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Facebook launches TikTok-clone app called Lasso so teens will think it’s cool

The new standalone app lets users add things like music, text and filters.

Facebook Lasso

Lasso is Facebook's new short-form video app.

Screenshot by Abrar Al-Heeti

Facebook launched on Friday a new short-form video app called Lasso that lets users make and share videos with filters and special effects. The app includes video-editing tools, and helps users add music and text. Users can also follow creators, browse videos and find popular hashtags. 

Lasso's features are similar to those of TikTok, another short-video platform. Bytedance Technology, a Chinese company that bought popular teen app in 2017, migrated's accounts to TikTok earlier this year. 

Available to US users, Lasso could be part of Facebook efforts to lure a younger demographic. About half of US teenagers say they use Facebook, a decrease of 20 percentage points from 2015, according to Pew. By comparison, 69 percent of teens say they use Snapchat, 72 percent say they use Instagram and 85 percent say they use YouTube.  

Facebook quietly launched Lasso -- there was no announcement on its site -- but a company representative said in an emailed statement: "Lasso is a new standalone app for short-form, entertaining videos - from comedy to beauty to fitness and more. We're excited about the potential here, and we'll be gathering feedback from people and creators."

Product manager Andy Huang tweeted the launch of the app on Friday, saying, "Lasso, FB's new short form video app is now available in the US!"

Lasso is available on iOS and Android, and users can log in using Facebook or Instagram. They can share their videos from Lasso to their Facebook Stories, with the ability to share to Instagram Stories coming soon. All profiles and videos on Lasso are public.