Unified Communications Featured Article

Facebook Working on its Own Snapchat-like App

May 20, 2014

Facebook doesn't seem to want to take “no” for an answer, and now the creators of Snapchat may need to worry about having turned Facebook down last November. Facebook, unable to acquire Snapchat itself, began working on its own version, called Slingshot.

Snapchat is one of the top apps out on the market right now. Using Snapchat, people are able to send videos and pictures to each other, but they can only be viewed for up to 10 seconds. After the 10 seconds, the message is supposed to be erased and inaccessible. While there are ways to work around the deletion, in general Snapchat provides people with a way to feel secure about sending messages that might otherwise land them in trouble. Not surprisingly, the app is commonly used for “sexting”, sending sexually explicit content.

Back in November 2013, Facebook offered the owners of Snapchat $3 billion, but the company turned down the offer. Snapchat is only valued at about $2 billion, quite a bit less than what they were being offered by Facebook. When asked about their reason for turning down the offer, it appears that the CEO of Snapchat felt that Facebook was using intimidation, and was in fact not in a place that could compete with them.

At that time, they might have been right, as the original competition that Facebook came out with, Poke, ended up being a complete flop. The iOS app, was almost identical to Snapchat, with the addition of text messages too. While the Facebook version of Snapchat rose to Number One quickly, it also dropped down to number 50, and had the plug pulled earlier this month.

This doesn't mean Facebook has given up though, as word has it that Facebook could be releasing its new self-deleting app, called Slingshot, within the offices of Facebook this month. Unlike Poke, which was developed in only a few days, Slingshot has had months of work put into it, and it may be enough to compete with Snapchat in quality.

Of course, it isn't just quality that they will have to compete with, as Snapchat already has quite a following that will make it a difficult market for Facebook to breach. They will also have to compete with Yahoo now, as that company has recently purchased a similar app known as Blink. This is if Facebook even releases the app, as it is still only a rumor.

These moves, first to acquire Snapchat and then to develop its own version, follows Facebook's campaign to develop its own suite of mobile apps. If they do release the app it would join the Facebook Messenger app, the photo sharing service Instagram, and WhatsApp, a popular messaging app Facebook acquired for $19 billion earlier this year.

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