How is Facebook Slingshot different to Snapchat?

After accidentally releasing the new mobile app early, Facebook has now officially announced Slingshot, a mobile picture and video sharing app where sent items automatically delete themselves after a few seconds, as determined by the sender.

"It's an 'I'll show you mine if you show me yours' situation"

So far, so much like Snapchat, but where on that app recipients can view pictures and videos sent to them immediately, Slingshot users must first send something back before what they’ve received can be seen.

It’s an ‘I’ll show you mine if you show me yours’ situation that will no doubt confuse at first, but which we expect will lead to new ways of having picture-based conversations with your friends.

Images can be given captions - just like Snapchat - and they can be drawn on in a range of colours. Also like Snapchat, images and videos can be sent to a single friend or a whole group of them at once.

Facebook describes the Slingshot experience as “expressive, raw and spontaneous” and “in the moment”, but sometimes a user might not be able to reply with their own photo, meaning they won’t see whatever they’ve been sent until then.

Say you receive a message in a meeting and can’t reply with your own image for several hours, the “moment” could well be out of context and have lost its meaning.

Slingshot is US-only for now and compatible with iOS 7 and above, Android Jelly Bean and Android KitKat.

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