Facebook’s tendency to brand its new applications and features with names that are already in use in the tech sector appears to have been adopted by its Instagram unit, as well, as Andrew Benton, co-founder and CEO of mobile voice app Bolt, penned a blog post in the form of a “Dear Instagram” letter to the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network over its apparent plans to launch a photo-messaging app called Bolt.
The competition between Facebook and Snapchat has extended past the mobile messaging sector and into the executive ranks, as Mike Randall, global director of Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer program, left the social network to become vice president of business and marketing partnerships for the mobile messaging application.
Reports of the demise of Facebook’s teen user base have been greatly exaggerated, at least according to Forrester Research, which reported that the social network performed quite favorably in its recent survey of 4,517 U.S. online users between the ages of 12 and 17.
The second application from Facebook Creative Labs, Slingshot, was officially released Tuesday after a brief cameo last week, and what is being billed as the social network’s answer to Snapchat is available for iPhones running iOS 7 via the iTunes App Store, and for Android devices running Jelly Bean and KitKat via Google Play.
The video-sharing application and Snapchat competitor that was first reported by Financial Times last month appears to be ready to “Slingshot” itself onto the iTunes App Store, as TechCrunch, The Verge, and sister blog Inside Facebook all caught glimpses of a listing for the new Slingshot app before Facebook began to remove it from the App Store, and AllFacebook spotted it on the App Store page for Malaysia (still live at the time of this post, with a release date of June 10).
If you can’t buy it, build something to compete with it: According to a report by Financial Times, Facebook has been working on a video-sharing application, referred to within the company as Slingshot, for several months, potentially as a competitor to Snapchat, which spurned the social network’s $3 billion-plus acquisition offer last November.
Facebook has made its focus on producing stand-alone applications more than clear in recent weeks, but two of its pre-Facebook Creative Labs efforts, Poke and Camera, are now history, as the social network has removed them from the iTunes App Store.