Facebook’s Snapchat-like Slingshot app briefly launches but then disappears

Facebook launched another standalone app today, called Slingshot, though it is no longer live in Apple's App Store.

The social network is apparently unfazed by the fact it just shelved both the Poke and Camera apps, because it went back to the drawing board and came up with another idea that could be a potential hit. Or so it hopes. Slingshot lets you briefly send photos and videos to friends. Those messages almost immediately disappear however, meaning Slingshot is a lot like the wildly popular Snapchat app. It even has options for drawing and captioning.

The new app launched on the App Store earlier today, but only for a few countries. Facebook promptly pulled Slingshot and then released a statement to admit it "accidentally released a version" of the app that enables people to" share everyday moments with lots of people at once". The company said the app would be "ready soon" and available for all App Store customers to try out.

Facebook's monthly mobile active users are growing every day. It has therefore previously said it would take advantage of its booming mobile audience by introducing more apps in 2014. The company plans to launch a suite of standalone apps in 2014, with some rumours suggesting they will have a focus on contacts and calendar functions. It already released an app called Paper earlier this year, which focuses on news, and now it has Slingshot in the works.

READ: Hands-on: Paper by Facebook (iPhone) review‏

You will notice Slingshot has many Snapchat-like features. That's not too shocking however, considering Facebook reportedly tried to buy Snapchat several times. Snapchat, a two-year-old mobile app, supposedly once rejected a $3 billion all-cash bid from Facebook. That said, Slingshot is a little different from Snapchat. It has a feature, for instance, that requires you to send a message to a friend before you can open that friend's message.

Slingshot also has features that allow you to check in with friends, tap a "React" button when viewing a message, etc. The gallery below has a few press screenshots of the upcoming app; check them out to explore other highlighted Slingshot features.