Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The American GeniusThe American Genius

Social Media

Facebook launches Slingshot to compete with Snapchat, but will it catch on?

(Social Media) After a major leak of the app last week, Facebook has officially launched Slingshot which is similar to Snapchat but requires more interactivity (and could solve the passerby mentality online).

facebook slingshot

facebook slingshot

Facebook takes on Snapchat with Slingshot app

As part of Zuckerberg’s dream to be the epicenter of all smartphone social interactions, Facebook has launched Slingshot for iOS and Android phones after “accidentally” releasing the app in a handful of countries last week. Going head to head with Snapchat, the app lets you instantly share what you are doing with one friend or a group of friends, done by snapping a photo or video, adding text, an emoticon, or drawing, and “slinging” it to your network, never requiring a Facebook account.

What differentiates Slingshot from the Snapchat clones is that friends can’t see the image or video until they send one of their own back to you, and when you receive a pic, you can either swipe the image and it disappears, or you can reply. Consider this Facebook’s answer to Snapchat’s rejecting Facebook’s $3B offer to buy them out, but also recall that Facebook has tried to compete before with the launch of the Poke App which flopped and was removed from the App Store.

Slingshot will operate as a separate startup, marking the second app from Facebook’s “Creative Labs,” wherein team members experiment with developing apps. Facebook hints that more will come from this endeavor of creating standalone apps under the Facebook umbrella.

The idea is that friends share experiences back and forth and creativity is stimulated rather than just thumbing through feeds and browsing without interacting (which Slingshot has a real shot at fixing).

The Verge’s Ellis Hamburger asserts that the app is much more than a Snapchat clone, rather acts as a feed instead of a messenger. Hamburger observes that the app appeals to people that want less formality than Facebook but more formality than Facebook-owned Instagram.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“I think most other people are going to stop dead in their tracks when they find out about Slingshot’s unique requirement: you have to send a photo before you can open the one you’ve received,” Hamburger notes. “This will be especially confusing because the app feels so much like Snapchat that it’s easy to forget how you’re supposed to be using it. Slingshot’s trademark feature will certainly incentivize sharing, but has Facebook considered that you might not always have something to share?”

Good question.

So will Slingshot succeed?

Slingshot’s functionality is designed well, and the aesthetics are beautiful, but as many startups have proven – just because you build it, doesn’t insure that they will come. If it catches on and the community grows, the app will succeed, but if it goes the way of the Poke app, the design matters not.

Incentivizing sharing gives Slingshot an edge up, because requiring engagement in order to uncover content is not only unique, but taps into gamification without stupid points or levels, rather natural actions. But on the other hand, the reply-to-unlock could be too much effort for some people – why not just text or email “where are we drinking tonight?”

Nicole Lee at Engadget opined, “We’ve only had a brief few minutes with the Slingshot app, but from what we’ve seen of it, it strikes us as a tremendously fun one, with animations and sound effects peppered throughout to make it as playful as possible. It remains to be seen if we can convince our friends to get on board the Slingshot train — one of our coworkers already mentioned that being forced to respond with a photo sounds more like a deterrent than an encouragement.”

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.
Written By

Marti Trewe reports on business and technology news, chasing his passion for helping entrepreneurs and small businesses to stay well informed in the fast paced 140-character world. Marti rarely sleeps and thrives on reader news tips, especially about startups and big moves in leadership.



  1. chrisshouse

    June 18, 2014 at 12:42 pm

    I am sure my granddaughter will jump on it I know she does SnapChat. She is almost 12. Is that the age group Zuckerberg is looking for?

  2. Pingback: Why Snapchat is burgeoning marketing channel - AGBeat

  3. Pingback: Flash app: Did Facebook just try to clone Snapchat again? Yet again? - The American Genius

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


American Genius
news neatly in your inbox

Subscribe to our mailing list for news sent straight to your email inbox.



Social Media

Meta seeks to calm fears after confirming they've awarded a hacker for discovering a bug that allowed anyone to bypass 2FA on Facebook.

Tech News

AI tools are rising in popularity and in their complexity, creators say they don't consent to their works being in these AI databases.

Social Media

TikTok is making a shift to cement the platform as the most attractive spot for sponsored creators ("talent").

Business News

Apple is adding nearly a million square feet to their already giant Austin campus, to potentially seat another 15K employees.

The American Genius is a strong news voice in the entrepreneur and tech world, offering meaningful, concise insight into emerging technologies, the digital economy, best practices, and a shifting business culture. We refuse to publish fluff, and our readers rely on us for inspiring action. Copyright © 2005-2022, The American Genius, LLC.