Facebook to Shutter TikTok Clone Lasso and Hobbi on July 10
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Lasso, Facebook's answer to the wildly popular TikTok, is going to the great app store in the sky. Based on screenshots tweeted by CNN media reporter Kerry Flynn, it appears the app will shutter on Friday, July 10.
Quietly introduced in November 2018, Lasso invited U.S. users to create 15-second videos using an Android or iOS smartphone and millions of licensed songs from Facebook's music library. When not uploading lip-syncing videos, folks could watch an endless stream of clips, follow other creators and discover new content.
Sound familiar? TikTok burst onto the social media scene in 2018, surpassing Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to become the world's most-downloaded iOS app at the time. Now it faces scrutiny from parents, privacy groups and the U.S. government, who claim the app puts children at risk.
Lasso, meanwhile, never quite caught on, despite earning top marks from users (it boasts 4.6 out of 5 stars in the App Store). Which is likely why Facebook has decided to cut ties with the floundering feature. According to Flynn's tweets, the handful of folks who actually used Lasso to upload and share videos can now download their content for posterity.
"We place multiple bets across our family of apps to test and learn how people want to express themselves. One of these tests was Lasso, our stand-alone short-form video app, which we have decided to shut down and remove from all app stores on July 10," a Facebook spokesperson said in an email to PCMag. "We thank everyone who shared their creativity and feedback with us, which we'll look to incorporate in our other video experiences."
Lasso isn't this month's only Facebook casualty: The experimental Pinterest rip-off Hobbi will also shut down on July 10. One of the New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team's latest ventures, Hobbi served as a short-form content creation space for personal projects. The application garnered fewer than 10,000 downloads in the few months that it was available, TechCrunch reported, citing estimates from Sensor Tower and Apptopia. Now, users are being notified of its upcoming demise.
"The NPE team takes time to research, test and refine ideas in its search for new experiences and the most compelling feature, product,or service to provide them," Facebook's statement said. "We hope to build communities with our apps, but we also don’t expect them to resonate with everyone. We expect to have to shut down apps when they’re not catching on, but we also hope to learn from these experiments so that we can build better, more interesting apps in the future."