Facebook Quietly Rolls Out TikTok Clone Called Lasso

The Facebook logo is displayed at a 2018 technology trade fair.
Alexander Koerner / Getty Images

Facebook has released a new app that essentially cloned another popular app that allows users to create fun and short videos.

The new app called Lasso is reportedly designed to be the competitor of Tiktok, the viral 15-second video app that recently merged with Musical.ly.

According to The Verge, Lasso is Facebook’s new attempt to win over teens who are losing interest on its social network.

This year, only half of teens claim that they use Facebook. In 2014, 71 percent of those in this age group did. The most recent data from Pew Research show that YouTube is now the most preferred platform of choice for teens, followed by Instagram and Snapchat.

TechCrunch leaked about the creation of the Lasso app two weeks ago. It reported that the app was designed to be a standalone competitor to Musical.ly, which became a hit with teens and preteens before it was acquired by ByteDance and merged with the company’s TikTok app.

“It’s basically TikTok/Musically. It’s full-screen, built for teens, fun and funny and focused on creation,” a source told Josh Constine of TechCrunch “A lot of what they’re doing is just trying to be cool.”

Facebook finally rolled out Lasso on Friday albeit quietly. The company did not even release an official statement about the product.

The TikTok app is displayed on a smartphone screen.
  Ricky Kresslein / Shutterstock

A Facebook spokesperson nonetheless told Business Insider that Facebook is excited about the potential of Lasso and will gather feedback from people and creators.

While Facebook appears to be playing it cool with the release of its version of TikTok, the company is aware of what is at stake. As of June, Tiktok already has 500 million users worldwide. Tiktok is also the most downloaded social app in the United States in September.

The Lasso functions are almost the same as TikTok. The videos are limited to 15 seconds and users can add favorites tunes to play in the background. Lasso users will also be able to choose from millions of songs in a licensed catalog.

Since Lasso is owned by Facebook, those who want to try it can sign in using their Instagram or Facebook account. There is also an option to create an account for Lasso.

Videos created on Lasso can be shared directly to the user’s Facebook story. The Verge said that a similar compatibility with Instagram stories will also roll out later this year.

Gizmodo said that all profiles and videos on the platform are public.