Facebook has a one eye focused on the advent of popular messaging service Snapchat, and to bring the app to level playing ground, the company has released its own Slingshot chat feature.
While Slingshot is currently only available for Android, the app was also given a go for the iOS version. And although for some reason or the other the app was taken down, there isn't any reason to believe that it will not be back for all iOS-based devices.
In case you haven't been reading up on the new messaging feature, the official developing crew dealing with the app states: "With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator."
"When everyone participates, there's less pressure, more creativity and even the little things in life can turn into awesome shared experiences. This is what Slingshot is all about," it adds.
Snapchat, the app Slingshot is going head-to-head against, on the other hand, is a photo messaging application that was developed by Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy, then Stanford University student.
And using the application, users can take photos, record videos, add text and drawings, and send them to a controlled list of recipients. Needless to say, both the apps offer more or less the same kind of capabilities.
But what makes the Snapchat different from the new Slingshot, and vice versa? Is it just the controlled messaging procedure, or is there something else on offer? We take a closer look.
To be perfectly honest, there isn't much to compete in this sense. We are not expecting too much from the images editing-wise as there's isn't any question of editing for a 10 seconds image. But in terms of image modification, both Slingshot and Snapchat stand on similar grounds, if not more than each other.
When you launch Slingshot, the app will almost instantly take you to its camera. While the selfie button is placed between the device's front and rear-facing cameras, holding down the shutter button allows you to record videos. However, the difference stands in the fact that the Slingshot app won't allow you to zoom the camera.
And although with Snapchat, users can add drawings and text to the photos and videos they share, the concept is said to become even more elegant as soon as the same is carried out with Slingshot.
Going deeper into both the IMs on offer, while Slingshot requires you to respond to an incoming message without even the need of seeing it, Snapchat allows you to take a more natural approach.
Note that text is limited to 140 characters, although there's the option to reposition it on the image. Moreover, unlike Snapchat's texts always remains the same size, Slingshot's text will get bigger when you drag it down from the top of the screen.
Not following the norm of most of the Facebook-based standalone apps, Slingshot does not rely on your Facebook friends list for contacts. And similar to Snapchat, the accounts will be linked to the phone numbers for verification.
On verifying, users can start searching for friends from the contacts list, Facebook or even look up individuals by user name.
Slingshot is the newest kid in the block, and like all other neighborhood-based rules, the kid has to work it out a lot if it's to reach standards that are on offer from the already established Snapchat.
And if seen from a more deeper point of view, Slingshot's rise over Snapchat will depend eventually on how well the customers adopt to it. And that will take a bit of time before any kind of final conclusion is chalked out.