10 June 2014

Facebook pulls back Slingshot messaging app

Facebook recently launched its Snapchat-rivalling Slingshot app, before swiftly pulling it.

Facebook has been working on a video messaging app that matches the ephemeral tone of the hugely popular Snapchat.

Slingshot app

Slingshot will apparently allow users to quickly send short video messages and photos to friends, the contents of which will then expire after a single view. You can also annotate these messages with text and other scribblings.

The app appears to be pretty much ready to roll, as someone at Facebook recently pushed the button for it to be set live on the App Store in a handful of countries.

However, the Slingshot app was pulled by Facebook shortly thereafter. A Facebook representative told The Verge that Slingshot’s publishing had been an accident.

"Earlier today, we accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we're working on," reads the statement. "With Slingshot, you'll be able to share everyday moments with lots of people at once. It'll be ready soon and we're excited for you to try it out."

According to the associated report, there’s one notable difference between Slingshot and Snapchat. Before you can access a message in Facebook’s effort, you have to send a message back to the sender. It’s a pretty obvious attempt to get users active on this new service.

Another noteworthy feature is the ability to hit a React button when viewing a message, which will instantly capture and send your reaction.

Facebook has had its eye on replicating the Snapchat formula for some time now. Not only did it fail with an earlier attempt in Poke, but it was claimed last year that the social network giant had attempted to purchase Snapchat itself for $3 billion.

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