We all have seen Facebook’s persistent efforts in recent years to try to beat Snapchat in the picture and video messaging app race. In December 2012, the social networking giant unveiled the Poke app, which allowed users to send instant messages, photos, or videos that vanished after ten seconds at most. Two years later, in May 2014, the company pulled the plug on the lackluster app. It was said that the app was developed within 12 days only, which gave the impression that Facebook was not at all serious about Poke. Then in June of that same year, Facebook’s Creative Labs introduced Slingshot with the same ephemeral element of Snapchat: all of the photos and videos you sent through the app could be easily deleted. But it was ill-fated as well, after Facebook decided to shutter the app in December of last year along with other Creative Labs apps.
Now it seems Facebook is far from throwing in the towel after all when it comes to beating Snapchat. The Menlo Park titan has built another Snapchat clone called Flash, according to a report from Recode. While the app is no different from Poke and Slingshot, it is special in the sense that Facebook created it specifically for emerging markets. Facebook’s team tasked with building apps for developing countries has reportedly developed Facebook Flash. The app takes no more than 25MB in storage space, compared to Snapchat for Android that is about 70MB in size. Flash even works in remote areas where Internet connectivity is limited, meaning users in underserved countries, like India or Brazil, can send photos and videos in a snap even with weak connection.
The debut of Facebook Flash is just the latest in the social networking firm’s attempt to surpass Snapchat in the developing nations. Most recently, it tried to acquire Snow, dubbed as the “Asia’s Snapchat,” from South Korean firm Navver, though the deal eventually flopped. With the launch of Flash, Facebook is increasingly ramping up efforts to take the lion’s share in the ephemeral messaging app market. Is it something that Snapchat should worry about? It has yet to be seen. At the moment, it remains unclear which countries can already download the app other than Brazil.