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Facebook launch own version of Snapchat

Wednesday, June 25 15:04:24

Facebook's Snapchat look-a-like, Slingshot, was today launched internationally.

The ephemeral messaging app launched in the US mid-June, with a couple of unique features. Most notable was the concept of "paying" to see a picture with your own snap in return, something the developers hoped would encourage a community "where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator".

"Since we launched last week, we've heard from lots of people around the world who are excited to give Slingshot a try. Starting today, we're expanding our initial launch and making Slingshot available internationally," Slingshot says in a blogpost.

By requiring users to "sling" a different photo back to the sender, as well as by offering a single button for instant photo replies, Slingshot aims to encourage whole conversations to play out on the app, rather than the disconnected snaps common on Snapchat.

The app is available for iPhones running iOS 7 and Android devices with Jelly Bean or KitKat. Unlike Poke, Facebook's first attempt to clone Snapchat, it doesn't require a Facebook account to use. Instead, it picks up the model of another Facebook service, WhatsApp, and lets users find each other with their mobile phone numbers.

Users are, however, offered the option of linking up with their Facebook account, and are also asked whether they want to upload their contacts list to the company's servers to easily find people they know.

With Slingshot, Facebook's portfolio of apps grows larger still. The company's top tier includes Instagram and WhatsApp, two standalone services that it acquired for billions of dollars, as well as Facebook Messenger and Paper, breakout apps designed to offer a streamlined experience for certain aspects of the social network - specifically, messages and the news feed.