Facebook is looking to create another standalone app to compete with TikTok, the immensely popular 15-second video app, which recently absorbed Musical.ly after a $1 billion acquisition by Chinese company ByteDance. According to a TechCrunch report, Facebook is trying to win over teens with Lasso, an app where users can record themselves dancing and lip-syncing to music.
A source told TechCrunch, “It’s basically TikTok/Musically. It’s full-screen, built for teens, fun and funny, and focused on creation. A lot of what they’re doing is just trying to be cool.” The report comes on the heels of Facebook’s new music features that launched yesterday, in which the company added music stickers to its Stories feature and rolled out lyrics to its Lip Sync Live feature that already lives within its own app.
Lasso would most likely be the standalone app version of Lip Sync Live. With licensing deals secured with all of the major labels, however, Facebook would have access to songs that are longer than TikTok’s 15-second limit.
In 2016, Facebook created a research team to start looking into Musical.ly’s popularity with teens, but the project was put on hold when it seemed like the app wasn’t as popular as it made itself out to be. Then, Musical.ly merged into the TikTok app, which already had 500 million global monthly users in July 2018. Lasso is now being built by members of Facebook’s video and Watch team, and its success will be up to the teens to decide.