Facilitating Cyberbullying? Facebook’s new Slingshot App
As some of you may have seen a while back, Facebook accidentally let slip they were releasing a SnapChat rival called Slingshot. Or was it a planned PR stunt………? We may never know.
Regardless of the ‘slip’ the full app is now available for download globally. Surprise Surprise, there was a massive up take of the App on it’s US release and as such the global release was very soon to follow. The App is very similar to SnapChat and it promises the ‘self destruction’ of messages once they are sent. The main difference though is that in order to receive your message you have to ‘pay’. But what they mean by that, is you have to send an image/video of your own to see what has been sent to you. This in the developers way of incentivising people to get involved and sets it apart from SnapChat as no one is allowed to just be a spectator.
What some of you may not be aware of is that this is actually Facebook’s second attempt at creating SnapChat. A while back they released an App called Poke, which was basically a rubbish version of SnapChat. Slingshot is their updated attempt. It joins the list of many other chat apps on the market. Offering much of the same ‘anonymous’ capabilities as the others.
But beware. Just like with SnapChat, the images and videos are never 100% deleted. SnapChat has SnapBack which allows screenshots to be taken, and as I hope many of you know, nothing is ever 100% anonymous. What is interesting though from an App from Facebook is that you don’t actually need a Facebook account to use it! It uses the same model as the Facebook acquired Whatsapp where it looks at your contact phone numbers to make connections. There is an option to connect it to your Facebook account if you have one of course and by doing so uploading your contact to Facebook servers – so you can more easily find them of course. Not because Facebook is trying to build the biggest most accurate database of demographic data there is. That is a fight Facebook and Google will continue for the foreseeable future.
As with any App on the market that is aimed at social media users, we highly advise you to be careful about how you use it. To coin our mantra – STOP | THINK | POST – if you wouldn’t say it or show it to someone off line, don’t do it online. Your online reputation is how you will be judged moving forwards, so think about what you are putting out there.