Facebook reportedly building Snapchat rival called Slingshot

Mark Zuckerberg is personally supervising development of an "ephemeral messaging" app that could be released as early as this month, according to the Financial Times.

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After Facebook's failed bid to acquire Snapchat, the social network has reportedly been busy on developing its own video and picture messaging app.

Mark Zuckerberg is personally supervising development of an "ephemeral messaging" app called Slingshot, according to the Financial Times (subscription required). The app could be released as early as this month, according to the report.

A Facebook representative declined to comment on the report.

News of the apps' development comes six months after Snapchat reportedly rejected Facebook's acquisition offer of $3 billion, which was about three times what the social network paid for photo-sharing app Instagram in 2012.

The 2-year-old app, which has sent 400 million send-it-and-forget-it photo and video "snaps", has grown rapidly in popularity with teens, pulling them away from Facebook. The app is estimated to be used by 9 percent of adult cell phone owners in the US, according to research conducted by Pew.

Facebook recently removed a Snapchat clone called Poke from the Apple App Store. Launched in 2012, Poke was an extension of Facebook's "poke" button, a feature left over from Facebook's collegiate beginnings.

Yahoo has also shown interest in the secret-messaging sector, snapping up an app called Blink last week that allows users to send texts, pictures, and audio that self-destruct. Yahoo shut down the iOS and Android versions of the app, folding the app's 7-person team into the company's "smart communication products," Yahoo said.

 

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