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

Three Fools take review Slingshot’s prospects for killing Snapchat and boosting Facebook stock in the process.

Jun 24, 2014 at 10:05AM
Slingshot Milkshake

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!


Tim Beyers owns shares of Apple. The Motley Fool recommends, Apple, and Facebook. Nathan owned shares of Amazon. The Motley Fool owns shares of, Apple, and Facebook. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

4 in 5 Americans Are Ignoring Buffett's Warning

Don't be one of them.

Jun 12, 2015 at 5:01PM

Admitting fear is difficult.

So you can imagine how shocked I was to find out Warren Buffett recently told a select number of investors about the cutting-edge technology that's keeping him awake at night.

This past May, The Motley Fool sent 8 of its best stock analysts to Omaha, Nebraska to attend the Berkshire Hathaway annual shareholder meeting. CEO Warren Buffett and Vice Chairman Charlie Munger fielded questions for nearly 6 hours.
The catch was: Attendees weren't allowed to record any of it. No audio. No video. 

Our team of analysts wrote down every single word Buffett and Munger uttered. Over 16,000 words. But only two words stood out to me as I read the detailed transcript of the event: "Real threat."

That's how Buffett responded when asked about this emerging market that is already expected to be worth more than $2 trillion in the U.S. alone. Google has already put some of its best engineers behind the technology powering this trend. 

The amazing thing is, while Buffett may be nervous, the rest of us can invest in this new industry BEFORE the old money realizes what hit them.

KPMG advises we're "on the cusp of revolutionary change" coming much "sooner than you think."

Even one legendary MIT professor had to recant his position that the technology was "beyond the capability of computer science." (He recently confessed to The Wall Street Journal that he's now a believer and amazed "how quickly this technology caught on.")

Yet according to one J.D. Power and Associates survey, only 1 in 5 Americans are even interested in this technology, much less ready to invest in it. Needless to say, you haven't missed your window of opportunity. 

Think about how many amazing technologies you've watched soar to new heights while you kick yourself thinking, "I knew about that technology before everyone was talking about it, but I just sat on my hands." 

Don't let that happen again. This time, it should be your family telling you, "I can't believe you knew about and invested in that technology so early on."

That's why I hope you take just a few minutes to access the exclusive research our team of analysts has put together on this industry and the one stock positioned to capitalize on this major shift.

Click here to learn about this incredible technology before Buffett stops being scared and starts buying!

David Hanson owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway and American Express. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Berkshire Hathaway, Google, and Coca-Cola.We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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