Facebook has unveiled a new messaging service called Slingshot, which offers a similar video and photo-sharing experience to rival Snapchat.
Rather than buying a rival, as it did with WhatsApp, Facebook has instead launched a similar service, but with the novel approach that you can't see the video or photo you have been sent until you send one back.
The team behind Slingshot said they thought this approach would help users find more enjoyment from the service.
“With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator," they said. "When everyone participates, there’s less pressure, more creativity and even the little things in life can turn into awesome shared experiences. This is what Slingshot is all about.”
The team name-checked rival app Snapchat, claiming that while its service is enjoyable, Slingshot is better.
"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. 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."
Like Snapchat, messages on Slingshot will self-destruct, but users can change this so there is no time limit on when they disappear, allowing recipients to remove images whenever they want.
The tool is available now for iOS 7 devices in the US and Android Jelly Bean and KitKat too. There is no word on availability in other countries yet.
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