Facebook has announced that it has officially launched a new mobile app for iPhone and Android users called Slingshot. At first glance, Slingshot appears to essentially be a copycat of Snapchat, but it is actually an app that claims to be more complex, animated and interesting than that.
While we all know the general rules of thumb for Snapchat: take a picture or video, select who you want to open it, set the timer (in the case of a photo), and send it on its way. The recipient can open this whenever they’d like and typically you’ll receive a “snap” response some time later. With Slingshot, however, there is a mandatory and sort of “pay to play” feature that requires you to “sling” a shot back to whomever sent you a shot first. In other words, if you send a shot to a friend who also uses the app, after he/she is notified, they must first send a shot back to you before yours is unlocked for them to view. So, isn’t this more effort and somewhat frustrating? Some believe so, but the hope is that it will encourage friends and connections to interact more and in a more focused way.
Slingshot differs from Snapchat in other ways as well: While you can only view an image once, the recipient does not have a 10 second time limit and can keep the shot open as long as they want. Recipients who screenshot an image can also do so without the sender receiving a notification. Slingshot also provides an intriguing “feed” where you can scan through all current shots received and who you still need to respond to. You can also select all of your contacts with one easy touch, something that Snapchat users have requested for quite a while.
Since Slingshot has only been live for just over 24 hours, many will still be awaiting reviews and reactions to the app before deciding whether or not they will download it. Will this work for businesses? That is another question that some may ask; certain aspects of the app could be appealing for some brands or companies, as you can essentially create a timeline of what is going on at your location, with your staff, etc., and would allow you to become interactive with your audience in a new and different way. Time will tell, and the opinions of those who are team Snapchat will be interesting to see as well.