Facebook expected to release a sexy Snapchat clone

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It might not really matter that Snapchat has been getting a negative rep from the press as of late as a “sexting” app. Sources tell AllThingsD that Facebook has recognized the potential of such a service, plans to release its own adaptation of the popular timed photo and messaging app before the end of the year.

Snapchat, if you’re not familiar with the app, sends messages, photos, and now videos between users that expire after one to 10 seconds. The amount of time that the sent message is on the other person’s phone is entirely up to the sender. It’s become a popular way for teenagers and college students to send “secure” messages. However, if you really wanted to save a specific message, there’s always the option to do a screen grab on your smartphone.

Whatever the case may be, Facebook wants to grab a piece of self-destruct messaging pie. Facebook’s version of Snapchat will live outside of Facebook’s native mobile app as a standalone app much like what the social network has done with Facebook Messenger, Facebook Camera, and others. And the app will reportedly mimic Snapchat’s core features, meaning that users can send timed messages through an interface that’s said to be inherently familiar to existing Snapchat users. Whether video messaging will be supported hasn’t been confirmed. We’ve reached out to Facebook for a comment, and will update this space with any response.

Facebook already has its fair share of mobile messaging products that have been upgraded to reflect the market’s current features in messaging. For example, Facebook has been coming to grips with its potential to compete with SMS text messages, and recognized that to dominate mobile, the social network needs to face off with apps like Whatsapp. To do this, Facebook responded by updating its Android app so users wouldn’t be forced to sign up with a Facebook account. Instead new users can sign up with just a name and a phone number. And then, of course, there’s Instagram, the Facebook-acquired ppp that currently dominates the mobile photo-sharing space.

What do you think of Facebook’s plans to release a Snapchat clone? Is this a good move for the social network, or is one “sexting” already too many?

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