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  • Writer's pictureRoundabout team

Facebook is planning to launch TikTok competitor in India

Update (11/01/2020): A Facebook spokesperson said in an email statement to TNW the company has no plans to launch Lasso in India as of now, “Lasso is currently available in the US, Mexico, and Colombia — we don’t have plans to expand to India or Indonesia at this time.”

Facebook might launch its ambitious app Lasso to fight off TikTok in India this year.

According to a report from Entrackr, the social network giant is planning to launch the short video app by mid-year.

The American tech company launched Lasso in the US in 2018 and later introduced it to Mexico last year. According to app analytics company Sensor Tower, the app has been downloaded nearly half a million times in the US and over 2.2 million times in Mexico. 

Facebook would sure want to attract some of India’s 627 million internet users. TikTok has been quite successful in India with nearly 500 million of its 1.5 billion downloads worldwide coming from the country. It’ll be challenging for the social media giant to overtake the Chinese short video app, which has over 200 million users in India.

TikTok’s had a controversial year in India. In April, the authorities asked Google and Apple to kick out the app from the Play Store and the App Store because of ‘porn’ on the platform. Later, the ban was lifted and the app was restored on these app stores. The app drew even more scrutiny as one of the TikTok stars was murdered in Delhi while trying to make a video for the platform.

Despite these controversies, the platform gained many users and grew steadily in popularity. It’ll be a tough task for Facebook’s new app to grow such a large userbase. We’ve reached out to Facebook to find out more details about the launch plan, and we’ll update the story if we hear back.

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