Facebook is rumored to be working on the development of its new video-chat app known as Slingshot, according to a new report from the Financial Times. The new app supposedly allows users to send short video messages. Slingshot is likely to be a standalone app from Facebook's popular text app Facebook Messenger.

This initiative was undertaken by Facebook soon after its efforts to acquire mobile-messaging startup, Snapchat failed in Oct 2013. This new app is considered to be an endeavor on Facebook's part to clone its rival Snapchat's messaging app. Snapchat enables users to send photos that automatically disappear after a few seconds, while in Slingshot users tap a contact's profile picture to instantly send a photo or short video, which the recipient can view only once.

Snapchat shocked much of the tech community late last year when a report in the Wall Street Journal revealed that it had turned down a $3 billion cash acquisition offer from Facebook.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg first flew out to meet Spiegel in his hometown at the end of 2012, according to a a cover story in Forbes, and proceeded to try scaring Snapchat's founders by telling them that Facebook planned to release a nearly identical app a few days later. "It was basically like, 'We're going to crush you,'" Spiegel told Forbes. That app was Facebook Poke, which proved to be a flop.

Facebook officially pulled the Facebook Poke app from the App Store earlier this month, but that doesn't mean it's done trying to beat rival Snapchat at its own messaging game. The report from the Financial Times indicates that Facebook has been working on the Slingshot app for a number of months. The app appears to do for videos what Snapchat has done for pictures… and videos too, of course.

Slingshot, which may or may not see the light of day (but if it does, might even launch as early as this month), mainly allows people to create simple video messages that they toss back and forth. The sending process allegedly mimics that of TapTalk: You're given a grid of images representing your friends (undoubtedly their Facebook profile photos), and you tap their pictures to shoot them a quick image. Tap and hold, and you'll get to record a short video that only they can watch.

Currently, Facebook is the world's largest social media platform with over 1.0 billion monthly visitors. It aims to take this number to 7.0 billion in the near future. However, to do so it will have to attract users from all age groups. How seriously is Facebook taking the issue of declining engagement among its teenage users? Stiff competition from Yahoo's Tumblr, Twitter's Vine, Kik, Pheed and Snapchat will remain a major headwind going forward. Increased usage of these apps by teenagers poses a serious threat to Facebook's leading position in the social media space. Nevertheless, we are excited about Slingshot.