Instagram launches ephemeral messaging app Bolt just in 3 countries

Instagram launches ephemeral messaging app Bolt just in 3 countries

Instagram has launched its ephemeral messaging app named “Bolt” for iOS and Android. The app will enable users to send photos or videos to their friends quickly via one tap. After the message has been read, it will automatically disappear just like the messages on SnapChat.

To use this app you only need to sign up with a phone number – you don’t need a Facebook or an Instagram account

You could tap on a friend’s face to instantly snap and send a photo or long-press on your friend’s face to send a video. If you have accidentally did a “Bolt” you could simply shake your phone to undo the action!

However, currently the app is available only in 3 countries – New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

Ephemeral messaging apps are gaining popularity recently – we have Slingshot launched by Facebook recently and then there’s SnapChat already. Taptalk is a similar photo and video messaging app that is based on the ephemeral principle.

Unlike with Slingshot where you can send photos/videos to many people at a time, with Bolt you can only send one message to one person at a time. This could be annoying for some but it just serves the purpose – sharing a photo very quickly via one tap and with one person!

Even though Bolt overlaps very closely with Slingshot and Taptalk, Bolt will still have its own space according to a spokesperson who says that Instagram wasn’t the only photo filtering app when it was launched; and that their tradition is to look at a space and create a super simple, pretty experience to fit it.

On another story, the name “Bolt” is in trouble. A mobile voice app called “Bolt” already exists and the developer is not quite happy with Instagram using its brand name.

Nevertheless, Instagram promises that its photo messaging app Bolt will be soon expanded to more regions.


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