My Thoughts on Technology and Jamaica: Facebook's Creative Labs Division debuts Slingshot – The Paper Man need Friends Nearby + Firechat + Group Mini-Games = Original Design

Monday, June 23, 2014

Facebook's Creative Labs Division debuts Slingshot – The Paper Man need Friends Nearby + Firechat + Group Mini-Games = Original Design

“With Slingshot, we wanted to build something where everybody is a creator and nobody is just a spectator. When everyone participates, there's less pressure, more creativity and even the little things in life can turn into awesome shared”

Slingshot designer Joey Flynn of Facebook's Creative Labs division commenting on their latest effort against Snapchat dubbed Slingshot that was launched on Wednesday June 18th 2014

Like Duh-uh, Big Blue Facebook and Snapchat are at it again!

Facebook is like, going hard at Snapchat yet again, Folks! And it’s not a revamp of Poke, their earlier failure as chronicled in my blog article entitled “Facebook gets Mission Impossible serious with Poke as the Snapchat bringing “Sexting” back”.

This time their latest weapon of choice against Snapchat is not a Poke, but a Slingshot as stated in the article “Facebook launches new image messaging app Slingshot”, published 18 June 2014 Last updated at 04:23 GMT, BBC News and “New Facebook app forces you to trade messages”, published June 18, 2014 -- Updated 1342 GMT (2142 HKT) By Brandon Griggs, CNN.
Slingshot is the brainchild of designer Joey Flynn of Facebook's Creative Labs division as per his own words in “Q&A With Facebook's Joey Flynn: The Lead Slingshot Designer Wants To Change How 90% Of Us Use Social Networks”, published JUN. 19, 2014, 5:58 PM by ALYSON SHONTELL, Business Insider.

Facebook Slingshot is only available to Americans on Apple iOS and Google Android (specifically JellyBean and KitKat). Apparently as the rest of us are on a lower tier than Americans, we have to wait awhile until the guinea-pig testing phase using Americans is over before we have the option to try out this app.

Good thing they got rid of Poke last week as described in “Facebook  Slingshot: Watch Out Snapchat”, published 6/19/2014 10:00:45 AM by Kristin Burnham, Informationweek, as it wasn’t doing very well. Doesn’t help much that Facebook’s attempts to purchase Snapchat thus far have been rebuffed; at least now they have the option to make their own version of this ephemeral fleeting messenger

Facebook's Creative Labs Division – The Paper Man are the Force behind Slingshot

Developed by Facebook's Creative Labs division the same dudes that brought you Facebook Paper as described in my Geezam blog article entitled “Pew Research posits 3 in 10 get their News via Facebook as Paper set to go live”, it works exactly like Snapchat. It better, otherwise no-body’s using it, for sure man!

It differs however in one aspect; the messages once sent can only be viewed if you choose to send one of your own. No spectators here, as for participants who’ve got the Facebook Slingshot App, it all has to come off! Also no Facebook account is required to sign-up to Slingshot, an indication that Facebook’s learned their lesson from Poke.

This means no more gawking at a girl’s still pubescent doppelganger or otherwise scantily clad nude photo or your man, whether you love him or not as noted in my blog article entitled “Snapchat now racks up 350 million shares of self-deleting snaps per day - Milennial Girl’s Litmus Test for Friends and future boyfriends”.

Instead, on receiving a message it’s heavily pixilated and un-viewable. To clear away the haze, you have to sling your friend a photo or video, after which the picture you were sent is unlocked for your viewing pleasure….only to self-destruct almost instantaneously. Annotations are another fun differentiator from Snapchat. So too is the option to spam your friends with pictures of you in the buff.

Thus to see more, you gotta sling more. Something tells me this is really a recipe for disaster……

Facebook Slingshot – “Sexting” just got a boost…..if you’re interested

So what about it? Does Slingshot sound like it’s on target? Or is it just hit and miss, pun intended of course?

First off is the slinging action. Not fond of it, as it’s only going to matter if you have a friend that’s into the back-and-forth interactivity on IM (Instant Messaging) as explained in “How Popular Will Facebook's Slingshot App Become?”, published 6/20/2014 @ 12:32PM, Forbes. Truth be told, unless your friend of a similar mindset, you’ll be staring at a pixilated picture for quite awhile before you get a response.

Then there is the mass pictured sending feature, which is basically exploding spam. This might not work out well, especially if your friend decided that keeping that silly picture of you is a worth more than their friendship with you as explained in my blog article entitled “Snapchat Leaked Facebook page shut down but Snapchat Leaked website still live - Snapchat's Mission Impossible Ghost Protocol is really Much Ado About Nothing”.

At least the drama won’t spread to Facebook, as to sign-up to Slingshot, a Facebook account isn’t required. So it won’t reach onto Facebook that easily, unless your friend has malicious intent and the perspicuity to bother himself to upload the screenshot of your picture to Facebook in the first place.

Facebook Slingshot– Friends Nearby + Firechat + Group Mini-Games = Original Design

Again, as I’ve pointed out more times than not, it’s all about the friends that you keep and what you choose to post, a decision with which my handy guide on Social Media in my blog article entitled “FaceBook now gives Teenagers the power to make Public Posts - How making everything Public on Facebook improves their Advertising Revenue” can assist you to make.

With so much of the design plagiarized from Snapchat and sporting a borrowed logo from Taptalk as described in “Investors Circle Taptalk After Facebook Clone Rumors”, published May 20, 2014 by Mike Butcher, Techcrunch this isn’t going to catch on much or stand out at all.

As a standalone app, it’ll be some time before we can assess the success of Slingshot among the selfie-obsessed Teenagers (ages 13 to 17) and Millennials (ages 18 to 28).  But straight off the bat, I’d recommend it be merged into Friends Nearby as described in my blog article entitled “Facebook launches Nearby Friends feature - WhatsApp VoIP and Oculus Rift VR Wearable Computing Takes flight as FB look towards the Future in the Year of the Horse” so as to add a gaming–like elements to the mix.

Sending messages in a new way means using a different communication medium, not cloning another app!

If Slingshot had Geo-Location threads in its design as well as a dash of Open Garden’s FireChat Bluetooth powered P2P (Peer-to-Peer) Networking as described in my blog article entitled “Open Garden's FireChat is a Viral Hit - Mesh Networking is Back as Apple’s Multi-peer Connectivity Network reintroduces Napster-esque P2P Mesh Networks for Millennials”, it could compete against Snapchat.

Throw in a few solidly built mini-games that you can play with your friends via invitation over Slingshot, and the idea of Slingshot can blossom. Moving from being a clone to an original is what Facebook can achieve if they integrate it into Friends Nearby, add a dash of Open Garden’s Firechat P2P (Peer-to-Peer) Networking and throw in some Group-Games, all of which would make it unique enough for the rest of the world to want to own a Facebook Slingshot.

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