Facebook’s engineers and Mark Zuckerberg are rumored to be working on new app called “Slingshot” that will compete directly with Snapchat. Although this wouldn’t be Facebook’s first time at an attempt to dethrone Snapchat, it could be a more serious attempt.
It was reported in an interview with Bloomberg Businessweek earlier this year that the app was nothing more than a joke and that
“a few people built it as a hackathon thing, and we made one release and then just kind of abandoned it and haven’t touched it since.”
Poke, launched last year with little fan fare, is a now defunct app that has been pulled from the app store. Although Zuckerberg considered it a joke, the launch of the app could have brought Facebook meaningful information about users preferences and what to develop for a more serious messaging app. If Zuckerberg uses that information from the failed attempt correctly, he and Facebook could become a real threat in the messaging wars.
Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, has over seen the rise of Facebook’s stock with great success after a mediocre IPO launch. Since the IPO, Zuckerberg has turned enough shares into dollars to purchase WhatsApp for $19 billion and Oculus VR for $2 billion.
Zuckerberg had previously attempted to purchase Snapchat for $3 billion last year but failed to close the deal. In the following acquisition, Facebook would go on to acquire WhatsApp. If it was a low-ball offer or the terms of the sale did not fit both parties, Snapchat is still moving strong with new features and Facebook has only released a stand-alone messaging app.
Companies like Yahoo’s recent purchase of Blink are hoping to purchase their way into the competition and win over users. If the rumors are true and Facebook does release a “Snapchat competitor”, Facebook’s stock will rise dramatically.