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Facebook plans Slingshot app to rival Snapchat

Following failed $3bn takeover offer
Mon May 19 2014, 11:26

snapchat logoSOCIAL NETWORK Facebook reportedly is planning an app called Slingshot to take on Snapchat, after it shut down Facebook Poke last week.

That's according to the Financial Times (paywalled), which has heard from "people familiar with the plans" that Facebook has been working on the app known internally as Slingshot for months, under the direct supervision of Mark Zuckerberg.

The app apparently will let users send photos or short videos to their friends that can only be once, much like Snapchat. It is thought that Slingshot will arrive as a standalone app, much like Facebook Paper, rather than as a Messenger add-on.

News of Facebook's latest app plans come just months after Snapchat rejected a $3bn takeover offer from the social network, three times what the company paid for Instagram in 2012. It's clear why Facebook wanted it, as the two-year-old app has seen over 400 million images and videos sent through its service, and the app is estimated to be on nine percent of smartphones used by adults.

It's unclear when Facebook Slingshot will make its debut, and the report added that the firm "might still not decide to proceed with the project".

Yahoo reportedly is also working on a Snapchat competitor, having bought startup Blink - an app that allows users to send text, pictures and audio that promptly disappear - before promptly shutting it down, hinting it will work on its own version.

Facebook has yet to comment on the speculation, but we have asked it for more information. µ


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