Somewhere between oddball projects and dropping billions on somewhat unrelated tech, Facebook is always in the mood to launch products to compete with what's in the market. And apparently its purchase of WhatsApp for $16 billion wasn't enough, so why not launch another messaging app?
Because the world needs another psuedo-disappearing picture app, Facebook has launched Slingshot, a similar app for iPhone and Android that won't require a Facebook account to use. The one caveat here, though, is the "take a penny, leave a penny" motive behind the app. If you want to view a photo, one must share a photo as well. So if a user has a photo in their inbox, they must reply first in order to view it. It's been reported that the users of Snapchat actually send more pictures per day than WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook put together. If that's the case, I suppose it would make sense for Facebook to strike while the iron is hot.
But Facebook has already attempted this a while ago, with Poke, and I'm not talking about the feature that your grandmother keeps clicking on and asking you what it does. Facebook killed the Snapchat lookalike back in May before dropping serious cash on both Instagram and WhatsApp.
And with brands, sports teams and events all taking to Snapchat in order to take advantage of new features the product has each day, the popularity is increasing at a rapid rate. Now if Facebook can incorporate its already massive data bank into the app, and allow existing brands to tie the two together, perhaps we'll see the app take off. However with the raising concerns of privacy, along with the feeling of Snapchat being just another fad app, I can't see Slingshot working out either.
It should also be noted that, as mentioned, it's only available for iOS and Android, so that leaves Windows Phone, BlackBerry, Tizen and a bunch of up-and-coming platforms in the dust. While those two systems are the biggest right now, their marketshare is quickly dwindling and new app developers need to start considering the rest of the platforms in order to really become successful rather than just a flash in the pan.