Facebook develops Slingshot, rival to Snapchat

According to reports, the social media giant hasn't given up on launching a service to rival popular messaging service Snapchat.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
Credit: CNET UK

Facebook, stung by the rejection of mobile messaging startup Snapchat as an acquisition, is reportedly working on a rival service dubbed Slingshot.

The social media giant has been working on Slingshot for the past several months, according to The Financial Times. Citing people familiar with the plans, the publication says that a "simple and speedy interface" is a crucial component of the app, which will let users send short video messages through several taps on their mobile device's screen.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been overseeing the project personally for several months, following the failure of the social media giant to take over Snapchat last year. Facebook offered approximately $3 billion to acquire the company, but the bid was refused by Snapchat founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy.

Slingshot could reportedly be launched as early as this month — if the company decides to proceed with the product.

Facebook attempted to lure Snapchat users away with Poke, an app which mimicked the messaging service's self-destruct feature. Photos and videos sent via Snapchat vanish up to 10 seconds after being viewed, and while Poke offered the same system, the application never achieved the same level of popularity — resulting in the app being retired this month.

In February, Facebook acquired WhatsApp for $16 billion, made up of $12 billion worth of Facebook shares and $4 billion in cash, following the buyout of Instagram for $1 billion.

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