Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

After a spurned attempt to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion last year, Facebook is gearing up to launch its own ephemeral messaging app, internally codenamed "Slingshot". The app, which is said to have a "simple and speedy user interface" (not unlike Snapchat) is designed to take on Snapchat with short video and photo messages that disappear after one viewing. The app has reportedly been in the works for several months, and might launch as early as this month.

While the operation of Snapchat is relatively traditional, Financial Times reports that Slingshot's interface will be even more streamlined:

Slingshot takes a different approach. It is said to resemble TapTalk, a new video-messaging app from Berlin-based Wit Dot Media released last month, in which users tap or hold a contact's profile picture to instantly send a photo or short video, which can be viewed only once by the recipient.

Facebook recently discontinued their standalone Poke and Camera apps for iPhone. They've also launched new apps, like Paper, and separated Messages from the main Facebook app, and promised to launch several more standalone apps that still tie into the Facebook platform.

Unlike Paper which repackages the traditional Facebook feed, and Messages which has been a long-standing feature of Facebook, Slingshot's view-it-and-forget-it model would be a new on for Facebook.

Facebook did recently purchase popular messaging platform WhatsApp for $16 billion, giving them a greater messaging expertise that might be useful in taking on Snapchat.

But the question remains: is a Facebook version of WhatsApp something that's been missing from your life?

Source: Financial Times


Reader comments

Facebook's Snapchat competitor 'Slingshot' might launch as early as this month


Snapchat is great and WhatsApp is great, don't need Facebook fiddling about with them

Posted From My Awesome Moto G

Nobody is going to use that! They won't want to switch. I am a SC user and would never switch.

Posted via my outdated 4.3 Verizon S3

Dick pics and anything Facebook are a VERY BAD idea. 1/5, will not use again.

Posted via Android Central App

I think they also realize that since the last year or two has just been them copying the competition. Personally, I can't think of many people who use Facebook regularly that aren't over the age of 40. It's becoming "that social networking site that your parents use" which is ironic since it used to be invitation only and for college students.

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I'm under 40(just turned 21) and almost everyone I know still use FB everyday. We just have more options now that we are aware of compared to our parents who don't have enough patience to look beyond FB. That's to our advantage.

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I'm in a similar boat, all my friends and family still use Facebook over Google+ and other services, but what I did find is that myself and many others rarely post on there. I used to post several times a day, upload new photos, etc., but I find we only use it to message each other, invite people to events, etc. Facebook is definitely less and less popular these days.

I share the same thoughts. Been off the site since February and not missing it.

LG Optimus G Pro - Beanstalk 4.4 bitches!

Sony Xperia Z1 LTE. (C6906) on order!

Do people really use snapchat that much. Why not just text your friends or use whatsapp. I guess I'm too old to get Snapchat.

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Yeah, Snapchat is the first popular app that's made me feel like I'm tech-old. I don't understand a use for Snapchat that makes it more convenient than MMS, Hangouts, Whatsapp, etc, except for if you're sending naked pictures that you really want to make sure aren't shared with other people.

Exactly, and you can definitely save snapchats. So I never understood it at all.

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Teenager pitching in here haha. My friends and I use it all the time, mostly to send funny faces or something. I like it because you can show somebody what you're doing and it's so much faster than taking a picture, attaching it, etc etc. You just take it and boom, it's sent.

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Yes, there are 100,000,000 downloads on the play store as well. You don't use it to text each other, you use it to send a photo of yourself next to something hilarious or awesome, as pictures are worth a thousand words.

We all know Facebook won't be letting those photos and videos disappear *insert pedo-esque smile here*

Posted from my TARDIS!

If Slingshot doesn't have the piss poor security record of SnapChat, I'll happily encourage all my friends to switch with me.

Yeah, like any kid wants anything to do with Facebook. This has fail written all over it.

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Enough of Apps! Why not just 1 unified app doing all the job in smartfone as well as pc! Whatsapp as the main app and base UI and features of all other apps integrated. For eg. Timed photos like Snapchat, public photos with ability to comment like FB and privacy of Whatsapp itself.

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