Facebook app 'Slingshot' launches internationally
'Slingshot' is a new app to rival Snapchat available for iPhone and Android smartphones
Facebook's new app Slingshot which launched last week in the US, has today gone global and is now available in the UAE.
A Snapchat rival, Slingshot is available in app stores for iPhone and Android (Jelly Bean and KitKat) and, like Snapchat, is designed for people to share photos and video clips with friends as well as including features to scribble on the images before sending.
Slingshot includes the ability for recipients to send a photo of their reaction back straight away and also the requirement for them to "unlock" messages by sending their own in return.
"To get started on Slingshot, shoot a photo or video. It can be what you're up to, who you're with or a quick selfie. Add some text and color, then sling it to a bunch of friends. Here's the deal: friends won't be able to see your shot until they sling something back to you. They can then reply with a reaction - or simply swipe your shot away." Facebook said in a statement.
Facebook previously tried to compete with Snapchat in 2012 with its "Poke" app, but wasn't successful, it then reportedly tried to buy Snapchat for $3bn in 2013, but again failed.
Facebook's chief executive Mark Zuckerberg has made no secret of his interest in Snapchat's growth.
"I think Snapchat is a super interesting privacy phenomenon because it creates a new kind of space to communicate which makes it so that things that people previously would not have been able to share, you now feel like you have a place to do so," he told an audience at Stanford university in January.
"I think that's really important and that's a big kind of innovation that we're going to keep pushing on and keep trying to do more on and I think a lot of other companies will, too."
Slingshot also fits into Facebook's evolving mobile strategy, based on more standalone apps for separate tasks, rather than the single Facebook app to do everything.