News broke over the weekend that Facebook is working on video messaging app that will be a direct competitor to the wildly popular app Snapchat. The Financial Times reports that Facebook’s app is known internally as ‘Slingshot’ and could launch as early as this month.
However, another source states that Facebook may still decide not to move forward with Slingshot. Facebook themselves declined to comment on the reports.
Slingshot will allow users to send short video messages to each other. Where Slingshot and Snapchat differ is that Snapchat recently introduced video chatting, while Slingshot will reportedly not offer not offer that service it will instead offer the ability to send video messages that are deleted shortly after being seen.
According to the article in the Financial Times, Slingshot has been in the works for the past few months and will most likely be a stand-alone app. Facebook’s CEO Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly been personally overseeing the project after Snapchat turned down Facebook’s offer last year to be purchased for $3 billion.
This wouldn’t be the first time that Facebook has launched an app similar to Snapchat. In 2012 Facebook launched Poke, which let users send “pokes” as well as photos and other messages to friends that would expire after a certain amount of time. It didn’t catch on and was killed earlier this month.
One of the potential reasons Poke didn’t catch on is that it was launched without much planning, as it was born out of one of Facebook’s “hackathon” coding events. Poke was seen by many as a joke, rather than an app that was meant to be taken seriously.
If Facebook has learned from the mistakes made with Poke, they could be poised to unveil a serious competitor to Snapchat later this month. Although, what Slingshot is offering sounds like something that could easily be added to Snapchat as an additional feature. I guess we’ll have to see what happens when/if Slingshot launches.