Facebook accidentally leaked its own Snapchat competitor a few days back, but now everyone that didn’t pick it up in those few crucial hours has a chance to play with it.
Whereas Snapchat aims to be a private person to person photo/video messaging app, Slingshot hopes to make things a little more social. Released on Android and iOS today, images and videos up to 15 seconds long can be captured using the app and then slung (past tense of “sling”) at multiple contacts at once. Those contacts will have to send something back (but they also can send it to multiple contacts at once) if they want to see anything more than a heavily pixelated version of your message. This way, sharing is encouraged, and the app is one of the few social media platform that actively requires participation.
Reactions shots/text can be sent to back, and they don’t require any additional content to be created in order to be seen. Text can be added (or be used entirely for a reaction shot) and pictures can be drawn on using a simple paint-like feature.
Most of it seems pretty smooth, although the UI’s heavy emphasis on always being ready to take a video or picture makes it hard to navigate at first. It also isn’t mentioned in the tutorial that holding down the shoot button will put the recorder into video mode. You can find contacts through your Facebook friends list (although my friends had trouble finding me) or by entering their Slingshot user name. Other than those minor complaints, Slingshot seems very polished, with custom sounds and preloaded videos.
Slingshot can be downloaded for free from the Google Play store and the Apple App store.