Facebook, after an accidental leak last week, has yesterday officially launched Slingshot for iOS and Android in the US. The app will be available for download soon for everyone.

Slingshot is an app where friends send you photos and videos, but you have to reply with your own before you can see them. The app lets you send photos and 15 second videos to one friend, many, or all the contacts you’ve recently “slinged” with. Content is of course, transient and disappears after it’s viewed, but you can auto-save what you create. You can add friends through your Facebook account or your phone’s contacts, but anyone with your username can sling to you. It’s got a light-hearted design where you can draw or send split-screen reaction shots to a backdrop of playful music and silly sound effects.

“Everyone is a creator and no one is a spectator”, says Product Manager Will Reuben, and that my friends, is what makes it different from Snapchat.


Slingshot’s success of course depends on whether people see the reply-to-unlock feature as a needless bother, or as a fun reason to keep sharing. Slingshot is a bold move for Facebook and by devising the unique “reply to unlock” feature, Facebook may have finally found a Snapchat competitor that’s not a Snapchat clone.

Slingshot looks like a fun app and it is definitely a solution to one-sided sharing. Here’s hoping it finds its mark.

But as Facebook is trying to take on the ephemeral messaging model with Slingshot, rival Snapchat is trying to become more social and public with a new ‘Our Story’ feature for a more public and group sharing experience.

Odunayo Eweniyi Author

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