Facebook Reportedly Working on Video-Chat App to Compete With Snapchat

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
May 18 2014 4:40 PM

Facebook Reportedly Working on Video-Chat App to Compete With Snapchat

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Mark Zuckerberg has reportedly put himself in charge of overseeing the "top secret" project to create an app that would compete with Snapchat

Photo by Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch

After Snapchat refused Facebook’s $3-billion takeover offer, Mark Zuckerberg has been “overseeing the top-secret project” to create a rival to the popular app, reports the Financial Times. The social networking giant has been working for several months on an app that would allow people to send each other temporary videos with a simple interface. The paper’s sources say the app, which internally is being called Slingshot, could be launched as early as this month, although they also caution it may not be released at all.

If it does become a reality, Slingshot would mark Facebook’s second attempt at competing with the increasingly popular Snapchat. In late 2012, Facebook launched Poke as a Snapchat competitor but it quickly failed and was removed from the App store. It may ultimately prove difficult for Facebook to break into the self-destructing messaging game. “One lingering issue may be that of anonymity, with Snapchat allowing users to sign up with the bare minimum of information, and only show their username to others on the service,” notes SlashGear. “In contrast, Slingshot is likely to tie into a Facebook profile, which may be less preferable for those wanting to use such a service for ‘adult’ purposes.”

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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