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Facebook to take on Snapchat with competing app this year, says report

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Facebook Messenger iOS
Facebook Messenger iOS

Facebook will soon launch a new app designed to compete with photo-sharing service Snapchat head-on, according to an AllThingsD report. Snapchat's unique selling point is the ability to set a Mission Impossible-style time limit on your photo messages, ensuring that your chat partner can only see the shared images for a few seconds (their phone's screenshot functionality notwithstanding). While AllThingsD doesn't have a name or platform for the new Facebook app, it's said to be set for launch in the next couple of weeks.

If true, the app would follow in the footsteps of other standalone products from Facebook like Messenger and Camera. It wouldn't be an unprecedented move, then, but we're unsure of the thinking behind releasing a standalone photo-sharing app when Messenger or Camera could theoretically serve a similar purpose. It's also extremely unlikely that Facebook would allow its users to be essentially anonymous, which is one of Snapchat's key features. Then again, with privacy concerns a constant thorn in Facebook's side, it may do the world's largest social network well to place a security-focused service in the spotlight.