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Facebook is reportedly preparing to take on Snapchat

After having a billion dollar acquisition offer reportedly spurned by Snapchat and killing off its unsuccessful challenger Poke, Facebook is now planning a new effort to take on the ephemeral photo and video messaging app, the Financial Times reports. The new app dubbed ‘Slingshot’ will likely be a standalone app apart from Facebook Messenger, according to the FT. Slingshot is also said to be different from Snapchat in that users tap or hold a friend’s profile picture to send a photo or short video clip, which can be viewed only once, and is reminiscent of TapTalk’s approach instead.

Facebook is taking Snapchat very seriously after its failed attempt to purchase the video and picture messaging app for $3 billion last year. Mark Zuckerberg is personally supervising an internal effort to build a competing “ephemeral messaging” app, according to a new report from the Financial Times. Details are slim on the video-messaging app, but, like Snapchat, it’d take just a few clicks to share videos and pictures that would disappear after one view. If the rumors are accurate, it’s being called “Slingshot” internally and it could be released as early as this month. Of course, Slingshot would not be the first time that Facebook has tried to copy Snapchat’s formula. In 2012 it failed spectacularly with Poke, a similar video-sharing app. Mark Zuckerberg has since called that app “a joke,” and it’s been widely reported that it was developed in just 12 hours. Earlier this month, Facebook discontinued the app. Slingshot, according to the report, represents a much more concerted effort on Facebook’s part. It’s said that it has been in development for months, and Zuckerberg’s personal involvement, if true, speaks to how important Snapchat is to Facebook.

 

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