Services & Software

Facebook to shut down experimental apps Hobbi, Lasso

The social media giant warns users that the apps will shut down on July 10.

Screenshot by Queenie Wong/CNET

Facebook is shutting down experimental apps Hobbi and Lasso. Users reportedly received notifications that each app will be closing up shop as of July 10.

Hobbi, developed by Facebook's New Product Experimentation team, launched in February for iOS as a Pinterest-like app for organizing and saving photos of personal projects such as baking, ceramics, gardening, arts & crafts and more. From these photos, users could share videos of their projects with friends and family. 

Facebook confirmed that the NPE team will be shutting down its hobby focused app.

"Many of NPE's products start small," said a Facebook spokesperson on Wednesday. "We expect to have to shut down apps when they're not catching on, but we also hope to learn from these experiments so that we can build better, more interesting apps in the future."

Lasso was released over a year and a half ago, before the launch of the NPE team in 2019. The app lets users record 15-second long videos to share with friends. Lasso also includes video-editing tools to help users add music and text to their videos, similar to the social app TikTok. Facebook has since added a similar short-form video feature to Instagram, called Reels.

Facebook didn't immediately respond to a request for comment regarding Lasso's shut down.

The NPE team has launched a handful of apps since last summer, including Whale, an app for making memes; Bump, a conversation app; and Tuned, a music app. Last month Facebook's NPE team also launched three other experimental apps: a voice call app called CatchUp; Venue, an app aimed at connecting fans and commentators during live events; and a Tik-Tok inspired music-making app called Collab.