Facebook Reportedly Developing Its Own Snapchat -- Again

Poke may have flopped, but will Slingshot prevail?

learn more about Laura Entis

By Laura Entis • May 19, 2014

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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."

Related: As Mark Zuckerberg Turns 30, His 10 Best Quotes as CEO

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?

Related: This Is the 23-Year-Old Entrepreneur Who Just Turned Down $3 Billion From Facebook

Laura Entis
Laura Entis is a reporter for Fortune.com's Venture section.

Related Topics

Editor's Pick

Have More Responsibilities at Work, But No Pay Bump? Use This Script to Get the Raise You Deserve.
Black and Asian Founders Face Opposition at All Levels — Here's Why That Has to Change
Business News

Frontier Airlines Just Announced Its All-You-Can-Fly Summer Pass for $399. What's the Catch?

As travel begins to pick up, the airline hopes unlimited travel will jumpstart its business.

Business Plans

How Startups and Investors Can Thrive in the Current Economic Environment

Despite the bad news in today's economic environment, startups must refine their business strategy, and VCs must take advantage of less competition to invest.

Leadership

How to Be An Accountable Leader During an Age of Layoffs

If you are a leader, you eat last. Here's how to lead by example during economic uncertainty.

Growing a Business

6 Ways to Continually Grow Your Business Without Going Insane

This guide will help you create a successful, sustainable business that will provide long-term growth and profitability. Discover how you can take your business to the next level by reading on.