Many believe that Facebook’s latest Snapchat competitor will finally redeem the social network’s past social app flops, but others still see the pioneer of ephemeral messaging to continue its reign in the young crowd. Open Access BPO examines how Slingshot will fare in the social app scene.
When news about Slingshot’s development first leaked, many speculated that it’s just another attempt of Facebook to compete with (and eventually fail against) ephemeral messaging craze, Snapchat. Officially launched on June 17, the new app seems to be more than just a copycat but actually a competitor with something new to offer.
Just like Snapchat plus more
Slingshot has all the makings of a strong Snapchat contender: users can exchange photos or videos that they could only view for a few seconds, as well as add doodles and sound effects to come with the post. But what sets the competitor apart from the originator is the reply-to-unlock scheme, which means that users will have to reply first before they could see what the sender’s content. Aiming to make everyone a creator and not just a spectator, Slingshot’s clever way of making a difference may threaten Snapchat’s reign.
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Will it fare in the social media arena?
While Slingshot brings something to the table that Snapchat lacks, the feature isn t an exclusive, groundbreaking idea. Photo sharing app Povio did the trick first, and another recently launched app, Look, has the same reply-to-view feature. But because it’s Facebook, Slingshot may have a greater chance of making it in the social app scene and do better than its predecessors: the short-lived Poke and Paper, which Facebook also developed in an attempt to steal Snapchat’s shine.
Observers, however, see Slingshot to suffer the same fate as the previous Snapchat clones despite being “different.” And the reason is Facebook itself. Snapchat’s audience, the young, trend-setting crowd, is the same demographic that distanced themselves from Facebook when the social network went massively mainstream.
The mobile messaging app still has this underground feel that attracts future spenders—teens who want to set themselves apart, so until Snapchat loses its newness, this demographic will likely stay. And for Slingshot to gain back the young crowd that Facebook lost, the app has to brand itself away from social network’s shadow.