Facebook hopes to capture the youth vote with Lasso, a TikTok competitor
First, there was Vine. Then came Musical.ly. Now, there’s TikTok. The “short video” format has constantly been shuffled from service to service without ever really catching on in the mainstream zeitgeist. Perhaps Facebook will finally be the force to bring short video to the forefront with Lasso, a new video app designed for teens.
In case you missed the boat on the “short video” fad, the format first gained ground with Vine. Vine allowed users to upload six-second video clips that would loop, perhaps pandering to the ever-shortening attention span of modern man. Vine shut down in late 2016 and left a void in the short video space until Musical.ly stepped in to fill the space, growing rapidly around the same time Vine began closing up shop. Musical.ly was a bit different, instead focusing on lip sync videos that ran 15-60 seconds. Finally, this past August, Musical.ly and all of its content were absorbed by TikTok, which is currently the biggest hub for rapid-fire video content.
In comes Facebook and its new app, Lasso. Lasso is designed to “make it easy for anyone to create and share short videos with fun effects” and seems to be squarely aimed at teens. This could be part of Facebook’s efforts to stem the hemorrhage of younger users who are eschewing the platform for different social media avenues. It’s more likely that Lasso is poised to be a direct competitor to TikTok.
TikTok, like Musical.ly before it, is widely populated by lip sync videos. According to Lasso’s app page description, the new app offers “one of the biggest” music libraries with selections “from pop to vintage classics.” While this library could be offered as an easy way for users to insert background music, it’s inevitable that lip sync videos will trend on the platform.
Lasso may have the upper-hand against TikTok. Since it’s owned by Facebook, Lasso will directly integrate with a user’s Facebook profile. This also leaves the door wide open for integration with Instagram, which is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world, especially with younger users.
Still, video sharing platforms are notoriously difficult to grow for one big reason: YouTube. Unless Facebook can offer incentives to influential creatives to use Lasso, the company will face an uphill battle against the content giant that is YouTube.
Lasso is available for Android and iOS via their respective app stores.