The app, known internally as Slingshot, has reportedly been in the works for several months under the direct supervision of Mark Zuckerberg.
The Financial Times reports that Slingshot will let users send photos or short videos that can only be viewed once to their friends by tapping on their profile pictures.
It will likely be a stand-alone product — similar to Facebook’s news app Paper — and could be launched as early as this month.
Facebook tried (and failed) to buy Snapchat late last year for $US3 billion, and this second attempt at a competitor app proves that the company is serious about having an ephemeral messaging app, potentially to help it boost its popularity with teen users.
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