facebook slingshot

Last month, word got out that Facebook was working on a Snapchat competitor called Slingshot. Despite the company’s recent $19 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, it’s still very interested in the video and ephemeral messaging space that’s popular among teens.

Today, we got a sneak peek at the app when it prematurely surfaced in the App Store this afternoon. From what we’ve seen so far, it is beautifully designed and offers both familiar features, such as annotation, and non-familiar features like unlock-able content…

TechCrunch caught the app’s iTunes description before it was pulled:

The app is designed to allow friends to share photos and videos of what they’re currently up to, by “slinging” that content to others on the service. However, unlike, say, competitor Snapchat, friends can’t see your shot until they, in turn, sling something back. 

That feature, though a bit gimmicky, seems specifically designed to increase the viral effects and spread of Slingshot. By tapping into users’ natural curiosity, they may be motivated to share with a friend in order to “unlock” the new shots they receive. 

Slingshot rolled out to several markets outside of the US earlier today, but within a few hours it began disappearing. A Facebook spokesperson confirmed to TechCrunch that the release was an accident, and added “it’ll be ready soon and we’re excited for you to try it out.” 

This isn’t the first time Facebook has tried to make a play into this space. Before failing to reach an agreement to buy Snapchat last year, the company tried its hand with an application called Poke. The app never picked up much traction though, and it was killed off in May.

We’ll let you know when Slingshot is officially available.

  • CS

    Please just stop trying Facebook

    • Straw hat

      Dude honestly i don’t use facebook. But i know for a fact that they are making darn good money at the moment. They’re going pretty well at the moment. Paper seems to be popular and i read reviews on how nice it is, also ALOT OF PEOPLE USE IT!!! one of the main social network at the moment.

      • CS

        I agree, and I only use Facebook for Cydia logins. But they should really just stay with Facebook and not try to copy someone else’s idea. Maybe they can try and be innovative..

      • iXanczy

        Say whaaat?
        Be innovative and big at the same time?
        Zuckerberg just got his mind blown…

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    About a month ago when this was announced I commented on here saying that Facebook is copying everyone and I couldnt wait to see their version of Flappy Bird. Well, I just thought of the name for Facebooks Flappy Bird…ladies and gentlemen, presenting: ZuckerBird!!

  • JulianZH

    so people have to share more D in order to see more D???

  • Benjamin J Schwartz

    Facebook got where it is by growing organically. Now, instead of innovating, they are making far too many unjustifiably high dollar purchases for things that they claim will remain independent. Eventually shareholders are going to revolt. Why build a failed competitor (poke) then try to buy the competition but fail, and follow that up with another competitor (slingshot).

    • Donovan

      They have so much money, they went insane. Not everyone can handle the money.

  • Donovan

    I don’t know man, in my circle Facebook is doing pretty well. With 40+ year olds that is. They might wanna try to reach a different group. Stop focussing on the teens, and focus on 40 year olds.