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Facebook Launches Snapchat Clone but Pulls It Shortly After, Oops!

  |  June 12, 2014   |  Comments

After abandoning its Poke app last month, Facebook mistakenly released its new mobile product to rival Snapchat, and then pulled it – but the social network says it will launch the new app again "soon."

Snapchat seems to be Facebook's number one enemy these days. After taking down its first attempt to compete with Snapchat last month, the unpopular Poke app, Facebook is now working on a second message-sharing app in order to stay in the game.

But it seems the social network pressed send too soon as it accidentally released its new ephemeral messaging service, Slingshot, earlier this week and removed it shortly after. The brief look at the app shows that like Snapchat, Slingshot enables users to send photos and videos to their circle of friends. The similarities continue in that the messages disappear after they are viewed. However, unlike Snapchat, users can't see their friends' messages until they "sling" something back, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Since Facebook has already pulled the app, there aren't many more details available about the product. However, a representative for the company tells TechCrunch that it is still working on Slingshot and the mobile app will be "ready soon."

Facebook has seen Snapchat as a threat for a while now. In November of last year, they attempted to purchase the popular app, but the start-up rejected the all-cash acquisition offer, which was valued at more than $3 billion at the time.

Also in late 2012, about a year after Snapchat's debut, Facebook launched a similar mobile app called Poke, where users could send disappearing messages, photos, and videos. But in May of this year, the company quietly withdrew Poke due to its poor performance.

In comparison, Snapchat is becoming more and more popular, particularly among young users. This May, they unveiled a text/video feature called Chat to help brands better communicate with consumers.

As of time of publishing, Facebook had not responded to ClickZ's request for information about Slingshot's product road map.

Do you think Facebook can compete with the ever-popular Snapchat? Tell us in the comments below!

Snapchat image via Shutterstock. 


Yuyu Chen

Yuyu Chen is a reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.

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