Snapchat is one of the most used applications both on iOS and Android platform. Ease of use as well as the security of images being deleted automatically after stipulated seconds has made Snapchat a rage among the kids. It is perfect for you to send out images, yet ensure that nobody would be able to save them and use them against you later on. We like to call snapchat a disposable image sharing service. Yet, for all its popularity among teens, Snapchat has not been of much interest to grown up adults. This is where Slingshot from Facebook looks to step in.
Facebook announced Slingshot, an image or video sharing service very much cut from the same cloth as Snapchat but with some interesting additional features yesterday. The application is available only in the US app store, and is an iOS exclusive for the time being. You require iOS 7 or above running on your iPhone for the app to work.
Download: You can download SlingShot from the iTunes Store here
Our Take on SlingShot
SlingShot, while at first look may look like a twin brother of Snapchat, spend some time with it and you start to pick subtle differences between them. SlingShot brings a lot more to the table than just the ability to share pictures. It is in a way, an active social network that Mark Zuckerberg has been trying to convert Facebook to for a while. The application forces you to interact with your friends and contacts if you wish to see what they have to share.
Signing up for the application is extremely easy, and all you need to do is enter in your mobile number which once you verify it, you can create a profile with your preferred username. The application syncs with your contact list to tell you which of your phonebook members are already using SlingShot. You take pictures with the camera application of SlingShot which is a extremely basic right now. You cannot use images from the gallery yet, so the images that you wish to send to your friends must be clicked instantly. After clicking, you can either send the image to one friend or several of them at once. Once you have done that, your friend(s) must sling back before they can view your image. Sling back basically means to send an image or video to you.
This ensures that your friend is actively communicating with you instead of just seeing your image, a bit like what is happening with passive users on Facebook. The feed on Sligshot is very similar to what you have on Facebook, though to view, you must sling an image back which would unlock the pixelated image from your friends. Once you have viewed the image and flicked it, the image is deleted away. However, like Snapchat there is no time restriction here. The animations and UI here are extremely polished and slick.
You can also draw using your fingers on touch screen to add a bit of personal effect to the image before you send it. There is also a selfie button that activates the front facing camera. Slingshot is a perfect application for a quick informal chat with your friends, where both of you are up for some fun. The best thing about the application is it is mandatory for two to participate in it, just the way real communication should be.
There is no doubt that Facebook would bring more features to SlingShot in the time to come, but for a first release, we were extremely impressed, both with the idea as well as the execution here. The only minor complaint we have with the app is that it is US only currently and not available on Android, but surely over a period of time, this would be sorted, surely.