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Facebook's Slingshot App Is Snapchat — With a Catch

Jun 17 2014 - 12:38pm

Facebook introduced yet another app today — Slingshot [1], a self-destructing photo-sharing platform. Wait a minute. Isn't that Snapchat [2]?

Indeed, Facebook's new app is also an express lane for sharing short-lived media. Its name is even pretty similar to Snapchat's, with, you know, a few letters subbed in between. But there is one defining twist: instead of tap-and-holding to view the photo or video, the recipient must send back something before the media is revealed.

Sounds like it could be a lot of fun, but it also sounds like a lot of work. When we, users of social media, "sling" personal moments into the ether, we expect only minimal returns — a "like," a comment, and, maybe if our friends are extraclever, a photo reply. But we've never required a random, full-blown update from a recipient in exchange for our own. Slingshot is an interesting concept because it forces friends to tell you what they're up to. Gone are the days of passive Facebook stalking.

So will the gamified instant photo-sharing Slingshot become a social entity of its own? Or is this just another Snapchat copycat? Read on to see the two go head to head, then download the free app for iOS [3] and Android [4] now.

Side by Side

The Verge [5] pitted the two apps against each other, side by side. Not all that different.

Source: Imgur [6]

How the Two Are the Same

The similarity derives mostly from the shooting and sending process.

  1. Take a photo or short video.
  2. Draw or type something on top of the photo or video.
  3. Select if you want to send it to a few people or everyone.

Source: Facebook [7]

How Slingshot Is Different

  1. Posting a photo or video will reveal everything friends have sent you since the last time you sent something yourself.
  2. Swipe through all of them. Once you've flicked away a post, it self-destructs, and you can see the next post.
  3. There's no self-destructing timer like Snapchat.
  4. You can also send a quick split-screen response.

Source: Facebook [8]

This Is How You Flick Away Photos

See? Ephemeral. Just like moments IRL.

Source: Facebook [9]

Swipe Through 'Em All

Source: Facebook [10]

Send a Split-Screen Reply

So what's your immediate reaction: thumbs up for Slingshot?

Source: Facebook [11]

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