Facebook Launching Snapchat Rival
The login page for the Facebook Inc. mobile application is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone 5 in Tiskilwa, Illinois, U.S., on Tuesday, Jan. 29, 2013. Facebook Inc. is scheduled to report quarterly earnings on Jan. 30. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Facebook's new ephemeral messaging app, Slingshot, was accidentally placed in Apple's App Store before being yanked by the social network.
Slingshot, an app that Facebook developed to challenge Snapchat, lets users share photos and video as well as write messages, according to the Verge. Like Snapchat, the photos and video disappear after viewing. However the app appeared suddenly Monday and was yanked quickly from the App Store.
Facebook admitted that the app appearing in the store was a mistake.
"Earlier today, we accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we're working on. With Slingshot, you'll be able to share everyday moments with lots of people at once. It'll be ready soon and we're excited for you to try it out," a Facebook representative told the Verge..
The difference between Slingshot and Snapchat is that users must check in with the sender before being able to see the sent message. The app makes sure users must constantly keep in contact with one another and use a "React" button to send a message back. The app comes from Facebook's Creative Labs
which is Facebook's new venture to create standalone apps to compete with startups.
Certainly not all of Facebook's apps have been well-received, especially since Poke was yanked after months of dismal downloads. However, Facebook doesn't need to create winning apps, it just needs to increase its relevance in an increasingly startup and mobile world. Sooner or later, if it makes enough mobile apps it will make a winner -- and with the $19 billion purchase
of WhatsApp and PayPal's David Marcus
overseeing its messaging ventures, it just might.