Do you really need another app for sharing photos and videos with your friends?
Clearly, Facebook thinks you do. On Tuesday the company is releasing Slingshot. Actually, it is re-releasing it, after it was accidentally released and then pulled earlier this month.
The app is designed for frequent, mass sharing of mundane moments. The photos and short videos are captured within the app and sent to one or many friends who can’t view what is shared until they share something back.
The idea is to shift the usual Internet balance of power in which a small group of people do most of the sharing and most others just lurk.
“Hopefully people who don’t share as much will feel comfortable, in this app, sharing,” said Slingshot product manager Will Ruben.
While users can take screenshots of photos they receive, pictures and videos that are received are deleted after they are viewed and the user moves on to the next item.
Facebook is also hoping to use the new app to reach beyond those already using its service or Instagram, which it also owns. Slingshot, which will launch on iOS and Android, is designed to share with anyone in your address book, not just those who use Facebook.
The company is taking pains to say that Slingshot is different from Taptalk and Snapchat in that it is designed for one-to-many sharing rather than one-on-one interactions.
Built by about 10 people over the past few months, Slingshot is the second product to come from the company’s Creative Labs (Paper was the first). Slingshot was conceived during a December hackathon.
Facebook briefly launched Slingshot into the wild earlier this month, but quickly pulled it back saying it had been flung in error.