attempt to steal some users from TikTok and similar services, and to cater to teens as much as possible. It remains to be seen if this service will be successful for Facebook, though, as the company did not really go out of its way to market it properly, at least not yet. It is possible Facebook will wait a bit until more content becomes available on the service before it becomes marketing it properly.