Reports have been tipping that Facebook was developing its own ephemeral chat app, known internally as Slingshot, after its failed attempt
to acquire mobile messaging startup Snapchat. However, an accidental listing of the Slingshot app has confirmed the existence of the Snapchat competitor.
Facebook on Monday briefly listed its unannounced Slingshot app on the Malaysian App Store; however the app was soon pulled down from the store. The Verge quotes a Facebook spokesperson who confirmed the accidental listing of the unreleased app and said, "Earlier today [Monday], 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."
Notably, Facebook's new ephemeral chat app Slingshot, unlike Snapchat and other chat services, forces a user to send an image or 'sling' [as Facebook calls it] in order to view an image. The feature in the Slingshot app is seen as a move to increase the user involvement in the app.
Other features in the app include the ability to write captions and make drawings on the images and video messages sent by a user, something already found on Snapchat. The Slingshot app also offers users viewing a message the ability to send a reaction to an image, with the React button to send the reaction to an image. The app maintaining its ephemeral nature deletes an image once it is swiped away by the user.
For those unaware, Facebook's first ephemeral chat app, Poke was released back in 2012. The social giant removed the standalone Poke app from the App Store in May.
The interest in ephemeral messaging has been noted by several other Internet giants, including Yahoo, which in May bought a Snapchat rival called Blink.