Facebook’s Slingshot Might Incur Wrath of Snapchat’s Patent Attorneys

Social media apps are a rage today. Most of the apps are owned by powerful tech whiz companies such as Google and Facebook. But there are quite a few popular social media apps that are privately owned. Snapchat happens to be one of them. Snapchat allows users to create pictures and short videos that can be carefully edited and shared with loved ones.



The unique aspect of Snapchat is that these pictures and videos get deleted from the system within seconds after they are seen. The popularity of Snapchat is a wave that other social media platforms have been trying to ride on for a while. Facebook in particular is hoping to create a platform similar to Snapchat that its users enjoy and “like”.

Past Attempt

In the past, Facebook has attempted to create a similar client in the form of Facebook Poke but considering not too many people have even heard about it, it might be safe to say that Facebook Poke didn’t really capture the imagination of its users. On Tuesday, Facebook released its second client on the same basic platform. The new app is called Slingshot. Snapchat’s patent attorneys might have something to say about this new app though!

Slingshot is the new app that allows users to create photos and videos that can be shared with one another with the basic understanding that this content will be short lived. However, Slingshot adds another prerequisite to the mix. Users of Slingshot will have to share something before they will be able to see what another user has shared. As compared to Snapchat, Slingshot is an app that focuses on sending content to groups rather than just individual users. But is the app different enough for Snapchat’s patent attorneys? Only time will tell.

Patent Battles

Facebook is no newbie to patent battles and dealing with patent attorneys. Their new impermanent sharing app borrows heavily from the concept of Snapchat and other lesser known apps such as Frontback and Look. The main patent in contention is likely to be Snapchat’s “Single mode visual media capture” patent. Patent attorneys who created the patent say that this patent covers.”

An electronic device includes digital image sensors to capture visual media, a display to present the visual media from the digital image sensors and a touch controller to identify haptic contact engagement, haptic contact persistence, and haptic contact release on the display. A visual media capture controller alternately records the visual media as a photograph or a video based upon an evaluation of the time period between the haptic contact engagement and the haptic contact release.”

According to Snapchat’s patent attorneys and records, this patent was first filed by the company on November 8th 2012. For those who don’t know, Facebook’s first attempt to clone Snapchat – Facebook Poke was released in December 22nd 2012. While Poke had better design basics and more features to its name, it failed where Snapchat succeeded. Their second attempt Slingshot might go either way.


Facebook has also tried the conservative approach with Snapchat by trying to acquire the company along with its patents but failed in its attempt. Snapchat’s patent attorneys have not yet commented on the new app released by Facebook, Slingshot.

Futuristic Outlook

While it is yet to be seen whether or not Snapchat will charge their patent attorneys with winning a patent infringement battle against Facebook, the company has made its futuristic outlook clear. While Facebook’s new app is contending with Snapchat as it is today, Snapchat has announced a new feature in their app that will most likely make it the most popular impermanent sharing app for tomorrow.

They have announced a collaborative timeline known as Our Story. It is needless to say that video sharing is the new big thing and Snapchat doesn’t want to miss out on being the app for the future. Facebook still has a lot of catching up to do.