Facebook once again tries to take on Snapchat

Steven Loeb · May 19, 2014 · Short URL: https://vator.tv/n/3704

After shutting down Poke, Facebook reportedly has a new messaging app called Slingshot

You have to hand it to Facebook: the company is nothing if not persistent.

After having tried, on more than one occasion, to outright buy Snapchat for billions of dollar, and then having failed already once trying to copy it, Facebook is back, once again attempting to woo back all of those teens that apparently jumped ship when the shiny new app came along.

This time the app will be known as Slingshot, according to a report out from the Financial Times on Sunday.

It would work by allowing users to send pictures or short video messages by tapping on, holding their finger on, one of the friend's profile pictures. Those messages could then only be viewed one time, then would disappear.

The idea is also being compared to another messaging app as well: the Berlin-based TapTalk.

If nothing else, it sounds more interesting than the last time Facebook tried something like this, when it pretty much copied Snapchat completely.

That app was called Poke. It debuted in December of 2012, and was right seen for exactly what it was: simply an attempt on Facebook's part to compete with the then new phenomenon known as Snapchat. The Poke app allowed users to send each other messages, photos, or videos that had a set time limit before they expired. Each message was deleted after a specific time that the user set, either 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds.

The app was never really taken seriously, and Facebook seemed to quickly forget about it as well. As of earlier this month, Poke was no more.

It is also being reported that Slingshot is likely to be another entry in the company's quest to create a series of stand alone mobile apps, which also includes Instagram and Messenger.

Following the release of the company's earnings reports in January, Mark Zuckerberg got on a conference call and said that Facebook would be continuing its push on mobile in the upcoming year with more standalone apps, a la Instagram. The next day it released the first of those apps: a stand-alone reader called Paper. 

The vision was then reinforced by three moves made by the company since then: first, it's $19 billion purchase of WhatsApp in February, followed by its decision to force Facebook users to download a separate app in order to use its instant messenger service via mobile. 

Most recently the company purchased fitness tracking app Moves, which is staying as a stand-alone app.

VatorNews has reached out to Facebook to confirm the report. We will update if we learn more. 

(Image source: stokereport.com)

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