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

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.
Show Comments

Blog Posts

Sustainability trends brands can expect in 2020

​Marketers have made strides this year in sustainability with the number of brands rallying behind the Not Business As Usual alliance for action against climate change being a sign of the times. While sustainability efforts have gained momentum this year, 2020 is shaping up to be the year brands are really held accountable for their work in this area.

Ben King

CSR manager & sustainability expert, Finder

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing

As a Marketer, the ‘Scotty from Marketing’ meme troubles me.

Natalie Robinson

Director of marketing and communications, Melbourne Polytechnic

How do we break out of our marketing echo chambers?

Clients and agencies can get stuck into a particular way of behaving and viewing the world, but there are ways to break out of our marketing echo chamber.

Steve O'Farrell

Managing Partner, The Royals

It's a good idea. Customers really should control their data. Now I understand why it's important.

Elvin Huntsberry

Salesforce CMO: Modern marketers have an obligation to give customers control of their data

Read more

Instagram changes algorithms every time you get used to them. It really pisses me off. What else pisses me off? The fact that Instagram d...

Nickwood

Instagram loses the like in Australia; industry reacts positively

Read more

I tried www.analisa.io to see my Instagram Insight

Dina Rahmawati

7 marketing technology predictions for 2016

Read more

The saying is pretty tongue in cheek. It's not saying that marketers are bad people, nor that they don't take themselves seriously. There...

LYF Solutions

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Given Scotty's failed track-record in the marketing realm the memes and the ridicule is very apt and is in no way a reflection on marketi...

denysf

The trouble with Scotty from Marketing - The CMO view - CMO Australia

Read more

Latest Podcast

More podcasts

Sign in