The rumored Facebook Slingshot app is finally here. As expected, the app draws a lot of inspiration from Snapchat but changes one fundamental mechanic. While Snapchat lets you view snaps at any time, Slingshot requires you to send a photo or video back before viewing.
Forcing users to share something before viewing is definitely different but makes sense for Facebook. The social network thrives when users are sharing content, which keeps people engaged. Messages also disappear after you swipe them away. There’s no time limit so you can view a single message for however long you like until you swipe away.
Facebook hopes Slingshot will make sharing more spontaneous and organic like Snapchat. Knowing messages disappear puts people at ease, making them share more. Slingshot eases the anxiety about posting something permanently on the internet.
In use, Slingshot offers a great experience. The app, like Snapchat, opens to the camera immediately. It only takes a few seconds to send off a message. You can draw or write text on a photo or video as well. Users can “react” to a message quickly by tapping it.
“We don’t see this as a messaging app. It’s more along lines of a feed of stream of content because of that pay-to-play mechanic,” says Slingshot designer Joey Flynn speaking with The Verge.
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