Facebook To Shutdown Lasso, The TikTok Competitor: A Well Calculated Move?

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By now almost everyone is aware of how Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB) always attempts to copy every other popular app that tries to compete with it in the social media space. However, as of late, this strategy of Zuckerberg hasn’t been playing out in his favour much.

The social media behemoth’s last attempt to launch a clone known as Lasso has been recently reported to be shutting down on July, 10. Launched in November 2018, the app which was basically a copy of the popular short-form video app TikTok had been letting its users shoot up to 15-second long videos and overlay popular songs. It was centred around an algorithmic feed of recommended videos and had been letting users tap through hashtags and browse pages of themed collections as well.

But wait, if you think that Facebook has given up on competing with TikTok, you are highly mistaken.

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The decision to shutdown Lasso comes along at a time when Facebook is all set to launch Instagram Reels – a better clone of Tiktok and superior to Lasso. Thus, this proves that Facebook is not yet done trying to one-up Tiktok which has grown twice as faster than Facebook.

The app Instagram Reels was initially announced in November last year and was launched exclusively for Facebook’s user base in Brazil. However, given to some of the recent development that has put TikTok in a tough spot in many countries Facebook has decided to make the ost of the situation by rolling out Instagram Reel to their user bases in Germany and France as well.

What sets up Reels to actually become popular unlike Lasso is the fact that it will be able to use Instagram’s users which currently stands at 1 billion worldwide as of 2018 to cross-promote itself.

Instagram Reels: An Opportunity Of Revival For Indian TikTokers

This is specifically a great piece of news for TikTok users in Indian who are left in the lurch after the Indian government banned TikTok along with 58 other apps of Chinese-origin recently. Most Indian content creators who happened to rely on Tiktok since the very beginning to build their following have already started migrating to Instagram. Thus, when Instagram Reels is finally rolled out in India as well, it will allow them to return to their favourite format of creating content with 15-second videos.

That being said, it should be noted that Facebook hasn’t announced any plans of Reels being launched India as of now even though it is a perfect opportunity for them to capture the vast market leftover. 

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Cloning Popular Apps: Does Facebook Needs To Revisit Its Expansion Strategy?

Lasso wasn’t Facebook’s first attempt to kill the growth of another popular app in the social media space. Long before that in June 2014, the company tried a similar tactic with Snapchat by launching a cloned app known as Slingshot. Unfortunately, much like the Lasso app now, Facebook quietly pulled down Slingshot from the App Stores very quickly within a month.

Over the years, Facebook’s cloned apps continued to fail to capture the attention of its users. For instance, Craig Chapple, the mobile insights strategist at Sensor Tower, mentions how Lasso has only been downloaded 10 million times as opposed to the TikTok app which has been downloaded more over 2 billion times. Thus, it is high time for Facebook to revisit its expansion strategy the company has been adhering to for years as it has clearly been failing from the very beginning.

Youtube, on Wednesday, has announced that it has begun to test a new feature on mobile that will allow users to record 15-second long multi-segment videos. Therefore, it looks like Instagram Reels isn’t going to be the only app racing to beat TikTok.

We will keep you updated on all future developments. Until then, stay tuned!

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