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Dublin: 18 °C Tuesday 30 September, 2014

A lot of companies are going out of their way to copy Snapchat

They do say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Image: Placeit

IF YOU HAVE a successful idea, it’s likely that it will be copied sooner or later. Usually in the case of apps, this involves numerous other developers copying the idea in the hope that they can capitalise upon its success.

In the case of Snapchat, quite a number of major rivals have released their own versions in recent weeks. Since it has such a hold on younger audiences, it’s no surprise that many want to get in on the action too. Here are some of the most noticeable examples out there.

Facebook
Its attempt: Slingshot

Probably the most high-profile example – especially since its previous attempt Poke failed pretty badly – Slingshot separated itself from similar attempts by only allowing you to view a photo by sending one back.

The idea was this would encourage users to send more photos and become a popular service but for now, it’s difficult to tell how successful it’s been so far.


Instagram
Its attempt: Bolt

Granted, Instagram is owned by Facebook, but since it operates as a separate entity, its inclusion here is warranted. Late last month, it launched its own private messaging service called Bolt which lets you send one-tap photos and videos.

It’s only been released in a few countries so far and like Slingshot, it’s far too early to tell whether it will be a success or a dud.

Instagram Bolt

Source: Bolt/Google Play

Microsoft
Its attempt: WindUp

Launching it today in the US, WindUp is Microsoft’s attempt to let users share photos and videos as well as audio snippets and text. You can set a time limit for your friends to view the message before it expires forever, or stick to a traditional view limit.

To be fair, Windows Phone is the only place where Snapchat doesn’t have an app released – 6snap is the closest thing users have to one – so Microsoft is really serving an audience that may be reluctant to trust third-party apps.

Although the company was said to be in talks with Snapchat recently about bringing a version to Windows Phone so who knows what role Windup will play if it happens.

WindUp

Source: WindUp/Windows Phone

Yo
Its attempt: MIRAGE

The makers of the app that is famous for only saying Yo created its own photo-sharing app recently. Mirage takes a split screen approach, the top for photos and the bottom for contacts, the interface is designed to be simple and unobtrusive, much like its cousin Yo.


Line
Its attempt: Line

The only example here that didn’t release a standalone app, the instant messaging app, which is most popular in Asia, quietly updated its iOS and Android app to allow self-destructing photos and messages.

lineapp-608x500

Source: Line/Windows Phone

Read: These Windows Phone features will prevent anyone from looking through your phone >

Read: YouTube cleans up its big screen app ahead of Android TV launch >

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