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Facebook in a bid to appeal to a younger demographic is developing an application in which users can record and share videos of themselves lip syncing and dancing along to popular songs.
Codenamed Lasso, the project is essentially a clone of TikTok, one source tells TechCrunch. TikTok is a leading short video platform in Asia whose owner, ByteDance, purchased Musical.ly last year for $1 billion and rolled it into TikTok.
Facebook’s principal lead product designer, Brady Voss, is overseeing development, another source said.
Facebook set the foundation to do more with music earlier this year by signing a licensing deal with ICE Services. Initially, it seemed as though the deal would solely protect users’ videos from copyright-based takedown requests but with word of Lasso in the pipeline, it’s now clear that Facebook has far greater ambitions.
Lasso is being purpose-built as a standalone app. It is believed that teens, the app’s target audience, will be more receptive to a new app versus burying the functionality with Facebook's existing core app. After all, Facebook wants to shed the notion that it is no longer cool for younger users.
In related news, Facebook recently announced the ability to add songs to photos and videos shared on Facebook Stories. The social network is also expanding Lip Sync Live to Pages, adding lyrics and, in a move reminiscent of Myspace, will soon be enabling the option to add songs to user profiles.