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Facebook has recently released a new ephemeral app that boasts many similarities of its competitor, Snapchat, while delivering some unique twists of its own.
The app, known as Slingshot, uses the Snapchat designed ephemeral messaging technology, which allows photos to only be seen for a few seconds. Ephemeral messaging allows its users to be a bit risky with what they share since it won’t be saved to their phone. It is deleted after the intended user sees it, which is why Snapchat is so popular amongst teens and adults.
Slingshot also offers some unique features of its own, such as the option to send photo replies immediately to the original message. It also requires users to “slingshot” a photo back to their friend before they are able to see the message in hopes that it will get more users involved and cater to a wider audience, The Guardian noted.
Facebook boasts that Slingshot is an app that makes users feel more at ease since both parties have to reciprocate, which may make it more appealing than other similar apps. The app also does not require users to have a Facebook account, which is a great relief to those who are concerned with privacy.
Slingshot is Facebook’s second attempt at making a successful app similar to Snapchat. In 2012, Facebook debuted an app known as Poke, which resembled an old version of Facebook messaging and included more features of Snapchat, such as allowing users to choose how many seconds their pictures would be available. Poke wasn't much of a success while Snapchat users began to skyrocket as it became more popular among teens and adults.
Facebook noted the high value of Spapchat and attempted to buy it for $3 billion, but Snapchat declined. In May 2014, Facebook removed Poke and now hopes to see Slingshot flourish, according to CNET.