Bottom line: Facebook is sunsetting two of its lesser-known apps that were essentially knockoffs of more popular concepts already on the market. While Lasso proved much more popular than Hobbi, neither made much of a splash which is why Facebook is dumping them in order to further promote Reels, a TikTok-like feature on Instagram.
Facebook in late 2018 set its sights on Chinese video-sharing social media platform TikTok with the launch of Lasso. The short-form sharing app, for Android and iOS, allowed users to record videos up to 15 seconds in length, overlay music on top and share them with others.
Lasso reached users in the US and several Latin American countries but never expanded beyond these regions.
Another of Facebook’s experimental apps, Hobbi, is also winding down.
Hobbi, introduced earlier this year, was billed as a photo and video sharing app to document your personal projects and hobbies. Although it draws obvious parallels to Pinterest, Tech Crunch said at the time that the app is more designed to help hobbyists catalog projects into themed collections.
There’s not a social networking component to the app beyond being able to create video highlight reels you could share externally with friends after your projects are complete.
In that sense, Hobbi is more like an editor and organizer than any sort of new social network.
Both Lasso and Hobbi will be shutting down on July 10, Facebook confirmed to CNBC. Lasso was the far more popular of the two apps according to Sensor Tower which likely explains why Facebook will instead focus on its spiritual successor, an Instagram feature called Reels.
Launched late last year in Brazil, Reels has since expanded to Germany and France ahead of what is expected to be a much wider rollout in the near future.