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Posted on
June 18th, 2014

Facebook Launches Slingshot – Picture Messaging App

Facebook has launched a new picture messaging app called Slingshot. The downloadable app, created by Facebook’s Creative Labs division, boasts features including sharing photos, videos and ‘reaction shots’. It is designed to encourage participation, interaction and content creation.

The Facebook app’s creators said: “With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator… we can connect the same way we like to live: in the moment.”

To this end, you have to ‘unlock’ photos friends send you by ‘slinging’, or posting, a different photo to the original sender. Until an image is unlocked, the recipient only sees a collection of pixels. The method taps into the ‘participation economy’ theory where users are encouraged to participate in co-creating or marketing an app or product. An example could be the ‘pay with a tweet’ concept.

Snapchat Clone?

Facebook have worked to acquire several other businesses; they bought Instagram in 2012 for $1bn and Snapchat rejected a $3bn takeover bid from Facebook in 2013. Previously Facebook created an image-messaging app called Poke, which was labelled a copy of Snapchat – and dropped out of sight very quickly.

Facebook Slingshot has been dubbed a ‘Snapchat clone”, with similarities including the way all images are deleted once sent, and the ability for users to annotate their messages.

However it features improvements on the previous iteration (Poke). You can ‘select all’ your contacts and send them all a photo simultaneously. Snapchat have deliberately avoided this feature in order to prevent users being ‘spammed’ with notifications.

You can use the Slingshot app with or without a Facebook account, by using your mobile phone number and contact list.  You can download the app from iTunes or the Google Play Store.

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