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

   

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:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Reuters Showcase

Balancing Act

Balancing Act

Europe's carmakers walk tightrope between low cost and high spec.  Full Article 

'Windows 10'

'Windows 10'

Microsoft names next operating system 'Windows 10'  Full Article 

Split from eBay

Split from eBay

Analysis - PayPal spawn have advanced where PayPal stood still   Full Article 

iPhone 6 in China

iPhone 6 in China

With iPhone 6 approved in China, Apple suppliers ready for demand.  Full Article 

Netflix Deal

Netflix Deal

Netflix 'Crouching Tiger' deal incurs wrath of theater chains.  Full Article 

Oracle Convention

Oracle Convention

Larry Ellison still the top draw at Oracle's mega-convention  Full Article 

Tax Rules

Tax Rules

EU says Ireland swapped Apple tax deal for jobs.  Full Article 

Music Services

Music Services

Google searches for right note in online music business.  Full Article 

E-Commerce Dispute

E-Commerce Dispute

Amazon, Disney appear close to settling dispute over movies - WSJ.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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