It was a bold move by Snapchat founders Evan Spiegel and Robert Murphy when they turned down a reported sum of $3 billion for the popular photo messaging app from Facebook.
It seems Facebook isn’t about to go down quietly, however. Rumours are in the works that Zuckerberg’s social networking giant has a competitor to Snapchat in the works known internally as Slingshot, which could allegedly launch as soon as next month…
Like Snapchat, Slingshot will allow the sending of short videos, pictures and messages which explode after a predetermined amount of time. Facebook’s existing app Poke - which performs a very similar functions - has recently been removed from Apple’s App Store, suggesting there might be some bigger in the works with Zuckerberg and friends.
Snapchat is still leagues ahead in this increasingly popular trend for self-destructing messages, however. The app sends an astonishing 700 million pictures, videos and messages every day. The valuation of the company skyrocketed in 2013, shooting from $60 million to $800 million between June and the end of the year. A few months later, that $3 billion offer from Facebook came knocking, only to be turned down by the company founders.
It doesn’t take a genius to work out that Facebook doesn’t like competition very much when it comes to this sector. It recently paid $19 billion for WhatsApp when it became clear it couldn't compete as a messaging service. Since it appears unable to purchase Snapchat, it’s not surprising to hear that it is attempting to launch a competitor app, although it will have some major work to do to catch up with Snapchat’s impressive head start.
Facebook isn’t the only company getting in on exploding messaging. Yahoo bought similar messaging service Blink just last week for an undisclosed amount. The iOS and Android versions of the app were both closed following the purchase and the app’s seven person team brought in to work for Yahoo, so it looks fairly safe to assume they’ll be launching their own version of an app that rides on this social app trend in the near future.