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Facebook's Snapchat competitor 'Slingshot' might launch as early as this month

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg

After a spurned attempt to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion last year, Facebook is gearing up to launch its own ephemeral messaging app, internally codenamed "Slingshot". The app, which is said to have a "simple and speedy user interface" (not unlike Snapchat) is designed to take on Snapchat with short video and photo messages that disappear after one viewing. The app has reportedly been in the works for several months, and might launch as early as this month.

While the operation of Snapchat is relatively traditional, Financial Times reports that Slingshot's interface will be even more streamlined:

Slingshot takes a different approach. It is said to resemble TapTalk, a new video-messaging app from Berlin-based Wit Dot Media released last month, in which users tap or hold a contact's profile picture to instantly send a photo or short video, which can be viewed only once by the recipient.

Facebook recently discontinued their standalone Poke and Camera apps for iPhone. They've also launched new apps, like Paper, and separated Messages from the main Facebook app, and promised to launch several more standalone apps that still tie into the Facebook platform.

Unlike Paper which repackages the traditional Facebook feed, and Messages which has been a long-standing feature of Facebook, Slingshot's view-it-and-forget-it model would be a new on for Facebook.

Facebook did recently purchase popular messaging platform WhatsApp for $16 billion, giving them a greater messaging expertise that might be useful in taking on Snapchat.

But the question remains: is a Facebook version of WhatsApp something that's been missing from your life?

Source: Financial Times

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Reader comments

Facebook's Snapchat competitor 'Slingshot' might launch as early as this month

127 Comments

Can any of you put up an article as what are the new features in cyan update in 630? And the changes in the OS in Lumia 630 and the preview for developers?

Does anyone of you people actually know what that bloody comments section nuder news is for.. man you people are the cancer of that community

Thank you. I swear every time I go to the comments its someone asking a question entirely different to the article.

I believe the new list of new features was sent out to everybody using the Slingshot app. You'll have one chance to see them and then they'll be gone.

I used to feel like that too.. But now that I've seen what 8.1 looks like, "Duck you Facebook, I'll substitute all your services. I don't need your shirt."

If the official slingshot is released before the official snapchat then I'm keeping slingshot and saying goodbye to snapchat. This is getting really tiresome so I'm going to start rewarding apps with my loyalty (to some degree) if they release apps on windows phone first. Obviously updates and quality will play a factor as well

Neither of them will be on WP, I can almost guarantee it. FB haven't even bothered to make their own FB app.

Really... Too sad ! :( fb, being a multibillion company, cant hire a few devs to code for wp.. Very sad..
Even sadder, MS being a bigger company, cant pay fb to bring things like paper to windows phone.. (yes i know they're not supposed to pay, but i think its high time one of these two wakes up and gets stuff here fast)

+925. Couldn't have said this better myself. Shame on both of these multibillion companies for not giving us the end user a simple f****ing decent worakble app

One thing that I like about Facebook - and that for sure helps them being the biggest and best social network - is that they release apps for all platforms. Even java phones have Facebook app with messaging! Google +, by its turn, for example, only has apps for iPhone and Android, like the world is made by them. Facebook wants to be the biggest and the best, and it gets.

Sadly, paper is iOS exclusive, and slingshot wont come to windows phone anytime soon. Besides, windows phone still doesn't have an official fb app. So.. I dont get your point.. (apart from talking about support for java phones)

The application is official. It just happens to be produced by Microsoft on their behalf. Facebook's own apps are awful I can assure you.

I for one, don't care about "official" SnapChat.  6snap works just fine for the rare times that I have use for SnapChat.  That usually happens when my friends text me to say "Do you ever check your SnapChat?".

You also have to acknowledge that there is a facebook-owned app in the WP store, which is messenger, and hey, it works great (at least for me). I can't say this service is going to be released at the same time for all platforms, but it will come to WP. So I keep my hopes up for this platform!

I prefer help snapchat team!!!
Facebook apps sucks and they dind listen for Windows Phone users!

Fuck you - Facebook, slingshot, whatsapp, and instagram BETA......

And on Windows 8, it took 1 half year to release a Facebook official app...

