Mark Zuckerberg Really, Really Wants to Make a Viable Snapchat Competitor

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. –REUTERS

Here’s the opening of an article from late 2012 on GigaOm:

Facebook announced in a blog post Friday that it's rolling out its app called Poke, a competitor to the popular photo-sharing app Snapchat that allows users to send photos that disappear seconds after they're sent.

And here’s the opening of an article from the Financial Times today:

Facebook is going head to head with rival Snapchat in the video-chat app market as the social networking group scrambles to win back users from the popular ephemeral messaging app.

Facebook has been working for several months on the app, known internally as Slingshot, with a simple and speedy user interface, said people familiar with its plans.

It’s deja vu all over again.

So what’s changed in 18 months? Well, Facebook closed Poke very recently, and last year was reported to have seen a $3 billion offer to buy Snapchat spurned. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, meanwhile, has grown obsessive about developing and/or buying about as many mobile apps as possible.

All of which means, apparently, that it’s time to give it another go.

The Financial Times article details some of the ways the new app will differ from Poke, which more or less directly mimicked Snapchat. That mostly involves mimicking another visual messenger called TapTalk.

In case you were wondering, apps called TapChat and SnapTalk already exist.


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