Facebook accidentally launched its long-rumoured Snapchat competitor app, Slingshot, before quickly pulling ot from the App Store.

Snapchat reportedly rebuffed Facebook’s $3 billion (£1.8bn) offer to buy the ephemeral messaging company last year, and as a result Facebook began work on a second attempt at a competitor after the failure of Facebook’s “Poke” app.

Details about the app were kept a closely guarded secret, but it appears that someone at the social network was a little too keen to release it to the world, and launched the app in the iOS App Store before its planned release.

Facebook quickly pulled the app, but that was not before a number of keen-eyed iPhone users were able to download and try out the app, which lets users send annotated videos and images that expire after a single view. The app also had a “reaction” button that recorded the reaction of the user to the message, offering them an easy way to send back the facial expression of joy or horror depending on the content.

A Facebook spokesman told The Verge:

“Earlier today, we accidentally released a version of Slingshot, a new app we’re working on. With Slingshot, you’ll be able to share everyday moments with lots of people at once. It’ll be ready soon and we’re excited for you to try it out”


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