REPORT: ‘Slingshot’ Video-Sharing App May Be Facebook’s Answer To Snapchat

By David Cohen 

ManInSuitSlingshot650If you can’t buy it, build something to compete with it: According to a report by Financial Times, Facebook has been working on a video-sharing application, referred to within the company as Slingshot, for several months, potentially as a competitor to Snapchat, which spurned the social network’s $3 billion-plus acquisition offer last November.

According to FT, Slingshot has a “simple and speedy” user interface, which allows users to send short video messages with two taps on their screens, and Co-Founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg has been overseeing the project himself.

One source told FT Slingshot could be released as early as this month, or it could be scrapped altogether, but the app’s description meshes with Facebook’s recently unveiled strategy of shifting toward stand-alone apps and away from packing every possible feature into its flagship apps.

CCS Insight Mobile Analyst Geoff Blaber told FT:

Snapchat over-indexes with the very segment where Facebook has cited falling engagement: teenagers. The continued introduction of new services, either organically or by acquisition, is essential to maintaining user engagement.

When you look at how people are using Facebook, it’s increasingly as a means of direct person-to-person communication.

When you’re coming to market late and trying to compete with what is already a service with a very large user base, it becomes very difficult to close that gap, even for a company like Facebook.

Readers: Do you think Facebook will proceed with Slingshot, and if so, will it succeed?

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