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Facebook copies snapchat, again. Creates another crappy Snapchat clone, again.

Does Mark Zuckerberg have a hard on for Snapchat or what? I thought that FB gave up trying to copy every popular app out their and is now focused on buying up competitors for $19 billion dollars. Unfortunately, for all of us, Facebook still believes that they can actually innovate and create things of value. What is especially disturbing is FB’s Snapchat fixation.

Remember Facebook’s first Snapchat clone Poke, perhaps the biggest bomb this side of Color.  Introducing Slingshot, Snapchat clone 2, the sequel. CNet describe the ‘game changing’ innovation that will make Slingshot the next…Snapchat:

One twist, though, is that unlike most other apps, Slingshot requires users to share something before they can view any images from others. That twist — along with a focus on sending to groups, rather than to individuals — is what Facebook hopes will broaden Slingshot’s appeal.

“We’re not a messaging app,” said Joey Flynn, a product designer on the Slingshot project. Flynn said the dynamic of requiring users to share something each time they want to see everything their friends have sent since they last used the app has the potential to encourage people to upload more often and to be more creative about what they share.

Slingshot’s release marks the second time Facebook has attempted to encroach on the turf of other so-called ephemeral apps.

Facebook tried to make waves in messaging back in 2012 when it released an app called Poke, which played off an early messaging feature in Facebook. The Poke app more directly emulated Snapchat’s service by offering users the chance to have the image self-destruct after 1, 3, 5, or 10 seconds. Facebook quietly removed the Poke app last month.

Do these hipsters actually hear the words that come out of their mouths?  ‘The dynamic of requiring users to share something each time they want to see everything their friends have sent since they last used the app has the potential to encourage people to upload more often and to be more creative about what they share.’ 

Let’s explain this to all the logical, human beings on planet earth, not living in the black box dubbed Silicon Valley. Slingshot is an app that lets you read a message only if you reply back to that message. WTF.

I need to reply to a message in order to read the initial message.  This could very well be the stupidest idea this side of Facebook Poke, Home, Beacon…oh brother, please make FB stop trying to be innovative, it’s just too painful to watch.

Even Facebook friendly news site Business Insider hated the app…and these guys love Facebook.

As of this writing, Slingshot, Facebook’s new photo messaging app designed to compete with Snapchat, launched less than 24 hours ago. I’ve already deleted it from my phone.

Let’s ignore the complaints about the confusing layout and controls. And the fact that Facebook only seems to be able to clone popular apps instead of dreaming up new ideas on its own.

The core of the app, the way you share photos with your friends, is fundamentally flawed.

If someone sends you a photo in Slingshot, you can’t see it until you send a photo back to that person. It’s like responding to an email without reading the contents. Last night, I ended up sending photos of my couch, my living room wall, and my eyeball to a few friends just so I could see what they sent me. Eventually, I got stuck in a bizarre selfie loop with a friend because all we wanted to do was see the original photo each of us had sent.

Slingshot doesn’t reduce the friction in communication, it throws up a giant wall by forcing you to blindly respond to messages before you view them.

Those forced responses feel like a cheap way for Facebook to artificially boost the engagement in Slingshot without adding any real value to users. It might give the app a nice boost at first, but I suspect people will grow bored of the game very quickly, just like I did.

Ouch! Let’s all hope that Zuck finally gets over his Snapchat fetish and focuses on his core business…clicking Like buttons to give girls a false sense of validation.

References:

http://www.businessinsider.com/slingshot-2014-6#ixzz35RVUzJMn

http://www.cnet.com/news/facebook-pokes-at-snapchat-again-with-new-app-slingshot/

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