Facebook’s new Slingshot app is now available in the App Store and the Google Play Store for iOS and Android, respectively. The app, for now, seems to have been made available to users in the United States only so if you live elsewhere, you’re in for a slightly longer wait. Before we get down to our review of the app, we’re going to talk a little about privacy and what using Slingshot means. The app itself is indeed the Snapchat competitor eveeryone thought it would be and with a large company like Facebook behind it, the design is well up to par.
If you ever thought you would never, ever, in a million years give Facebook your phone number then you can say good-bye to that commitment or not use Slingshot. Despite it connecting to your Facebook account to find your friends, you have to first add your phone number to your account and then use it to sign in to Slingshot. The app will check if you’re using that number on your phone and your SIM card must be inserted in the phone you’re using.
How It Works
You can record and share videos and photos with friends who are currently using Slingshot. Once you’re in, post sign up, you can take your first picture. Slingshot holds pictures ransom to your friends; unless they send one too, they can’t see what you’ve shared. Each photo has a pixelated overlay so your recipient doesn’t get to see the photo. Also, the new word for sharing is ‘Sling’. It’s possibly an attempt on Facebook’s part to turn Sling into a verb, much like Snapchat or Google is one. You take a photo, or record a video, the app works with both the front and back camera. The front camera mode is duly labelled Selfie. You can add text to a photo and draw on it if you like. Once you’re done, tap Use.
You now ‘Sling’ the photo to a friend and if none of your friends are using the app just yet, you can share it with (drum roll please) the Slingshot Crew. Basically someone to give an app a go with until your friends join in on the fun. The Slingshot Crew, has been added by Facebook to get you to use the app.
Slingshot has a nice ‘Reaction’ feature which is basically you sending a photo or video reply in response to one you’ve received. It’s a nice way to follow your photo conversation. The photo that you received appears in the first half of the screen while you’re reaction photo appears below it so that you and your recipient know what the reaction was to.
You can invite friends to use the app over SMS, and the app can search your Facebook friends to let you know who is using Slingshot. On a side note, I tried the app out on an Android phone, a Nexus 5 to be exact and it was ridiculous how much the phone heated up. Even compared to how much the phone heats up when I take a panorama using the Google Camera app and the fish-eye mode, this app really turned the heat up on this phone.