updated 11:20 pm EDT, Mon June 16, 2014
Botched early leak revealed features of Snapchat competitor
The official launch of Facebook's Snapchat competitor, called Slingshot, will likely happen on Tuesday, according to reports. The ephemeral messaging app, which offers users the ability to send a photo or short video with annotation features that are depending on the recipient acknowledging that they want the incoming message. The application was accidentally released and subsequently removed from the App Store a week ago.
The application, in addition to requiring an acknowledgement to unlock the sent message, also allows users to respond to it with a "react" button. Facebook says the application is designed for users to "be able to share everyday moments with lots of people at once," and lets senders write or draw on the image to emphasize specifics or include text, such as a thought balloon above a person's head. The image or video sent using Slingshot can only be viewed once, encouraging recipients to reply on the spot.
Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat in 2013, despite the application's reputation for security flaws and an inability to prevent the "limited-time viewability" of the sent images from being permanently captured and distributed. Both it and Google were rebuffed, despite offers of up to $4 billion.