Facebook has pulled the plug on its youthful meme app called LOL. This is coming only a couple of weeks after social media blogs like TechCrunch broke the news of the company’s intention to launch an app just for youths.
Citing multiple sources, TechCrunch had reported at the time that LOL is was a special feed of funny videos and GIF-like clips divided into different categories like “For You,” “Animals,” “Fails,” “Pranks” and more with content pulled from News Feed posts by top meme Pages on Facebook.” It was essentially targeted at winning the hearts of teens—a category of users that are finding joy in other platforms like Snapchat and even Instagram.
At the time, LOL was being tested by around 100 high school students who were made to sign non-disclosure agreements with parental consent to do focus groups and one-on-one testing with Facebook staff.
Apparently Facebook is yet to figure out how best to serve the interest of teens—and the fact that it has pulled the plug on an app still being tested by just a handful of users shows that a lot still needs to be done.
According to Recode, the company is now set to restructure its “youth team,” which is made up of more than 100 employees tasked with the responsibility of building products and features for young people.
In its place [probably], Facebook “youth team” has been informed of the need to focus instead on working on Messenger Kids, sources familiar with the story told Recode. “The youth team has restructured in order to match top business priorities, including increasing our investment in Messenger Kids,” a Facebook spokesperson confirmed in a statement made available to Recode.
Last November, Facebook launched a new app aimed at winning the hearts of teens. Lasso, the name of the app, is potentially Facebook’s answer to TikTok, a popular app that recently merged with Musical.ly. Of course, it is no longer secret that the social media giant has lost the strong hold it once held over teens, and is renewing effort to reclaim what it lost to other social networks.
Lasso lets you record short clips the same way you do with Vine. You can record yourself while dancing and lip-synch to music the same way you do on TikTok. Speaking to The Verge about Lasso, Facebook said: “Lasso is a new standalone app for short-form, entertaining videos — from comedy to beauty to fitness and more. We’re excited about the potential here, and we’ll be gathering feedback from people and creators.”
Signup can be made through Instagram or Facebook; but you will have to authorize Lasso to access your profile page, photos, and videos. While you can share Lasso videos as Facebook Stories right away, you may have to wait a little longer to do the same on Instagram Stories as that feature is yet to be activated.