Facebook takes aim at Snapchat with new Slingshot app

Facebook slingshot

After briefly appearing on the App Store last week before being promptly pulled, Facebook has today officially launched its new Slingshot app.

Slingshot, which appears at face value to be a Snapchat clone of sorts, allows users to send each other photos and videos with text captions or drawn elements. What’s unique about Slingshot, however, is that in order to view an item sent to you by a friend, you must respond and ‘sling’ back your own photo or video.

Slingshot lets you quickly share moments—little and big—with lots of people at once. Shoot a photo or video of what you’re up to and sling it to a bunch of friends. They won’t be able to see your shot until they sling something back. Tap on a shot to react, or simply swipe it away.

Slingshot represents Facebook’s second attempt at an ephemeral messenger to compete with Snapchat after its failed Poke app. Facebook was also reported to have tried to acquire Snapchat in the past.

Slingshot is available in the US App Store now, and does not seem to be available yet in international App Stores.

Here’s more from Facebook’s official Slingshot announcement:

Today, we’re excited to launch a new app called Slingshot.

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, more creativity and even the little things in life can turn into awesome shared experiences. This is what Slingshot is all about.

Photos and videos that don’t stick around forever allow for sharing that’s more expressive, raw and spontaneous. We can connect the same way we like to live: in the moment. We’ve enjoyed using Snapchat to send each other ephemeral messages and expect there to be a variety of apps that explore this new way of sharing. With Slingshot, we saw an opportunity to create something new and different: a space where you can share everyday moments with lots of people at once.

To get started on Slingshot, shoot a photo or video. It can be what you’re up to, who you’re with or a quick selfie. Add some text and color, then sling it to a bunch of friends. Here’s the deal: friends won’t be able to see your shot until they sling something back to you. They can then reply with a reaction—or simply swipe your shot away.

Using Slingshot has made us feel closer, and we can’t wait for others to try it out. It’s the second app from Facebook Creative Labs and is available today starting in the US on iPhone (iOS7) and Android (Jelly Bean and KitKat). Get it at sling.me/download

Check back here for updates, tips and other cool stuff.

-Will, Joey, Rocky and the rest of the Slingshot Crew

Read more over at the dedicated Slingshot website.

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