Facebook 'Slingshot' app hits iOS App Store as new Snapchat competitor [UPDATED]Alex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Remember that rumor from last month that claimed that Facebook is prepping a Snapchat competitor known as “Slingshot?” Well it looks like that report was spot, because a new Facebook-built app going by that very name has appeared in the App Store.
The new Slingshot app from Facebook lets users capture a photo or video and then “shoot” it to their friends. Interestingly, the app’s description says that those recipients must “sling” something back before they’re able to view the photo or video that they received.
The rest of Slingshot sounds fairly familiar to Snapchat. Once a user receives a shot, they can view it later if they’re busy. After they view a shot, they can swipe it away and it’ll be gone for good. The Facebook-made app also lets users quickly respond to shots with their own “reaction” and place captions and drawings on their shots.
As of this writing, Slingshot isn’t available in the U.S. store, and the app’s website isn’t yet live. Facebook hasn’t made any official announcements about the app, so it’s not yet clear when we’ll see a full rollout take place.
Facebook has offered several apps that cater to specific uses in the past. We’ve seen Facebook Messenger, Facebook Camera and the Snapchat-like Facebook Poke all released to users. However, the latter two were recently pulled after failing to gain much traction. Because Snapchat is one of the hotter mobile apps currently available, it’s not a surprise to see Facebook taking another crack at stealing Snapchat’s thunder with its own similar offering.
UPDATE: Facebook has given a statement to The Verge regarding the Slingshot app. The company says that the launch was an accident and that “it’ll be ready soon.” The full statement is as follows:
“Earlier today, we accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we're working on. 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.”