Oops. Remember that rumoured Snapchat-like instant messaging app that Facebook was supposed to be working on? Well, as it turns out, it’s real… and we know this because Facebook briefly put it up on the Apple App Store. And then took it down.
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In what is either a botch up or a tactical leak, Facebook briefly pushed its new chat app Slingshot to the public in a few regional versions of the App Store, where it was available for download. The company later retracted the app with little explanation, besides a short official statement or two.
As a spokesperson told The Verge: “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.”
The app is reportedly similar to ephemeral photo messaging app Snapchat, with some differences, like a ‘react’ button to respond to a contact’s message, and the ability to swipe through photos and videos from your friends. The main feature seems to be one which requires you to send (‘sling’) an image to someone in order to unlock the one they sent you. So if you’re curious, you have to share a shot. You can also draw over images and add captions like you would in Snapchat.
Although it may not be ready for official public release quite yet, Slingshot seems to be the social network’s next mobile play, after pulling its previous timed messaging app (Poke) and launching a news reading app called Paper. It’s all part of the greater plan to unbundle its apps — and delivering on the promise it made when it said new apps would launch before the year is out.