If you can't buy it, make it?
That appears to be Facebook's approach when it comes to Snapchat. Last year, the social networking giant tried to pick up the ephemeral picture messaging app for $3 billion, but co-founders Evan Spiegel and Bobby Murphy said no deal.
Mark Zuckerberg still presumably wants to get his hands on Snapchat's hip, young user base; since he can't buy them outright, it looks like he's going to try and lure them away. According to a new report from the Financial Times, Zuckerberg is personally overseeing the development of a Snapchat competitor, known internally (and somewhat aggressively?) as "Slingshot."
Details right now are still a bit fuzzy. The FT reports that "Slingshot" will likely be a standalone app that allows users to send self-destructing pictures and short video messages with a few taps on the screen. Time-wise, the FT quotes a source who says the app could be launched this month, or the company could decide to drop the project all together.
This isn't Facebook's first attempt at taking on Snapchat. In 2012 Facebook created Poke, a Snapchat clone. It was a flop (the company discontinued the service earlier this month) and Mark Zuckerberg has distanced himself from the project, calling it "more of a joke."
The FT report raises more questions than it answers, but I'm hoping "Slingshot" hits the app store soon. It'll be interesting to see how it fares – genuine Snapchat rival, or Poke 2?