Facebook?s previously speculated, briefly released, and second-attempt ephemeral messaging app is finally available for real in the App Store and Google Play. ?The new Slingshot app guarantees users the same, if not better, messaging experience that major rival Snapchat provides. It comes with a strange trait though ? users won?t see a new ?sling? unless they reply back with their own message.
The release of the Slingshot app is the social media giant?s second major effort to capitalize in the world of ephemeral messaging applications. Facebook initially tried to reach the said goal by launching their ?Poke? app back in 2012. Unable to gain necessary traction and perhaps to give way to Slingshot, the company silently pulled out Poke from the two mobile platforms last month.
Snapchat is the major player in this turf, enjoying more than 30 million users worldwide. Facebook reportedly offered $ 3 billion to acquire Snapchat but the latter apparently declined the lucrative offer. The social network ?soon after acquired another popular messaging app WhatsApp instead.
The Slingshot app allows users to send photos and 15-second videos to a single contact, a group, or even all of the user?s contacts that they?ve recently ?slinged? with. All contents sent will self-destruct after being viewed, but senders have the option to auto-save the messages they are about to send. The app has a cheerful design and lets users draw on the photos or send split-screen photo replies with the added perk of using funny sound effects.
In Snapchat and many other messaging apps, you can readily view all messages as soon as you receive them. Whereas in Slingshot, you won?t be able to see an incoming ?shot? unless you sling back a reply. According to Slingshot app designer Joey Flynn, “It?s not just about telling your story, it?s about asking others for their story.” As such, the new app somehow forces its users to trade a photo response before they can view a new message, photo, or video. Creative or restrictive? You decide.
The move to develop and launch this new Slingshot app is relevant to Facebook?s strategic plans to come up with a network of apps that will eventually connect to its core service and fundamental effort to increase its presence in the mobile platform. Having said that, the social media company has been routinely improving photo-sharing app Instagram, which it acquired in 2012. It also released a rebooted Messenger app and a new app called ?Paper? which displays Facebook news feed in a creative layout.
Photo Credit: ?Google Play