After having a billion dollar acquisition offer reportedly spurned by Snapchat and killing off its unsuccessful challenger Poke, Facebook is now planning a new effort to take on the ephemeral photo and video messaging app, the Financial Times reports.
The new app dubbed ‘Slingshot’ will likely be a standalone app apart from Facebook Messenger, according to the FT. Slingshot is also said to be different from Snapchat in that users tap or hold a friend’s profile picture to send a photo or short video clip, which can be viewed only once, and is reminiscent of TapTalk’s approach instead.
This new stab at a Snapchat competitor comes after Facebook released Poke in late 2012 just after 12 days of development, which let people send messages that expire in a fixed number of seconds. Poke was killed off about two weeks ago. It seems like Slingshot could be a more dedicated effort in making ephemeral messaging work for Facebook, and would add on to the social network’s arsenal of individual messaging apps including WhatsApp, which it acquired for up to $19 billion.
It is little wonder that Facebook wants a slice of the ephemeral messaging pie — after all a recent study showed that in North America, Snapchat has become the leading third-party messaging platform by volume, even surpassing WhatsApp. It has also been growing its presence in Europe.
Earlier this month, Snapchat moved beyond ephemeral photo messaging after it introduced private messaging and video calls for its users — but still keeping to its ephemeral nature as messages are deleted when the chat screen is closed.
A Facebook spokesperson told TNW that it doesn’t comment on rumors.
➤ Facebook working on video app to take on Snapchat [Financial Times]