Snapchat: Puberty Over, Drama Ensues

by / 5 Comments / 610 View / August 3, 2014

[section_title title=part2]

It’s called Slingshot.  And that’s not all: in terms of being a Snapchat competitor, it isn’t alone.

slingshot

Slingshot features an interface adaptable to multiple devices

The idea of competitive alternates to mobile apps isn’t a radical one in the slightest.  Many come and fade away after a major player has taken hold of the market.  But Slingshot was created by a team from the massive Facebook itself.  Curiously, it has a different general design, allowing users to align “slings” (or images received/sent) from friends with their own on their screen, creating image “mashups.”  The system has been reviewed as somewhat confusing with its inability to carry forth a normal conversation with someone due to the non-sequitor nature it sports.  But Facebook reportedly fixed that bug a few days ago.  And unlike Snapchat, the images do not automatically delete, drawing a major difference between the two.

It may be premature to say this, but the launch appears to be failing.  Especially coming from a corporation like Facebook, it would seem reasonable to expect a constant growth in app downloads over time.  But the popularity of the app use and downloads is steadily dwindling.  Why?  Well for starters, Facebook barely publicized this new creation.

I, personally, think this is almost intentional.

Facebook appears to be experimenting with a Snapchat alternate, playing with the idea of creating a similar app that just doesn’t delete the images like Snapchat.  Broadcasting the initiative would be counteractive to its test run; if Facebook decided to abandon Slingshot down the road, it would only add power to the perceived Snapchat dominance in this tech sector.  And one key piece of evidence seems to prove that this may as well been the strategy.

The logo released by Bolt

The logo released by Bolt

In 2012, Facebook bought the massive photo sharing social network, Instagram.  And less than a week ago, Instagram launched Bolt, a photo sharing messenger application.

That’s right.  Take two: a new Snapchat competitor.

Two Snapchat alternates, launched barely months apart by Facebook owned entities – almost seems to scream that this is a weird multi-beta test to find the best alternatative to Snapchat’s global dominance of photo sharing.

Three things to know about Bolt: first, it was launched in only three countries (New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa).  Second, it is being praised as “wicked fast” by Instagram itself.  And lastly, Bolt uses a very unorthodox interface.  Instead of connecting over Facebook or other media platforms, your contacts are pulled directly from your address book.  Twenty contacts to be precise.  Bolt is promoting the personal aspect of photo sharing by only limiting conversations with one person.  So in terms of the mass multi-person stories that are offered by Snapchat, Bolt has no similar alternate.

A Sleek Interface has been adopted for Bolt

A Sleek Interface has been adopted for Bolt

Yet the limited features on Bolt are being embraced by the Bolt community.  The interface requires very few clicks, allowing you to take the picture and hit the bubble of a friend’s profile picture to instantly send the image.  It has also some very fun features such as undoing a message by shaking the phone.  There are also some aesthetically beautiful features for the camera.  But nuances aside, Bolt and Snapchat live in the same vein.  While this beta run isn’t being conducted in Facebook/Instagram’s resident nation, the United States, it is a move that indicates that the social media conglomerate seriously may want to replace Snapchat.

With two new competitors, Snapchat remaining strong, and new talks about potential offers for Spiegel’s company, Snapchat’s puberty may be over. However, its drama in the tech field is just beginning.  Can multiple apps of the same sort co-exist?  Possibly.  Will Snapchat continue to prevail over Slingshot?  Based on the data so far, it’s likely.   But can Bolt make Snapchat a ghost of the past?  Only time will tell.

 

 

References:

“Facebook Slingshot’s First Update Makes It Conversational With Reactions To Reactions | TechCrunch.” TechCrunch. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2014.

“Instagram Launches Snapchat Competitor ‘Bolt’ in Select Markets, US Not Included.” Instagram Launches Snapchat Competitor ‘Bolt’ in Select Markets, US Not Included. N.p., n.d. Web. 03 Aug. 2014.

Reeves, Jeff. “Will Facebook Buy Snapchat for $10 Billion? (FB) | InvestorPlace.” InvestorPlace RSS. N.p., 1 Aug. 2014. Web. 03 Aug. 2014.

Sanders, Brian . “Facebook Outages Cost $20,000 Per Minute | TechFaster.” TechFaster. N.p., 2 Aug. 2014. Web. 4 Aug. 2014. <http://www.techfaster.com/facebook-outages-cost-20000-per-minute/>.

Shontell, Alyson. “Snapchat CEO Reveals His Emails With Mark Zuckerberg But Told Forbes A Slightly Different Story.” Business Insider. Business Insider, Inc, 06 Jan. 2014. Web. 03 Aug. 2014.

“Snapchat Could Be the Latest Startup to Reach a $10 Billion Dollar Valuation.” Los Angeles Times. Los Angeles Times, n.d. Web. 01 Aug. 2014.

  • Josh Buckley

    Meh. After a couple of pages, all that I seem to have gathered is some obvious information (Snapchat has been criticized), some less obvious information (Evan Spiegel doesn’t want to sell Snapchat), and some irrelevant information (there are other apps trying to compete but failing, and they both lack fundamental features of Snapchat so they can barely be classified as competitors). Other than that, from a writing perspective, there was some awkward phrasing. “I, personally, think this is almost intentional” (in reference to Facebook’s relative lack of advertising Slingshot) doesn’t make much sense and is just a cop-out. Something is pretty much intentional or not, especially when talking about a company’s actions. The only way Facebook’s advertising campaign (or lack thereof) could be almost intentional is if they somehow accidentally advertised too much or too little, and did nothing to rectify that difference. Also, I never quite understood what Snapchat’s “puberty” meant in this context, some clarification about that would have helped. All in all, an okay article, I learned some things, not much analysis though. I give it 4.5/10.

    • Josh Fuckley

      And you, my friends, are the definition of an a$$h0le.

      Learned about 2 new apps. Good enough for me. Analysis is fine and one sentence is one sentence. Plus, not everyone knows abotu Snapchat’s past like you do. it’d be awk if the article didn’t address it and just assumed we were all snapchat geniuses

      • Josh Ugley

        I agree that Josh Buckley is being mean but you, Mr. Fuckley, are a whole new definition of mean, son

        • Josh Pretty

          You are all so mean to one another! JUST ACCEPT EACH OTHER AND ALL BE FRIENDS <3 <3 <3 ps im da besssssssssssss

      • Josh Buckley

        I do agree that I can sometimes come across as abrasive or harsh, but that’s the way that I try to provide the most honest feedback. I hold writers to a very high standard, and I thought that this article was a little bellow average, and I voiced that opinion. Not every article can be great or groundbreaking, and I didn’t think that this one was.