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Faceslap: Facebook swipes at Snapchat with "Slingshot" video messaging app

Facebook has found the latest pie to stick its engorged finger into, reportedly readying a new short video messaging app, "Slingshot," to rival Snapchat.

Back in 2012, the social media giant launched its first attack on Snapchat's picture messaging service with the introduction of "Poke," a messaging app that went largely unnoticed by the rest of the world. Having killed that unsuccessful project earlier this month, the Financial Times is now reporting that Facebook has a new Snapchat assassination attempt up its sleeve dubbed Slingshot.

According to "unnamed sources," the as yet unconfirmed mobile app will boast a simple user interface similar to Tap Talk. Through the app users can tap and hold a contact's profile picture to send a photo or a short video that can only be viewed once by the recipient.

Slingshot clearly seeks to take advantage of a growing preoccupation with privacy in texts, images and videos. Snapchat kick started this trend by promising users the ability to send photos that could disappear as soon as they were received, though it has recently faced criticism over falsely claiming that its messages would completely self-destruct.

Whilst sources report that Facebook's Slingshot could launch as early as the end of this month, it is still unofficial with the social media giant refusing to confirm or deny the rumour.

Clearly, Facebook has its beady eye set on mobile messaging. Back in February, Zuckerberg's company forked out a whopping £11.39 billion on WhatsApp, a princely sum that shows how serious Facebook is about bolstering its communication features. Still we'll need to wait and see whether this latest development is official, or just snatched gossip overheard by the cleaner in the Californian company's elevator.