Facebook has officially launched Slingshot – a photo-messaging app – to take on Snapchat. Slingshot allows users to send disappearing photo and video messages similar to those sent via Snapchat. Like Snapchat, all images are deleted once sent and users can scribble or type over their photos.
The app is developed by Facebook’s Creative Labs division. “With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator”, the creators said. “When everyone participates, there’s less pressure, more creativity and even the little things in life can turn into awesome shared experiences,” they added.
How it Works
Just like in Snapchat, a user has to login before starting sharing pics and videos to one or more friends. Slingshot users do not need to have a Facebook account to sign up for the photo-messaging app. They can access the app with their mobile phone number; once an username is created, contacts can be imported from the phone’s address book or the user’s Facebook account.
Opening the app takes you to its camera, which has a ‘Shoot’ button for taking a snapshot. The app also includes the ability to turn the flash on and off, a “selfie” feature which turns on the front-facing camera. After taking a photo, you can type a message of up to 140 characters on it or draw a picture. You can then send it to some or all of your Slingshot contacts.
Users can send photos or videos up to 15 seconds long using Slingshot. A receptionist can look at a photo or watch a video for as long as he/she wishes and can later just swipe it away, they disappear from the recipient’s phone. In order to see a photo or video sent to you by a friend, you have to reply with a photo or video. For example, if you receive a message from a friend, you’ll need to send a message back to that friend before you can open what they sent you.
Slingshot vs Snapchat
Slingshot has a number of unique features not found in rivals such as Snapchat, which could help it distinguish itself. Here are some features comparisons of both the applications:
- In addition to the unlock requirement, Slingshot features a “select all” function, which allows people to send a picture to all their contacts at the same time.
- On Snapchat, people can see a photo sent to them by tapping on it and holding their finger down until it disappears. On Slingshot, you can see a message only if you send one back.
- Unlike with Snapchat, there is no time limit on when a message disappears. A receptionist can look at a photo or watch a video for as long as he/she wishes and can later just swipe it away, they disappear from the recipient’s phone.
- Slingshot also allows reaction shots. This splits your screen in half and lets you snap a photo to return to the sender.
Slingshot works with both Apple and Android devices and is now available in the App Store and on Google Play. As of now the slingshot is available only to to US account holders, but not elsewhere.