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:

Tech Wrap

Reuters Showcase

Indian Healthcare

Indian Healthcare

Exclusive - Payment delays dent India's flagship health, AIDS programmes  Full Article 

India-Pakistan Ties

India-Pakistan Ties

Indian, Pakistani foreign secretaries to meet in Islamabad.  Full Article 

Food Security

Food Security

India will not cut multi-billion dollar food handout programme - PM   Full Article 

Ola's Expansion Drive

Ola's Expansion Drive

Taxi group Ola steps up expansion drive  Full Article 

Controversial Film

Controversial Film

Film on 2012 Delhi gang rape stokes debate on Indian male mindset  Full Article 

Sahara Saga

Sahara Saga

Sahara's Grosvenor House hotel in London put up for sale   Full Article 

Beef Trade

Beef Trade

Maharashtra clamps down on beef trade through new act  Full Article 

Environment Concerns

Environment Concerns

Deforestation could shift monsoons, leaving India high and dry.  Full Article 

 'Smart Cities'

'Smart Cities'

India's 'smart cities' would be stupid without disaster strategy  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

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