Facebook wants to keep you using its products as much as possible; after all, that’s how it generates all of its revenue. In a bid to win users over from Snapchat and other services, the company on Tuesday officially launched Slingshot, its own version of fleeting messaging. It works a bit differently than Snapchat, however, which may ultimately be a turn off to some users.
As we learned when Facebook accidentally published the app earlier this month, Slingshot allows you to send quick and vanishing messages to friends and family. You can’t just sit dead in the water with the service, however: you’ll need to reply to each message in order to see the content that was sent to you, effectively creating a never ending conversation. It might sound like fun to some folks, but for others like me — who use Snapchat but never actually send messages, it’s not as attractive.
“We’ve enjoyed using Snapchat to send each other ephemeral messages and expect there to be a variety of apps that explore this new way of sharing,” Facebook’s Slingshot team said in a blog post. “With Slingshot, we saw an opportunity to create something new and different: a space where you can share everyday moments with lots of people at once.”
We’ll give Slingshot a whirl and see how it works — maybe it’s more fun than it sounds on paper. For now, however, the requirement to first send a message in order to view one is rather daunting. You can give it a try yourself on Android and iOS.