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?