With the Flash app for Android devices you can do pretty much anything you’d do with Snapchat: share moments with friends, take selfies, send videos, chat, all with fun effects & face masks. The difference is that it’s much lighter & faster, so it can be easily used in places with poor data coverage or when you’re cost conscious about data use.
Flash is being rolled out in select emerging markets & is currently known to be available in Brazil, but Facebook isn’t telling where else, except that it’ll make its way through South America & Asia before going elsewhere. If you want to try it out before it officially comes to your area, you can overcome this restriction by manually downloading the app from places like APKMirror.
Like Snapchat, Flash is also an ephemeral/stand-alone messaging app, in that videos & pictures that you share with friends disappear after a while. Likewise, it also has a gamut of interesting effects like face-distorting masks.
Since Flash was developed by Facebook’s growth team, it’s aimed at emerging markets, where people are often limited in their access to WiFi or high bandwidth 4G data, so that connectivity is generally weak in these places. Facebook boasts that Flash is less than 25 MB in size, compared to the 54 MB that Snapchat takes up. Flash is also less resource-intensive as far as your device goes, so you should be able to get by with a cheaper phone.
It’s worth remembering that Facebook has already targeted this market in the past without success. Facebook’s recently purchased Instagram app has introduced “Stories”, which apes Snapchat’s video features, & previously they tried with apps like Poke & Slingshot, both of which failed to win market share.
4 years ago, Facebook even offered US $3 billion to Snapchat to outright acquire the company, & was turned down. It’s clear that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is very interested in growing among millennials & teens, the youngest crowd of social media users, where Snapchat is very strong.
Since Snapchat isn’t particularly well established in emerging markets yet, Facebook is hoping that it can establish a beachhead there for youngsters.
Flash is available for free, although with geographic restrictions, on the Android Play Store here.