Slingshot isn’t Snapchat: 9 things to know about Facebook’s new app

Slingshot is Facebook’s latest application. Presented as an alternative to Snapchat (who Facebook unsuccessfully tried to purchase), the app lets you to share photos and short videos. After taking a closer look, however, Slingshot doesn’t have much in common with the popular self-destructing messaging app. To help you decide if you want to install it, here are nine differences between the two apps.

Sharing is required

The basic way of using Slingshot is unique. To view photos and videos from your friends, you’re required to send a message to them. This means that you can’t view anything sent to you unless you’ve participated in the conversation.

The hidden goal is to encourage interaction between people using the app. Slingshot also allows you to send photos or videos to all your contacts at once.

No countdown to destruction

Photos and videos do get destroyed in Slingshot, but instead of a countdown, the posts will erase after they’ve been closed, or when the person receiving the message responds with a reaction. When you start the app, content is displayed indefinitely, but if the message isn’t opened, it will be removed after 30 days. Slingshot also doesn’t require you to tap and hold the screen to view shared posts.

Advanced drawing

Slingshot lets you draw on photos before you send them, but an interesting addition is the full color chart, with options like choosing the size of the line. Unfortunately, you can’t draw on videos, and it doesn’t include filters, at least in version 1.

Slingshot Drawing

Automatic backup

Slingshot actually offers the option to automatically save all photos and videos sent through the app, completely opposite from Snapchat.

No notifications

The app doesn’t sent any type of notification that your message has been seen. It also doesn’t notify you if the receiver takes a screenshot.

Reactions

It’s possible to respond to a message with a reaction. The reply appears as a combination of two messages that you send. The concept is similar to frontback, an app that composes photos using the front and back cameras on your mobile device.

Slingshot Reaction

No text messaging or video

It’s possible to react to a reaction with a small bit of text, but Slingshot doesn’t have a chat function. Snapchat does have basic text messaging, which can be pretty useful.

Transparency about security

While it’s too early to determine the exact security level of Slingshot, basic tests show that there aren’t any traces of files downloaded to phones after messages are destroyed.

A big difference is the transparency Slingshot has about security. The Slingshot Help Center states that people can take screenshots, “so share responsibly”.

Different objectives

Slingshot isn’t here to replace Snapchat. The application don’t have the same purpose. Unlike Snapchat, Slingshot isn’t about sending messages that disappear or remain private.

The app is intended as a quick and convenient way to share photos and videos with a large number of friends. The fact that  they self-destruct is more of a practicality than anything.

Slingshot safe content

The audiences for both apps are diffferent because of the way they share content. Slingshot could actually be designed to be more suitable for younger audiences, something that Snapchat is trying to do.

Slingshot won’t replace Snapchat, but that doesn’t mean that Snapchat won’t try to become an alternative to Facebook.

If you don’t know much about Snapchat, read Snapchat: everything you ever wanted to know.

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