Facebook’s failed attempt to buy SnapChat last year, despite the offer price of $3bn, has made Facebook secretly work on an App similar to SnapChat. SnapChat is a popular messaging App with new extensions for text messaging and video calling in addition to the ability to send short videos or photos that “disappear” soon after viewing.
Facebook has been secretly working on the App for months now and the project is called ‘Slingshot’ internally. According to sources who are aware about the soon to be launched App, Slingshot will have a simple and speedy user interface. It is likely that SlingShot gets launched this month or sooner. Going by Facebook’s recent strategy of keeping all Apps separate, Slingshot too might be a standalone App. Facebook had initially also tried to launch an App called ‘Poke’ to take on SnapChat, but unfortunately it didn’t work well and was taken off. Facebook’s biggest competitors WeChat, Line, KakaoTalk and other messaging Apps are witnessing a fast rise in usage amongst young users.
According to mobile analyst at CCS Insight Geoff Blaber, “Snapchat over-indexes with the very segment where Facebook has cited falling engagement: teenagers. The continued introduction of new services, either organically or by acquisition, is essential to maintaining user engagement.”
Though Facebook is trying to capitalize on the mobile space and it requires big efforts to compete with Apps which already have a large user base but we have to wait and watch to see whether Slingshot takes over SnapChat or fails like Poke.