Facebook‘s much awaited social messaging application ‘Slingshot” has finally been launched worldwide for iOS 7 and Android 4.1 and above. Users can now download it from Apple App store or Google Play Store for free. Critics feel that Slingshot draws heavily on another social messaging application Snapchat which Facebook unsuccessfully tried to acquire back in October last year. As per the latest reports from developers and analysts Slingshot has received a good response from users, now we need to see if it can maintain and build upon this momentum in future as well.
As per sources, the decision to develop Snapchat like Slingshot was taken soon after Facebook’s failed attempt to acquire Snapchat. Facebook tried its hands at another video messaging app ‘Poke’ back in 2012, but it could not get much success and was discontinued. Despite the criticism Slingshot do carry some unique features like enhanced user engagement by allowing its users to view images sent to them unless they send images in return.
In May this year rumors surfaced speculating that Facebook is working something on the lines of Snapchat and it has been aggressively debated online since then. The basic essence of Slingshot is that you click/shoot a picture/video add text and color of your choice and sling it to group of friends. But your friend will not be able to see picture/video unless and until he/she slings something back to you.
“With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator. When everyone participates, there’s less pressure, more creativity and even the little things in life can turn into awesome shared experiences. This is what Slingshot is all about,” a post on official slingshot blog said.
Currently Facebook is facing intense competition from Twitter’s Vine, Yahoo’s Tumblr, Kik, Snapchat etc. and Facebook is on an acquisition spree these days to thwart this competition. Recently it acquired mobile messaging app WhatsApp in a closely guarded deal of $19 billion.
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Even there were reports last year that Facebook is loosing its sheen among youngsters, especially the teenagers. However putting all those speculations to rest Facebook still is social media czar. As of date Facebook has around 1.28 billion user and it aims to reach a user base of around 7 billion within next few years.