By Ida Lassesen when she isn't writing, she spends her time travelling, eating or watching Asian horror flicks- but most of the time she's busy testing out any anti-aging product she can get her hands on

Facebook’s Latest Attempt to Woo the Youth

Last week, Facebook released a new app, called Lasso, which allows users to create and upload short videos of themselves lip-syncing or dancing to music clips. Lasso was first reported as being in the development stage last month. A direct competitor of Tik Tok, Lasso lets users sign in via their Facebook or Instagram accounts. Similar to the option of integrating one’s Instagram posts into their Facebook timeline, Lasso videos can be shared as Facebook stories. The possibility of sharing them to Instagram stories is also in the pipeline.

How Safe is Lasso?

Lasso pretty much raises the same privacy concerns that Tik Tok, and its predecessor musical.ly, did. The app uses hashtags to categorise their videos, and they are on autoplay when you scroll through the app. So even if you don’t necessarily want to watch, it will play anyway. This means that users of Lasso – whose target audience is teens – will be instantly exposed to all sorts of content without even having to tap “play”.

One of the major red flags is that unlike Tik Tok, Lasso users cannot make their accounts private. This means that all content uploaded to Lasso is open for all users to see and engage with. This means no protection from graphic content. In addition, there is no screening process to filter out users with malicious intent. Furthermore, there is the risk of exposure to all sorts of Internet trolls and comments. Surely in time, Facebook will implement greater security measures, but in the meantime, we recommend using the app together with your child or at least talking to them about the potential risks of posting any type of content on the Internet.

Ultimately, as parents, we can equip ourselves with social media literacy to protect our children from risks associated with any new app. The best way to do this is? Download the app and play around for yourself ☺ If you want to chat about all things family and technology with a whole group of like-minded parents, head over to our closed FamTech community and join us as we:

  • Discuss the journey of parenting in a digital age
  • Share the latest on all things family and technology

We can’t wait to hear your thoughts!

 
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