Facebook may launch a Snapchat competitor called ‘Slingshot’

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(Credit: Kārlis Dambrāns/Flickr)

Facebook Poke may have been a colossal failure, but that doesn’t mean that the social network is done trying to outdo Snapchat. Facebook is reportedly developing a new ephemeral messaging app called “Slingshot.” 

Slingshot, much like Snapchat, will allow users to send short video messages to their contacts, which will forever disappear a few seconds after they have been viewed. Details about the app’s design and functionalities are scarce, but the Financial Times says that Slingshot won’t include video call capabilities. The app will focus on giving users a way to send vanishing video messages and perhaps pictures as well. Slingshot won’t let users send images or videos from their gallery, but rather requires that users take live shots instead.

Slingshot will probably work as a standalone app, but many expect that a Facebook account will be required to log into the app. It’s all part of Facebook’s plan to attract new users and keep teens interested in the 10-year-old social network. Since Facebook’s attempt to buy Snapchat failed, creating a competitor is its only option.

Poke, Facebook’s first stab at developing a time-sensitive messaging app, was recently deleted from app stores everywhere. Like Snapchat, Poke allowed users to send pictures, messages, and videos to their Facebook friends. Poke started out as a new feature on Facebook and later became a standalone app. Although download numbers for the service were never officially announced, Poke didn’t stay on the top 25 list in the App store for very long. Now that Facebook has killed the app, its probably safe to assume that Poke didn’t do so well. Recently, Mark Zuckerberg dismissed it as a joke.

According to sources familiar with the project, Facebook has been working on Slingshot for a number of months. The talented app design team Creative Labs, which helped Facebook make Paper, is most likely behind the effort. Even though Facebook seems to have put more effort into Slingshot, its unclear whether the company will release the app or not.

However, if Facebook decides to launch Slingshot, it will probably do so later this month. For Facebook’s sake, let’s hope that this latest Snapchat competitor isn’t just some lame vanishing act.

 Image via Flickr/Kārlis Dambrāns