Facebook has been experiencing a decrease in users from the younger demographic over the past few months, but the social network has come up with a new way to bring them back – they have released a photo and video sharing app, where users need to send a photo in order to unlock a photo sent to them. The app was released globally last month, aiming to steal some of the market share from SnapChat, notes app developer Louise Orpin. What is also clear, she adds, is that Facebook has become aware of the fact that single-purpose apps are incredibly attractive, especially among teenagers.
Chat and photo-sharing apps are the preferred method of social networking for young people, as proven by the huge popularity of SnapChat and WhatsApp, with 26 million and 500 million users respectively. Moreover, teens saw Facebook’s earlier failure to offer such options as “uncool.” Facebook is also working on a series of other single-purpose apps, replicating individual features of the network. When this is considered alongside the news that Facebook successfully purchased WhatsApp it becomes clear that this social network giant, which boasts a user base of 1.28 billion people, has no intention of letting teens go.
But how successful has Slingshot been? According to Business Insider contributor Jay Yarow it hasn’t been very successful at all. The app quickly slid down the App Store rankings in less than a month after its launch in June. Yarow blames this on an inbuilt flaw: being forced to send a photo before seeing the one received (the main feature of the app). This, he says, confuses users and makes for poor user experience. In all likelihood, though, Facebook will not stop making apps as they are clearly the future of the industry.