Lasso App from Facebook: What is it?

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October 8, 2019

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What is the Lasso app?

  • Facebook is decreasing in popularity with tweens and teens, so the Facebook team launched the Lasso app in 2018 to try to keep its younger users
  • Lasso is a competitor to the Tik Tok app (an app students love)
  • Users create short videos and have the ability to add filters or songs, just like Tik Tok
  • When signing up for the standalone Lasso app, users must sign in with either their Instagram or Facebook account
  • Users are then encouraged to follow creators on the platform
  • If users sign up with their Instagram account, they can use Instagram Direct to message others on the Lasso app
  • The Lasso app makes it easy to share videos from the app to other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram DMs
  • Users can download the app for free on iOS or Android devices
  • Hashtags are prominent on the app
  • Users can filter videos based on hashtags

Why should parents care?

  • Videos autoplay as users scroll through the app
  • If a video includes mature or inappropriate content, students will see it
  • At the time of this review, profiles on the Lasso app cannot be made private. Meaning whatever is posted on the app is public to everyone
  • This app can have a major impact on a student’s digital footprint
  • By default, other users can share and post your kid’s videos to their own profile or story outside of Lasso
  • Every video has a link that can be shared anywhere on the internet or through texting
  • In our experience, apps like these can push tweens and teens to behave in inappropriate or dangerous ways in order to gain attention  
  • There are several reports of predators using similar apps to target victims
  • Profiles are public-- which is a major red flag that this app is dangerous

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This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Green Zone.
This app is not safe for students to use unsupervised, but a Green Zone app can serve a positive purpose to help a student to navigate social media and someday build an online brand. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Green Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Gray Zone.
Gray Zone apps often contain lots of private & disappearing messages, and strangers can use this to chat with students. Parents should participate in these apps with students to keep them safe. This zone can be a great place for family time since many of these apps can be entertaining, and let your students express themselves. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Gray Zone.

This app is listed in the SmartSocial.com Red Zone.
Red Zone apps often have lots of anonymous features, adult content, and easy contact with strangers. Supervision is strongly suggested on each of these apps or move your kids to a safer zone. All apps require parental supervision, these apps more than others. Read more below to find out why this app is in the Red Zone or view our list of 100+ Apps to find a safer app with your student.
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This trend is categorized as a Dangerous Social Media Challenge.
Viral challenges encourage students to do dangerous things to garner likes, views, attention, and subscribers. These challenges can be found across several social networks and may encourage students to perform dangerous activities. SmartSocial.com keeps parents updated on these social media challenges before an incident may occur in your community.

Table of Contents

NOTE: Facebook announced it is shutting down the Lasso app, effective July 10, 2020.

The Lasso app is Facebook’s knockoff to the popular video-sharing app Tik Tok. Lasso users can create and edit videos, then share them on their Facebook or Instagram accounts. While kids can have a lot of fun using this app, we want parents to be aware there are few privacy controls on Lasso. That means whatever your kids are creating can easily be viewed (or even shared) by strangers on the internet.

Parent & educator training video

What is the Lasso app?

  • Facebook is decreasing in popularity with tweens and teens, so the Facebook team launched the Lasso app in 2018 to try to keep its younger users
  • Lasso is a competitor to the Tik Tok app (an app students love)
  • Users create short videos and have the ability to add filters or songs, just like Tik Tok
  • When signing up for the standalone Lasso app, users must sign in with either their Instagram or Facebook account
  • Users are then encouraged to follow creators on the platform
  • If users sign up with their Instagram account, they can use Instagram Direct to message others on the Lasso app
  • The Lasso app makes it easy to share videos from the app to other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram DMs
  • Users can download the app for free on iOS or Android devices
  • Hashtags are prominent on the app
  • Users can filter videos based on hashtags

When watching videos from other creators, users can:

  • Like
  • Comment
  • “Relasso” (which adds the video to their Lasso profile)
  • Post it to Facebook
  • Share it in an Instagram Direct message

Popular hashtags on the Lasso app:

At the time of this review, these hashtags were very popular:

  • #smh (shaking my head)
  • #flexin
  • #GoOff
  • #sorrynotsorry
  • #fail
  • #savage
  • #realtalk

Why should parents care?

  • Videos autoplay as users scroll through the app
  • If a video includes mature or inappropriate content, students will see it
  • At the time of this review, profiles on the Lasso app cannot be made private. Meaning whatever is posted on the app is public to everyone
  • This app can have a major impact on a student’s digital footprint
  • By default, other users can share and post your kid’s videos to their own profile or story outside of Lasso
  • Every video has a link that can be shared anywhere on the internet or through texting
  • In our experience, apps like these can push tweens and teens to behave in inappropriate or dangerous ways in order to gain attention  
  • There are several reports of predators using similar apps to target victims
  • Profiles are public-- which is a major red flag that this app is dangerous
TechCrunch headline: Facebook is building Lasso, a video music app to steal TikTok's teens

Source: TechCrunch

Engadget headline: Facebook debuts Lasso, a TikTok-style video app aimed at teens. The short-form video app is available now

Source: Engadget

The Verge headline: Facebook quietly launches a TikTok competitor app called Lasso

Source: The Verge

The Lasso app in the news:

Notably, all content and profiles on Lasso are public, which could cause some concern about older users leering at dancing teens.

Tech Crunch

Because the app is filled with user-generated content, what you'll see and the age-appropriateness of it will vary from moment to moment. Songs are uncensored, so profanity is frequent. Users also dance suggestively, and alcohol and cigarettes sometimes appear in videos.

Common Sense Media

What parents says about the Lasso app:

“You better watch this [app] close. Kids are uploading things they shouldn’t to the internet these days. Monitor your kids phones and be present in their lives. If you’re not parenting them then who is? Technology?”

“What I have seen on this app is very disappointing and disturbing… Lasso you need age restrictions and a report button”

Source: Apple App Store

When students should start using social media:

SmartSocial.com Suggestions for Social Media :

  • Ages 0-13: Private
  • Age 10: Social Media/Cell Phone Agreement
  • Ages 13: Have a family discussion regarding what should be on social media
  • Age 13-14: Build a private portfolio and post positive volunteer photos (and accomplishments/projects) online
  • Age 15: Make your portfolio public as a website that helps the students shine online
  • Age 17: Colleges should be able to find a positive online footprint for your student

What can parents do?

  • We do not recommend the Lasso app for students since profiles are public by default and apps like these can be used by predators to target minors
  • Before giving your child access to an app, download it, spend some time using it, then determine if the app is safe for your family
  • Always be on the apps your students use
  • Don’t rely on monitoring apps. Having a regular digital safety conversation with your children is always better
  • If your student already has a phone, ensure they’re asking permission before downloading or using any new apps
  • Remind your children that their online activity (even under a fake username) can impact their reputation

Conclusion

The Lasso app is in the Smart Social Red Zone because your kid’s safety could be compromised on this app. We recommend kids stay off this app since they cannot make their videos private. If you decide to let your children express their creativity by making videos on Lasso, we highly recommend you monitor exactly what they’re posting. Please remind them-- that each video can easily be viewed by complete strangers, college admission administrators, and future employers.


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Lasso App from Facebook: What is it?

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