Menu
Facebook takes aim at Snapchat with new Slingshot app

Facebook takes aim at Snapchat with new Slingshot app

The app is geared toward photo and video sharing with larger groups of people

Facebook's Slingshot app for photo and video sharing.

Facebook's Slingshot app for photo and video sharing.

Facebook has launched a new photo- and video-sharing app called Slingshot that's aimed squarely at popular cool-kid Snapchat.

Slingshot lets users take photos and videos that disappear in the app after they've been viewed and swiped away. Facebook is starting to roll it out Tuesday in the U.S. for iOS and Android.

Slingshot works a bit differently than Snapchat. It lets people send photo and video messages that disappear after a certain period of time. But unlike Snapchat, Slingshot requires the recipient to "sling" something back before they can view what they've been sent.

"With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator," Facebook said in its announcement.

"Friends won't be able to see your shot until they sling something back to you. They can then reply with a reaction--or simply swipe your shot away," Facebook says.

That could make Facebook's app more interactive, but it could also turn users off who don't want to send a messages just to see what they've received.

Slingshot users have to provide their mobile number when they sign up for the app. The app checks their phone contacts to see which of their friends are using Slingshot, so they can send messages to them or invite them to join, according to the privacy policy.

Facebook is taking direct aim at Snapchat, even calling the company out in its announcement. "We've enjoyed using Snapchat to send each other ephemeral messages and expect there to be a variety of apps that explore this new way of sharing," it said.

Snapchat has been a bit of an annoyance to Facebook. Last year, the social network reportedly offered US$3 billion to buy Snapchat but it turned them down.

In 2012 Facebook launched Poke, an alternative to Snapchat, but it never took off the way Snapchat did.

Slingshot could provide a fun, new way for Facebook users to message each other. But could also be too little, too late. Time will tell.

Snapchat released a new tool of its own on Tuesday for sharing photos with larger groups of people, geared toward public events. It was unclear of the timing was a coincidence.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags social mediamobileinternetFacebooksocial networkingmobile applicationsInternet-based applications and servicesSnapChat

Featured

Slideshows

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session

New Zealanders kick-started EDGE 2018 with a bout of Super Rugby before a dedicated New Zealand session, in front of more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors on Hamilton Island.​

EDGE 2018: Kiwis kick back with Super Rugby before NZ session
EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research

EDGE 2018 kicked off with a dedicated New Zealand track, highlighting the key customer priorities across the local market, in association with Dell EMC. Delivered through EDGE Research - leveraging Kiwi data through Tech Research Asia - more than 50 partners, vendors and distributors combined during an interactive session to assess the changing spending patterns of the end-user and the subsequent impact to the channel.

EDGE 2018: Kiwis assess key customer priorities through NZ research
Show Comments