In late 2012, Facebook released the Poke app to compete with Snapchat, whose ephemeral messaging model had made the app a hit amongst teens. Poke, however didn’t turn out to be a success, and Facebook pulled it off the App Store earlier this month.
The removal of Poke, however, doesn’t mean Facebook is done competing with Snapchat. The social network is reportedly working on a second attempt at competing with Snapchat, this time with a video chat app.
Facebook has been working for several months on a video-chat app, known internally as Slingshot, with a simple and speedy user interface, according to people familiar with its plans.
The app allows users to send short video messages with just a couple of taps of the screen. Slingshot could be launched this month, one person said, while cautioning that Facebook might still decide not to proceed with launching the product.
Slingshot is likely to stand alone from Facebook Messenger, its popular texting app, as part of Mark Zuckerberg’s strategy of unbundling the group’s social network into standalone mobile services.
Facebook sees Snapchat as a huge threat, and unsuccessfully tried to acquire the app for $3 billion. The company already owns two messaging apps — Messenger and WhatsApp, so we’re not sure how it’ll position the Slingshot app.