Facebook’s newest app officially released

Posted on June 18, 2014

 

Social networking phenomenon Facebook has released Slingshot, a video sharing and photo-messaging service.

This new platform will put the social site in direct competition with popular ephemeral app Snapchat, which provides similar services. The move comes following a failed bid from the social giant to purchase Snapchat for an estimated $3 billion towards the end of last year.

To access photos and videos sent to them, users must offer some visual content of their own – an action known as ‘slinging’ – to the other sender, which then allows them to unlock and view the content. In a similar fashion to its closest rival, messages are permanently deleted after viewing and users are able to doodle over images and insert text.

In an announcement post, creators of the app have said:

“With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator.”

“When everyone participates, there’s less pressure and more creativity.”

While an account on Facebook is not required in order to join, users can integrate friend lists with accounts.

Online news providers reported that the app was accidentally released a week earlier than anticipated, and that it was briefly available in Apple’s App Store. This was immediately removed, with the company claiming it was an error and that the software was not yet finished, but would be available soon.

For the time being, Slingshot is only available to download in the US – via the App Store and Google Play – but it is expected to be launched in other parts of the world in coming weeks.

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