Facebook to launch Slingshot, yet another photo messaging app

A new app focused on sharing everyday moments will launch soon, Facebook said

Well, that was awkward: Facebook just did a Snapchat of its own, briefly releasing a rival disappearing-photo app and then pulling it.

The company said Monday that it would soon release a new app, called Slingshot, "to share everyday moments with lots of people at once." It put the app out on Apple's App Store briefly on Monday, but that was an accident, a Facebook spokesman said via email. The actual Slingshot app will be ready soon, Facebook said.

The app seems to be an attempt to take on both Snapchat and Instagram, which Facebook owns.

In a couple of ways, it seems Slingshot will work similarly to Snapchat, judging from screenshots that The Verge posted Monday, apparently taken from the App Store. Like Snapchat, Slingshot will let users apply captions to and draw on their photos. Also like Snapchat, it will make photos and videos disappear after a certain period of time.

Also, people will be able to swipe through the photos they receive from their friends. And it appears users will have to send a message back to a friend, or "sling a shot," before they can actually view an incoming message. This could be where the messaging component plays in, by encouraging more of a back-and-forth exchange within the app.

Snapchat has grown to become one of Facebook's most pesky competitors. Facebook reportedly offered some US$3 billion to buy the messaging app at some point last year, but Snapchat said no, thanks.

In 2012, Facebook launched Poke, an early clone of Snapchat. But that app never caught on like Snapchat did, and last month Facebook said it was killing Poke.

Slingshot seems to be Facebook's latest effort to provide a photo-oriented service that may resonate more with younger people who have become bored with Facebook's main service.

But mobile messaging is a crowded space. And not only does Slingshot seem to be competing with Snapchat, but Facebook's own description of Slingshot -- "sharing everyday moments with lots of people at once" -- makes it sound a lot like Instagram, another Facebook property.

Zach Miners covers social networking, search and general technology news for IDG News Service. Follow Zach on Twitter at @zachminers. Zach's e-mail address is zach_miners@idg.com

Join the PC World newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Internet-based applications and servicesSnapChatMobile OSessocial networkingmobilesocial mediainternetsearch enginesvideoFacebookmobile applicationsInstagram

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Zach Miners

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?