It was recently reported that Facebook would be getting rid of their Poke application, which is an app that was supposed to compete with the very popular Snapchat application.
Facebook really, really likes Snapchat. They tried to buy it for a billion dollars, but were not able to make a deal.
Since then, they have been diligently working to replicate it. Snapchat is a huge app on the teen market, allowing you to send a friend a “temporary” video or photo that will no longer be available once it is seen by the person who received it. After failing to capture the interest of teens using Snapchat with their Poke app, it is being reported that Facebook is working on a new Snapchat alternative called Slingshot.
The app would work by allowing people to send picture and videos to their friends by tapping and holding down on their friend’s picture. The pictures or videos would be viewed once and then deleted. So it pretty much is an exact copy of Snapchat. The one additional idea is to make this app a messaging app as well.
So it’s a little bit more involved than Poke, which was an outright and very blatant attempt to clone Snapchat which did not work in attracting people. Poke came out in 2012 and it allowed people to send videos and photos and set the time that the media would be available for – 1, 3, 5 or 10 seconds.
Poke never caught on and it seemed that Facebook stopped trying to promote it or work on it almost immediately. It was no surprise when it was taken off the market earlier this month.
Facebook is obviously trying to make a great push on the mobile apps market, since that is where the youth market has migrated over the last several years. It already has Instagram, which it was able to buy from another company, and its own Messenger app which allows people to talk via Facebook chat without having to use the Facebook app itself.
In fact, the Messenger app needs to be downloaded in order to read Facebook messages on your mobile device, because you can no longer simply open them from the Facebook app itself.
Slingshot will be yet another attempt to create a standalone mobile app that Facebook hopes will attract people who like using Snapchat.