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Slingshot review: Facebook takes on Snapchat

A new option to share photos and videos with contacts, but is Slingshot any good?

Created by Facebook, this new app lets you share photos and short videos with friends. Since the sent items disappear for good when swiped away by the recipient, there are obvious comparisons with Snapchat. However, Slingshot operates on an entirely different basis. Rather than simply viewing friends’ sent photos at will, you only get to see a pixelated version – to view the picture proper you first need to sling your own message to the sender. It’s an intriguing idea that encourages users to participate in a two-way process rather than just sitting back and viewing – like a lot of non-posting folks on Facebook do, indeed. It takes some getting used to the concept, but once a ‘conversation’ is initiated there’s soon a natural flow to it as photos – and reactions (more about that later) – are sent back and forth.

Upon launching the application for the first time, a text confirmation code is sent to
your phone number – this should all work automatically, but there’s an option to enter the code manually if not.

You then get an option to search your contacts and Facebook friends for any Slingshot users. You can also send an invite via any social network or messaging service. Once ready to roll, you’re presented with a camera view; using the front or rear camera, either tap the shutter button for a photo or hold it to record a short video. You can then add a text caption and even draw on it, choosing a colour and thickness.

Finally, choose which friends to share it with – or just hit Select All. Of course, they won’t be able to see it properly until they’ve slung something back. When you unlock another user’s picture, you can also react to it by taking a selfie (or other shot) that appears below the original.

For more reviews on the latest Android apps, make sure to check out the latest issue of Android Magazine.