Facebook has launched a new photo messaging app in select markets, Slingshot, TechCrunch’s Sarah Perez first reported.
Slingshot is a photo messaging service that works like Snapchat but the photos and videos have a longer shelf life. Instead of disappearing after a few seconds, Slingshot photos can be revisited until the recipient deletes the feed. Then the photos are gone for good.
Also unlike Snapchat, Slingshot uses curiosity to encourage engagement. It won’t let users see a photo that’s been sent to them by a friend until they respond with another photo. Users can type or draw on top of the photos too.
TapTalk, another video and photo messaging app, is another source of inspiration for Slingshot. The Verge’s Ellis Hamburger recently called TapTalk the “fastest photo app in the world” and hinted that Facebook would be launching a competitor.
Snapchat and Facebook have had an interesting history. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel has had numerous meetings with Mark Zuckerberg, but he declined to sell his startup to Facebook for about $US3 billion in late 2013.
Before Facebook tried to buy Snapchat, it tried to clone Spiegel’s app with Poke, an app that’s since been removed from the App Store on iPhone. Poke was an almost exact replica of Snapchat.
Slingshot doesn’t appear to be available in the U.S. right now. Here’s Facebook’s description of the app:
Slingshot lets you quickly share moments — little and big — with all your friends. Shoot a photo or video of what you’re up to and sling it to a bunch of people. They won’t be able to see your shot until they sling something back. Tap on a shot to react, or simply swipe it away.
• Stay in touch: Capture photos and videos of moments you want to share with friends
• Go shot for shot: To unlock new shots, first you have to sling something back
• Enjoy it while it lasts: Once you swipe a shot away, it will no longer be viewable
• Send a quick reply: After unlocking a shot, respond with your reaction
• Get creative: Express yourself with captions and drawings
• Look when you want: View unlocked shots later if you’re busy
Download now and give it a, uh, shot.
And here’s a screengrab from the iTunes page: