Facebook's TikTok competitor poised for a launch in India

Facebook reportedly wants to “derail” TikTok’s popularity in India.

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What you need to know

  • Facebook is launching Lasso, its TikTok competitor, in India later this year.
  • The firm hopes to steal market share from the younger company by poaching influencers.
  • It’s reported that Facebook wants to launch Lasso in May of this year.

TikTok’s growing popularity has attracted the eye of social media giant Facebook. The firm will be launching Lasso, its own short-form video app, in India to take on TikTok. The news comes from Entrackr, citing two sources close to the matter.

As per the report:

‘Facebook Singapore has been working with a team of a dozen people to prepare for the launch since October,’ said one of the two people cited above, on condition of anonymity. ‘They have been mapping several aspects that triggered the growth of TikTok in India through third parties,’ he said.

‘Facebook has to fight TikTok tooth and nail in India, and it doesn’t want to leave any stone unturned to counter the Bytedance-owned app,’ said the second source.

Part of Facebook’s strategy also includes courting influences and celebrities. The firm reasons if it can get people with huge followings on its platforms, the network effect will do its thing and boost Lasso massively.

Facebook’s Lasso app was launched quietly back in 2018 in both the App Store and the Play Store. If you hadn’t heard of it, it’s likely because it has been limited to select markets like Brazil and Indonesia. With this move, Facebook’s targeting one of the biggest tech markets in the world, hoping to build a sizable and engaged userbase before TikTok becomes too embedded.

Facebook has been known for trying to compete with social media apps it can’t buy out. The firm attempted to purchase Snapchat, then cannibalized it with Instagram. Now, it seems to be doing the same to TikTok.

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