If you haven’t had enough of photo and video apps Facebook has one more for you. A Snapchat rival, Facebook’s Slingshot is an ephemeral messaging app with a focus on trading photos and videos. The app which was accidentally pushed earlier this month has been finally released.
Slingshot, the app from Facebook Creative Labs is available on iOS and Android. While the new app remains an ephemeral messaging app, it has a twist. In order to see a photo or video sent to you by a friend, you have to reply with a photo or video.
“It’s not just about telling your story, it’s about asking others for their story,” says Slingshot designer Joey Flynn speaking to Verge. In other words, Slingshot makes you trade a photo of what you’re doing before you can “unlock” the picture of whatever your friend is up to.
The new app, Slingshot, allows users to sign up for the service with their mobile phone number and connect with friends in their phone’s contact list or, if they want, by finding their Facebook friends. Photos on Slingshot disappear from users’ phones shortly after they are viewed.
The other features of the app is that it allows photos or videos sent to have text added either right over the image or as a caption. Besides you can draw on the images, play music while doing it and enjoy the experience.
Product Manager, Will Ruben says that creativity is meant to bleed into the users, “it’s an app where everyone is a creator and no one is a spectator.”
In addition to this Slingshot’s killer feature is Select All button, a button Snapchat fans have been asking for long – it lets you send a photo to all of your friends at once. Snapchat has been adamant on having the feature since the push notifications will be misused like it is being done now in Slingshot.
For Facebook Slingshot is not a messaging app. “It’s more along lines of a feed or stream of content because of that pay-to-play mechanic.” The bigger idea, says Flynn, is to turn every user into a creator that posts more than they might on Facebook — because “unlocking” your friends’ posts requires you to post back.
I am yet to get my hands dirty with this app since it is compatible with Jelly Bean and KitKat but the casual behavior of sharing images and videos could charm people. However, the twist of waiting before you can send images might sound a bit uncool but from Facebook’s point it is good. It is not looking to build an app full of content but an app full of engaged content.