Facebook launches mobile app that does not require Facebook account

SAN FRANCISCO Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:46pm IST

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Files

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with an Facebook logo as he poses with an Dell laptop in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica, August 14, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Dado Ruvic/Files

Related Topics

Stocks

   
Rajalakshmi (C), 28, smiles after winning the Miss Wheelchair India beauty pageant in Mumbai November 26, 2014. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

Miss Wheelchair India

Seven women from across India participated in the country's second wheelchair beauty pageant, which aims to open doors for the wheelchair-bound in modelling, film and television, according to organisers  Slideshow 

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc launched a smartphone app on Tuesday that will allow consumers to exchange disappearing photos and videos without requiring Facebook accounts, the Internet company’s latest effort to develop mobile services beyond its core social network.

The new app, dubbed Slingshot, allows users to sign up for the service with their mobile phone number and connect with friends in their phone’s contact list or, if they want, by finding their Facebook friends.

Photos on Slingshot disappear from users’ phones shortly after they are viewed, reflecting a growing anxiety about privacy in the age of Internet social networking.

Facebook’s release of Slingshot comes as a new crop of mobile messaging services gain popularity and threaten to draw younger users away from Facebook’s 1.28 billion-user social network.

To help mitigate the threat from alternative social networks, Facebook is developing a variety of standalone apps and acquiring fast-growing rivals. In 2012 it acquired photo-sharing service Instagram and in February it announced plans to acquire messaging app WhatsApp for $19 billion.

Snapchat, an app that lets users send messages that automatically disappear after a few seconds, turned down a $3 billion acquisition offer from Facebook last year, according to media reports at the time.

Unlike other messaging apps, Slingshot will not allow users to view the messages they have received from their friends until they reciprocate and send back a photo or video of their own. The rule is designed to make Slingshot a service for which everyone contributes material, although it could require a learning curve that confuses or turns off some users.

"When everyone participates there's less pressure, more creativity and even the little things in life can turn into awesome shared experiences," Facebook said in a blog post announcing the service on Tuesday.

Slingshot will be available in the United States on Tuesday for Android and iOS devices.

(Reporting by Alexei Oreskovic; Editing by Ken Wills)

FILED UNDER:

Online Grocery Shopping

Tech Showcase

Google in Europe

Google in Europe

Insight - Behind Google's Europe woes, American accents  Full Article 

Uber Lawsuit

Uber Lawsuit

Uber CEO must turn over emails in gratuity lawsuit, U.S. judge rules  Full Article 

Wikileaks Hacker

Wikileaks Hacker

Icelandic hacker says guilty of stealing money from Wikileaks  Full Article 

Motorola Case

Motorola Case

U.S. court rejects Motorola Mobility price-fixing appeal  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage