Facebook developing Snapchat-like app called Slingshot
FORTUNE — Facebook (FB) is apparently serious about competing against the popular “ephemeral messaging” app Snapchat, which rejected its $3 billion buyout offer last year.
Mark Zuckerberg is personally overseeing the internal development of a messaging platform the company is calling “Slingshot,” which would share videos and pictures that would delete after one look, according to the Financial Times.
The video-messaging app could be released as early as next month. Slingshot would be Facebook’s second shot at competing with Snapchat. The social media site launched Poke in 2012. The app, which Zuckerberg has called “a joke,” flopped and was discontinued earlier this month.
The time-deletion messaging market is booming. Snapchat reports that its users send over 700 million different pieces of media everyday, and Yahoo (YHOO) just got into the game with its purchase of the Blink app earlier this month. Snapchat has also been upping its game as more companies aim to compete, adding text messaging and video chatting to its services.
Slingshot is said to be a much more deliberate effort to compete in the space than the previous Poke app, which was reportedly developed over just 12 hours. Facebook has a way to go to catch up with Snapchat in the ephemeral messaging space, and Zuckerberg’s personal involvement indicates how important this is to the social media giant.
The company said it would create a series of easy-to-use mobile apps this year. Facebook already launched the Paper app earlier this year, and after its failed attempt to buy Snapchat, a new self-deleting mobile app could be beneficial, especially as Facebook battles to stay relevant with Snapchat’s key demographic: teenagers.