Facebook today launched a new app called Slingshot, which is designed to compete with popular ephemeral messaging app Snapchat. A video and photo messaging app, Slingshot allows users to send media to friends, who are unable to view it until they share something back.
Shots taken with the camera can be edited with captions and doodles, and then sent to multiple friends or a single friend. Slingshot requires a phone number to sign up, but it does not force users to sign up with or use Facebook. When a message is received, it is "locked" until a user sends a shot of their own, a feature Facebook hopes will encourage more active sharing.
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.
As with Snapchat, pictures and videos are deleted shortly after they are viewed, though the app does allow users to take screenshots of content.
Slingshot is not Facebook's first attempt at a Snapchat competitor. Back in 2012, while Snapchat was still in its infancy, Facebook company introduced Poke, allowing users to send ephemeral messages. The unsuccessful app was removed from the App Store in May 2014.