It seems to me that Rudy likes to make apps for services for which we have NO access.  The problem you have is that you don't like the app that is available, but there are plenty of services out there that have NO Windows Phone apps and I like the approach that Rudy is taking.

Any word on the official Facebook App (ie not MS) or a Paper app for Windows Phone? If not who gives a crap about slingshot? If they are not going to bring their primary platforms to WP without MS doing most of the work for them what the heck makes anyone think they will even try to bring a secondary one like slingshot to WP?!

No need to jump down his throat. For all you know there are apps he needs that the companies just haven't published yet. Better to encourage him than to drive him away don't you think?

Emotional crybaby cause he speaks his opinion . My church just announced an app and of course no WP. Poor horrible support for so many existing official apps. One thing after another. So many broken promises. We all own WP and hope it grows and the growth rate both hardware and app have been very monotone. I have thought many times of going back to Android but keeping my hopes that 2014 will be the spurt that WP needs. Some can't hold out that long to wait and see and so many have been waiting 3 years to hope and see

Yes, I've been waiting for a good long time.
Bought a 920 for me, than my wife.
Bought a 1020 that it's now with my wife again, and last year bought this awesome 1520. If wasn't for this great phone I had change to Android, and continues to use outlook, Onedrive and others since they support Android well....
Well, maybe the next phone will get my attention. I really use this for work and l leisure.
Thanks ladydias and aitt your words.

How is the current fb app not official? Just because the development of it has been outsourced doesn't mean it isn't official.

It's made by Microsoft and not Facebook inc. who have made Facebook for all the other platforms like Android and IOS. That's why our Facebook is lacking features.

To be fair, Facebook was involved in the development of the app. But it is true they don't own the app, so the feature set is a little less than that of iOS and Android.

The all situation is a lot better, but it could definitely be better. There really is no excuse for these big companies to not have one. Hopefully the universal app platform on 8.1 will really help since they can kill two birds with one stone.

The "Cult of Official" never stops and the justifications for it never end.  WhatsApp (when they are available) is "official" and lacks features that WhatsApp makes available on other platforms.  4th&Mayor is NOT official and has features that the official doesn't have on ANY platform.  I don't give a rats arse who makes the app as long as it works and provides the best user experience.  6Tag > Instagram "Official" Beta.  If the "official" company bought the superior 3rd party app and published it as-is, would you all think it was amazing, all of a sudden?
 

AMAZING! ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! IM SO GLAD A FACEBOOK INC APP IS COMING TO WINDOWS PHONE! Oh wait, haha I'm joking. Facebook inc ignores us and leaves us behind just like many big app makers. Its amazing how they don't even make an effort at making a simple Facebook app for WP.. They keep making apps for iPhone and android but WP had nothing. MSFT needs to step up and do something about this problem...

It seems that Apple did not pay around 1 billion taxes in Italy too.
And Google declared to tax offices less than a small company...

Already covered on both iMore and Android Central :-) We didn't cover it here as it's not to do with Microsoft and Windows Phone.

+1520 Microsoft in Italy employees thousands (?) of super-smart people. Never heard about any problem with taxes (and I am 40 yo...).

I never understood the premise of this app. Its like an app made for xenophobes and sexters like who gives a shit? you're not famous. Text me your picture, I'm not gonna download an app just to view your selfie for 5 seconds or something. I wanna come back to it when I wanna see it. I don't exactly know how snchat works but that's how its always explained to me.

Ya, I don't get it either. My sister uses it all the time but just for regular pictures, etc. Why not just send picture text messages or use WhatsApp/Facebook Messenger?

Same. I've used Snapchat and don't see the point. If you don't want people to save your photos, don't send them in the first place. Job done. It'll soon remove the humorous photos we see online of plonkers sending around silly images.

Yes, I am a FB user but have never used snap chat, due to being in an older demographic where it's not very popular... I think this IS what's been missing from my life. :P

Of course, being a WP user, it will continue to be missing. Oh well.

Facebook is desperately trying to stay in the game. Looks like they are realizing that their business model is weak. Pretty sure nobody will use it.

I read TapTalk three times, but my mind said TapaTalk. That similarity feels way uncomfortable. Those Germans should consider an other name.