After some rumours following the apparition of a banner on some of its user accounts last week, Instagram is finally launching Bolt, its new photo messaging app.
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As its name suggests, Bolt is all about speed and ease of use. On the contrary of its mother app Instagram, you will only need to enter your phone number to create a profile on Bolt, much like on Facebook Slingshot and/or Snapchat actually.
The app is free of course and available for both iOS and Android. Bolt is however only available on the app stores of Singapore, New Zealand and South Africa at the moment.
An Instagram spokesperson explained the limited launch as such:
We decided to start small with Bolt, in just a handful of countries, to make sure we can scale while maintaining a great experience. We expect to roll it out more widely soon.
This new approach fits in with Facebook‘s recent campaign to recruit a panel of users who will have the mission to evaluate, monitor and help improve Slingshot, its own version of a photo messaging app.
How does Bolt Work?
To send a snap, all you have to do is tap on a friend’s profile photo at the bottom of the screen and that’s it, your friend’s photo acts as the camera’s shutter! It could not be simpler.
You can add up to 20 friends on the app, by selecting them from your phone’s contact. Although you should know you can only send images to one person at at time, this being maybe the main difference with Instagram Direct, the in-app messaging service from Instagram.
Bolt includes support for text captions, and you can reply with text or photos. Similar to Snapchat, messages will disappear once you’ve swiped away from them.
Bolt does not include any editing tools which is “so people can see the world as you do” according to the Bolt team.
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