Facebook announced the impending death of its Pinterest competitor Hobbi this week, but it now appears the unloved app won’t die alone. The not-media company has revealed its TikTok competitor Lasso will also shut down on July 10, joining its cousin’s journey to the big app store in the sky.
As spotted by CNN’s Kerry Flynn, Lasso has sent users a push notification telling them the app will shut down in just over a week. Fortunately, simple instructions for downloading your Lasso videos are provided through an in-app notification, assuming you actually uploaded anything in the first place.
Lasso launched November 2018 on the and , and describes itself as “[making] it easy for anyone to create and share short videos with fun effects.”
“Once you’ve found a type of video that’s trending, whether it’s #comedy or #fail, you can use the in-app camera to put your own spin on it with special effects, music and editing tools,” reads the App Store description. “You can also add your videos directly to your Facebook story.”
Unfortunately for Lasso, Facebook integration wasn’t enough to attract it a competitively large, loyal user base, and was even a deterrent for some. The app never managed to challenge the popularity of TikTok, which has been one of the top free apps in the U.S since mid-April. Meanwhile, Lasso failed to rank at all.
Facebook has likely been planning to kill Lasso for a while, however the company’s timing seems less than ideal. On Monday, India banned 59 Chinese apps, citing national security concerns as tensions between the two countries rise. Among these was TikTok, which had been one of the top free apps in India at the time.
On the face of it, TikTok’s sudden exile could have been a golden opportunity for Lasso to expand and gain a foothold in the Indian market. Lasso is currently unavailable in India, with Facebook having denied rumours it was preparing an Indian launch earlier this year.
Though Facebook previously announced it is also shutting down iOS app Hobbi, Lasso’s death is a markedly bigger blow. Unlike Hobbi, Lasso was released under the Facebook, Inc. developer name, sitting alongside the Facebook and Messenger apps. Apps released under this name are typically expected to be viable and active for a long time.
In contrast, Hobbi was developed by Facebook’s , which is focused on learning and market research rather than necessarily creating successful apps.
“We decided to create this separate developer name to help set the appropriate expectations with people that, unlike Facebook’s family of apps, NPE Team apps will change very rapidly and will be shut down if we learn that they’re not useful to people,” . “We expect many failures.”
Thus, while Facebook foresaw Hobbi’s potential demise, the failure of Lasso was much less anticipated.