Reports got out over the weekend that Facebook is working on video messaging app that will be a direct competitor to the extremely popular app Snapchat. The Financial Times reports that Facebook's app is known inside as 'Slingshot' and might introduce as early as this month.
However, another source states that Facebook might still choose not to progress with Slingshot. Facebook themselves declined to discuss the reports.
Slingshot will enable users to send brief video messages to each others. Where Slingshot and Snapchat vary is that Snapchat just recently offered video chatting, while Slingshot will reportedly not offer not offer that service it will instead provide the ability to send out video messages that are erased quickly after being seen.
According to the short article in the Financial Times, Slingshot has been in the works for the past few months and will most likely be a stand-alone app. Facebook's Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has actually reportedly been personally overseeing the project after Snapchat turned down Facebook's offer last year to be purchased for $3 billion.
This would not be the first time that Facebook has launched an app similar to Snapchat. In 2012 Facebook launched Poke, which let users send "pokes" as well as photos and other messages to friends that would expire after a certain amount of time. It didn't catch on and was killed earlier this month.
One of the potential reasons Poke didn't catch on is that it was launched without much planning, as it was substantiated of one of Facebook's "hackathon" coding occasions. Poke was seen by many as a joke, rather than an app that was meant to be taken seriously.
If Facebook has actually picked up from the mistakes made with Poke, they could be poised to reveal a serious competitor to Snapchat later this month. Although, what Slingshot is offering sounds like something that might easily be contributed to Snapchat as an added feature. I think we'll have to see exactly what takes place when/if Slingshot launches.