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.
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.
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