After an abortive launch last week that saw it appear on Apple's App Store for around an hour before disappearing, Facebook has officially launched its self-destructing photo-messaging app Slingshot.
The app, which positions Facebook in direct competition with existing services like Snapchat, enables users to send photo and video messages that automatically delete themselves after a short period of time. Unlike Snapchat, users will have to share photos of their own before they can view ones sent to them. In addition, Slingshot includes functionality to add colour and text to photos before they are sent.
According to a blog post by the development team, "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 experiences.
"We've enjoyed using Snapchat to send each other ephemeral messages and expect there to be a variety of apps that explore this new way of sharing. With Slingshot, we saw an opportunity to create something new and different: a space where you can share everyday moments with lots of people at once".
Facebook are clearly hoping Slingshot will prove a legitimate competitor to Snapchat, which rejected its £3bn (£1.7bn) buyout offer last November.