Facebook has launched its Snapchat competitor Slingshot, available in the U.S. only, for now.
We already know pretty much all there is to know about Slingshot, as Facebook accidentally released it to the App Store last week before promptly pulling it down.
The app is extremely similar to Snapchat, allowing users to send photos and videos to friends that disappear once they are viewed, and to add captions and draw on images. However, unlike its competitor – which it once tried to pick up for a cool $3 billion – Slingshot requires users to send friends an image back before they can view a message, likely in order to get more people actively using it.
Facebook says on its recently launched Slingshot blog, “We wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator. When everyone participates, there’s less pressure, more creativity, and even the little things in life can turn into awesome shared experiences. This is what Slingshot is all about.”
While firms rarely acknowledge those they are mimicking, Facebook gives a nod to Snapchat, saying that it is a fan of the app, but adding that Slingshot is perhaps the more advanced of the two.
“We’ve enjoyed using Snapchat to send each other ephemeral messages and expect there to be a variety of apps that explore this new way of sharing,” it says. “With Slingshot, we saw an opportunity to create something new and different: a space where you can share everyday moments with lots of people at once.”
No doubt, Slingshot will go down very well with the Millennial audience – not a bad thing considering this is the genre of user that everyone is trying to reach. But what else does the new app mean for Facebook? “Slingshot could be rife with monetization opportunities,” says one industry participant. Done right, the photo sharing app could provide one of the largest emerging markets for pre-roll advertising in the digital space. According to reports from earlier this year, Slingshot’s rival Snapchat receives an estimated 400 million snaps per day. If Facebook was to dethrone its competitor and precede a mere 5 percent of those same number of snaps by a pre-roll ad, that would be 20 million available impressions per day. (Could be rather annoying for users, though!)
Only time will tell where Slingshot will take us. For now, the app can be downloaded for free from the iTunes App Store and Google Play store, respectively, for iOS and Android.
This article was originally published on the Inquirer.