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4 Sad Attempts to Clone Snapchat

When imitation is more popular than innovation

Michael Cruickshank
4 Sad Attempts to Clone Snapchat© 2018 Snapchat

The so-called ephemeral messaging of Snapchat has proved to be hugely successful. In a world where we are constantly being monitored and judged not just on our ‘real’ lives but also our digital ones, these apps prove a way to maintain a sense of spontaneity. App developers know this, and have been churning out a remarkable number of Snapchat-clones in recent months. From small startups to big tech players, it looks like everybody it getting in on the game. Check out our list of the 4 saddest attempts to clone Snapchat below!

1. Slingshot

Facebook has been running scared from Snapchat for many months now. After failing to acquire the company with a multi-billion dollar buy-out offer, they went ahead and did their best to simply copy many of the main functions of the app. The end result was Slingshot, an app where users would ‘sling’ messages to each other, and only be able to see a received message, once they had sent a reply.

2. Frankly

Another Snapchat clone, Frankly was designed around creating a way for groups of friends to speak to each other - well - frankly. The end result is the perfect app for gossiping behind your friends back, with features such as retractable messaging, anonymous groups and of course auto-deleting messages.

Image: © 2014 Frankly

3. Blink

Blink is an app which again copied the same time-limited messaging capability of Snapchat. Users would receive a message, and opening it would trigger a countdown which, once expired, would delete the message for good. Yahoo seemed to think it held promise, acquiring the company in April this year. This acquisition however seemed to have been more for its talent than the app itself which is no longer available for download.

Image: © 2014 Blink

4. WindUp

Perhaps to fill the hole left by Snapchat’s absence from the the Windows Phone Store, Microsoft Research went ahead and produced their own clone, called WindUp. Released just days ago, the app allows users to send messages with a specific user-set time limit, after which a message is destroyed.

Image: © 2014 Microsoft Research

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