Ding! Ding! Round 2! Facebook are all set to re-enter the ring and take on Snapchat with their own ephemeral messaging app. Slingshot allows users to send disappearing photo and video messages to each, like Evan Spiegel’s Snapchat.
Slingshot is so much like Snapchat initially that it can be difficult from initial appearances to figure out what new things this app adds to the market. But the newbie is keen to emphasize that it does have original features. One of the most obvious differences is that Slingshot photos destruct like Snapchat’s. Images and videos can only be downloaded once but the duration that they can be viewed for is up to the recipient’s own discretion.
Users of Slingshot can take a screenshot of the message before it disappears and unlike Snapchat the sender won’t be notified that you have taken one! Whether this is a good thing or not is hard to decipher just yet. I guess it depends what you use Snapchat for!
If you are worried about your personal data, and it is no harm to be. The minds behind Slingshot are intent on expressing that once you open a message it will be deleted from your phone and from their servers after a grace period of seven days. The reason for giving the seven days is so the company can review content that has been reported as abuse.
The main difference between Snapchat and Slingshot is that in order to open a “Sling” you need to send a return image or video. According to Slingshot design lead Joey Flynn this is alleviate the pressure of having to create and share content immediately. It is more likely however that this was put in place to encourage users to share as much as possible. It will be hard to ignore human curiosity and not send some type of message in order to unlock the incoming “Sling”.
This is not the first time that Zuckerberg and co have ventured into the world of ephemeral messaging. In 2012 they launched Poke which failed miserably and a year later Zuckerberg offered Spiegel a whopping $3 billion dollars for Snapchat which the then 23 year old co-founder turned down.
Will Slingshot finally take down Snapchat?