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Facebook's Slingshot Stops Copying Snapchat, Starts Copying Snapchat Stories

Tim Maytom

slingshot comboLess than six months after its launch, Facebook has re-imagined its poorly received photo-messaging app Slingshot as an Instagram-lite 'lifecasting' app.

Originally conceived as a rival to Snapchat, with self-destructing picture messages, the app has failed to take off, but Facebook seem determined to make it work, and have relaunched the app.

Initially, the app required users to reply to messages in order to unlock the photos, but this requirement was quickly dropped, letting users freely send photos and videos to each other.

The new version introduces a 'lifecasting' element, enabling users to follow others, similarly to Twitter or Instagram, and see a grid of public photos shared in the last 24 hours by people they are following. The new feature apes Snapchat's 'Stories' functionality rather heavily, and is unlikely to change the mind of anyone who believes the app is simply Facebook chasing the popularity of one of its competitors.

"With Slingshot we originally set out to create a place where you could share real, raw moments with your friends," wrote the Slingshot development team on a blog post announcing the new feature. "Since we released the first version we have been listening to all of the great feedback from our community and have been cranking away at a big update that we're super excited to release today."