A intelligent new app known as Slingshot combines the casualness of BeReal snaps with friends-only photograph sharing, popularized by apps like Snapchat. However whereas the app’s inspirations really feel acquainted, the way in which you work together with Slingshot presents one thing distinctive. Because the title suggests, you pull down on the display screen, like pulling a slingshot, to disclose the app’s digital camera. Then, with a satisfying launch and a little bit of haptic suggestions, your candid photograph flies off the display screen and into your pals’ app, the place it arrives as a bouncing bubble.
Any such interplay feels new and contemporary, and provides Slingshot a little bit of that dopamine rush you may expertise in different apps if you refresh your feed to see new content material. Besides on this case, your slingshot photograph is distributed all over the world within the hopes of receiving one in return from your pals.
The brand new app was designed by Tommy Searle, who, after graduating from the College of Michigan, recruited pals to work on a mindfulness journaling app known as Wellnest. The app launched on the App Retailer in January 2021 and shortly after the group hosted a pre-round to spice up their efforts. Nevertheless, after six months of promoting Wellnest licenses to completely different universities, the group determined they wished to create one thing extra consumer-oriented.
Over the previous two and a half years, the group has launched 5 completely different client apps, together with a Reddit shopper known as Sideline and a well-liked iMessage extension known as Cutouts for taking images and reacting together with your face, amongst others. With Cutouts, Searle notes, that they had the chance to lift extra funds, however he refused to take action.
“I did not see a world the place an iMessage extension was going to be a large enough enterprise to essentially validate that funding,” he says. As a substitute, Searle continued to make use of the preliminary funds to create different apps that he hopes to develop: “apps which might be social and that join us in new methods or current new technique of connecting on our telephones,” she notes.
That now contains Slingshot, a easy, well-designed client social app that shortly takes you thru the onboarding course of to validate your cellphone quantity and provides the app the mandatory permissions to entry the digital camera and your contacts and ship notifications. (Searle notes that the app processes cellphone numbers earlier than they depart your gadget, so it solely compares hashes, not precise contact data, to match you with pals.)
As soon as setup is full, you’ll be able to add pals and begin sending them images everytime you need. There isn’t a push notification reminder like on BeReal that requires you to publish at a sure time.
The truth is, the app’s digital camera mechanism is so easy that it is nearly stunning if you first use it. There’s little time to pose or body the photograph: you merely pull again on the display screen and launch to snap the photograph and ship it flying.
Searle says he began engaged on the app simply six weeks in the past.
“I do not know the place or how I received the concept to go right down to reveal the digital camera,” he says. “I bear in mind drawing it in my Notepad at some point and I used to be actually on this feeling of with the ability to ship one thing immediately and the concept of dropping it to take a photograph and sending it immediately… I felt prefer it had some components of BeReal. and Snapchat and in addition Cutouts, with round photographs.”
The enjoyment of the app is just not one thing that’s solely out there to the sender. As a recipient of pictures with slingshots, balls… or marbles? — bounces throughout the display screen after which piles up. You may contact them to disclose the photograph after which it disappears. Repeat viewing is just not allowed.
When utilizing Slingshot, you’ll be able to select to ship your Slingshot photograph to “everybody” (the default) or you’ll be able to select a number of particular pals out of your checklist to ship it to.
The app launched on the App Retailer is basically a beta model that Searle now intends to develop additional. He is toying with concepts like with the ability to publish movies or textual content messages. Regardless of its similarities to different apps, Searle believes the app will enchantment to highschool or faculty college students as a result of it focuses on capturing issues within the second, not simply the second that BeReal specifies. And it is quicker than utilizing Snapchat, he factors out.
“You are flattening and releasing and it is despatched immediately. So it is quicker to get one thing from my cellphone to another person’s cellphone utilizing Slingshot than it’s on Snap,” Searle says.
If the app takes off, Slingshot may monetize with paid upgrades that might enable customers to prioritize their finest pals on the app by placing them on the entrance of the carousel, for instance.
Like Wellnest, the startup raised $750,000 from the Development Fund, a fund that features many former TikTok executives, together with angels like Morning Brew’s Austin Rief and Turner Novak.
Slingshot, now the only real founder (different members have since left Wellnest), was constructed along with founding engineer Sakun Acharige.
At the moment, Slingshot is free to obtain solely on iOS. An Android model can be created provided that the app takes off.