Microsoft Research has published a messaging app in the Windows Phone store that behaves exactly like Snapchat, as spotted by Neowin.

The WindUp app, available to download for free, lets users send “fun, temporary” messages and media with friends. You can decide how long a message will be shown for by setting it to expire after a certain time or after a specific number of views. The reason why it’s called WindUp is related in the description of the app, which says you can “set a low limit to ‘wind up’ your friends as they race to see what you’ve posted, or set the limit high to make your message last longer.”

UPDATE: The lead of the WindUp project at Microsoft Research, Richard Harper, has published a blog post saying that the press reports on WindUp are “erroneous.” He clarified that the app isn’t meant for commercial purposes, and therefore not meant to compete with any other firm’s service. Instead, Harper said the app was designed to help his team “explore patterns of content creation and exchange.”

WindUp 730x407 Now even Microsoft is cloning Snapchat with its own Windows Phone app

Other than messages, videos and pictures, WindUp also lets you share audio snippets.

Microsoft isn’t the only company to zoom in on the potential of Snapchat — recently Facebook also created a Snapchat clone with Slingshot, while Instagram launched Bolt.

➤ WindUp: Windows Phone

Thumbnail image via Fred Dufour/AFP/Getty Images