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The Quest to Kill Snapchat Won’t Mean Much for Facebook Stock

Slingshot relies on a gimmick to boost usage, but will it also boost Facebook stock? Credit: Facebook.

When Facebook (NASDAQ: FB  ) revealed Slingshot, its would-be Snapchat killer, it came with a demand: send a photo message if you want to see what your friends sent you. Will the feature be a boon to the fledgling network, and by extension, Facebook stock? Should on-the-fence investors buy into Slingshot's promise?

Guest host Alison Southwick puts these questions to Fool analysts Nathan Alderman and Tim Beyers in this  episode of 1-Up On Wall Street, The Motley Fool's web show in which we talk about the big-money names behind your favorite movies, toys, video games, comics, and more.

The feature in question is called reply to-unlock and requires that users "sling" new messages to others before seeing what else they've received. To Nathan, the strategy amounts to holding data hostage in hopes of getting more users to post content. (Photos and videos, in this case.)

He doesn't see it working out well for Facebook. Instead, he likens Slingshot to's (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) efforts with the Fire Phone, which uses Firefly to lure users into buying more stuff. As Daring Fireball's John Gruber put it in a recent blog post: "If they give you phones in hell, this is the sort of app that's on them."

Tim agrees that reply to-unlock is a gimmick. But he also understands why Facebook introduced the feature. Too often, messages go into the ether and languish there. Sometimes a reply never comes. With Slingshot, participants are encouraged (OK, obligated) to engage in and admittedly simplistic act of digital dialogue. The resulting data should lead to better advertising while fueling Facebook's fast-growing mobile business, which was responsible for 79% of overall traffic last quarter.

What's more, Tim says Slingshot isn't much different than other efforts to gamify the digital experience. Foursquare started as a game and to this day remains a growing, successful location-based social network with long-term potential.

Now it's your turn. Click the video to watch as Alison puts Nathan and Tim on the spot, and then leave a comment to let us know your take on Facebook stock at current prices. You can also follow us on Twitter for more segments and regular geek news updates!

Leaked: Apple's next smart device (warning, it may shock you)
Apple recently recruited a secret-development "dream team" to guarantee its newest smart device was kept hidden from the public for as long as possible. But the secret is out, and some early viewers are claiming its everyday impact could trump the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad. In fact, ABI Research predicts 485 million of this type of device will be sold per year. But one small company makes Apple's gadget possible. And its stock price has nearly unlimited room to run for early-in-the-know investors. To be one of them, and see Apple's newest smart gizmo, just click here!


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Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

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Tim Beyers

Tim Beyers first began writing for the Fool in 2003. Today, he's an analyst for Motley Fool Rule Breakers and Motley Fool Supernova. At, he covers disruptive ideas in technology and entertainment, though you'll most often find him writing and talking about the business of comics. Find him online at or send email to For more insights, follow Tim on Google+ and Twitter.

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