Facebook launches Snapchat-like app 'Slingshot'

Last Updated 25 June 2014, 13:13 IST

Facebook has launched a new app 'Slingshot' that will allow users to share their photos and videos, in a move to compete with Snapchat -- an ephemeral messaging application that the social networking giant tried acquiring last year.

Using Sligshot, users can click/shoot a picture/video, add text and colour and then "sling" it to friends. However, the friends would not be able to see the shot until they sling something back to the sender.

Launched last week selectively, the service will now be available globally for iPhones (iOS7) and Android smartphones (Jelly Bean and KitKat) from today.

"With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator. When everyone participates, there's less pressure, more creativity and even the little things in life can turn into awesome shared experiences. This is what Slingshot is all about," the Slingshot blogpost said.

Interestingly, Facebook had attempted to acquire Snapchat last year, which makes an app that lets users send messages that automatically disappear after a few seconds.The USD 3 billion offer was turned down by Snapchat, media reports suggested.

"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. With Slingshot, we saw an opportunity to create something new and different: a space where you can share everyday moments with lots of people at once," the blogpost said.

The launch comes as part of attempts to launch new youth-centred apps services as the company tries to further grow its over 1.28 billion global userbase.

Apart from developing standalone apps, the firm has also been actively acquiring fast-growing rivals.

In 2012, Facebook acquired photo-sharing service Instagram, while in February, this year, it said it will acquire messaging app WhatsApp for USD 19-billion. 

(Published 25 June 2014, 13:13 IST)

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