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Facebook decides to take on Snapchat again by developing rival app

If at first you don’t succeed…

Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking at the f8 conference back in April.
Facebook's CEO Mark Zuckerberg speaking at the f8 conference back in April.
Image: Ben Margot/AP/Press Association Images

FACEBOOK IS HOPING it will be second time lucky as it puts together a new video sharing app which is similar to Snapchat.

The company has been working on the app, known internally as Slingshot, for several months which is said to have a simple and quick user interface, according to the Financial Times.

The app will allow users to send short video messages with just a couple of taps on the screen, and could be launched sometime this month. The app ties in with Facebook’s new policy of breaking down the site into numerous standalone apps, while trying to offer new app experiences through its Creative Labs service.

Slingshot will be the latest example of Facebook taking on Snapchat. Back in December 2012, it launched Poke, an app that was virtually the same as its rival.

While it was one of the most downloaded apps that month, after being advertised on its mobile app, its growth plummeted and was forgotten about soon after, with the company recently removing it from its App Store entirely, possibly to make room for Slingshot.

A year later, Facebook tried buying the app for $3 billion in November, but the offer was rejected.

Other similar native apps from Facebook had also had limited success. Paper, a reimagined version of Facebook which has only been released in the US, shows no signs of an international release while Facebook Camera, which launched soon after it purchased Instagram in 2012, was also taken down from the app store.

The only homegrown app that has been successful is Facebook Messenger, which allows users to access the site’s chat function remotely, and sees more than 200 million people using it.

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About the author:

Quinton O'Reilly

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