Snapchat vs. Facebook: Who will win the battle?

Article published on June 19, 2014
Article published on June 19, 2014

In 2013, Face­book offered to buy Snapchat at a price of 3 bil­lion dol­lars, an ap­p with a real suc­cess used by many smart­phone users, mostly teenagers. This last one did the bold move to de­cline the offer. Zucker­berg, not expect­ing this re­ac­tion, did not ap­pre­ci­ate the fact that the offer had been turned down. Al­ways want­ing more he de­cides to cre­ate a new app as a “revenge''.

After an ac­ci­den­tal re­lease last week on the App­store, smart­phone users dis­cov­ered what the new ephemeral pic­ture app was. Thus, it was of­fi­cially re­vealed to the world on June 17th 2014: Sling­shot!

Sling­shot has the same cri­te­ria as Snapchat, a very sim­ple way to send pic­tures to a bunch of friends. After hav­ing viewed the pic­ture or the video it auto-de­stroys it­self. The only dif­fer­ence with Snapchat, is that to be able to view the sent item you have re­ceived, you first must send a re­ac­tion to the ex­pe­d­i­tor. The re­sem­blance is fright­en­ing, in the name and the way it is fea­tured. “We don't see this as a mes­sag­ing app” says Sling­shot's de­signer Flynn “it's more along lines of a feed or stream or con­tent be­cause of that pay-to-play me­chanic”. Flynn be­lieves that this app has the po­ten­tial to en­cour­age users to up­load more pic­tures and use more cre­ativ­ity. “It's not about telling your story, it's about ask­ing oth­ers for their story”. The app is a bit like a trade. In order to “un­lock” a friend's photo you must send a pic­ture of what­ever you are up to. Weird? The im­por­tant ques­tion is will Sling­shot catch on or will peo­ple stick to Snapchat?

Do not get me wrong this is not Face­book's first at­tempt to com­pete with other in­ter­na­tional ap­pli­ca­tions and so­cial net­works, it sure won't be the last ei­ther. Re­mem­ber in 2010, when the new e-mail @​facebook.​com was re­leased, but did not take on. The pro­ject was of­fi­cially shut down this year. Mar­ket­place was a dis­as­ter for Mark Zucker­berg since it quickly shut down after the launch. An at­tempt to com­pete with e-bay, the biggest sell­ing web­site on the internet.​The video chat sys­tem on Face­book is still a afloat, but did not man­age to sink Skype. They are now working as a partnership. Last of all, an­other dead at­tempt for Face­book was FBML stand­ing for Face­book Markup Lan­guage. The pro­ject was de­signed to en­hance your busi­ness by bring­ing more vis­i­tors on your fan page. The pro­ject died in an ex­pe­di­tious way 4 years later its re­lease since the com­plex­ity was too high.

We all know it , Marc Zucker­berg will al­ways be greedy since 1.1 bil­lion users is not enough. Face­book wants to ex­ceed its sim­ple sta­tus as a so­cial net­work in order to be­come the most pow­er­ful busi­ness in his­tory. De­spite a few fail­ures, Zucker­berg's ex­ten­sion at­tempts will not cease. But what will hap­pen to Sling­shot? Can it re­ally reach up to 30 mil­lion users mak­ing Snapchat come to an end? Noth­ing is sure to be said, there­fore Face­book does have a higher com­pet­i­tive ad­van­tage but will it be enough?