Facebook accidentally launched a Snapchat-style photo messaging app called Slingshot yesterday.
Slingshot was released in a few countries, before Facebook pulled it from the App Store.
Before it was taken down, a number of sites saved screenshots of the app, and its marketing description.
The promotional material says:
“Slingshot lets you quickly share moments – little and big – with all your friends. Shoot a photo or video of what you’re up to and sling it to a bunch of people. They won’t be able to see your shot until they sling something back. Tap on a shot to react, or simply swipe it away.”
Facebook’s Snapchat competitor lets you share photos with your friends, by slinging a photo across to their phone.
They then have to sling a shot back to unlock your image.
You can then tap a react button to send an immediate response.
Slingshot also has other similar features to Snapchat, letting you annotate and draw on your own pictures.
You can also save up unlocked photos to view later, but once it has been swiped, the image is gone.
This differs from Snapchat where the user can limit how long their picture is seen for.
In a statement, Facebook said:
“Earlier today, we accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we’re working on. With Slingshot, you’ll be able to share everyday moments with lots of people at once. It’ll be ready soon and we’re excited for you to try it out.”
Slingshot is designed to replace their Poke app, which was taken down a month ago.
Facebook tried to buy Snapchat late last year for an estimated $3bn, but Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel turned down the offer.
Speaking about the ephemeral messaging app to Stanford University in January, Mark Zuckerberg said:
“I think Snapchat is a super interesting privacy phenomenon because it creates a new kind of space to communicate which makes it so that things that people previously would not have been able to share, you now feel like you have a place to do so.”
Slingshot came out of Creative Labs, which also created editorial-minded news feed app Paper.
Zuckerberg recently said to The New York Times that “what we’re doing with Creative Labs is basically unbundling the big blue app.”
Last week Tinder released their own Snapchat-inspired feature, Moments, which lets users send pictures to all their existing matches.