Despite the protests of an app with the same name, Instagram has officially launched Bolt – but not in the US. As of now, users can only download Bolt in New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa. This shouldn't surprise you, as Facebook commonly tests things in English-speaking countries that aren't the US before taking them global.
Bolt, which was leaked to a handful of users last week, is a one-tap photo messaging app that produces ephemeral messages.
Here's how it works. It's pretty simple, really. You install the app and sign up with your phone number. The app is then populated by your contacts who also use the app. They appear as little chat heads at the bottom of the screen, and all you have to do is tap their face to send them a photo. Tapping a contact both takes a photo and sends it to them – one-tap. You can press and hold to send a video instead.
If you happen to send something and regret it immediately, you have a few seconds to "shake to unsend."
And that's about it.
Instagram told The Southland Times that "Bolt was not built in response to what others were doing in the market, but rather to address problems with being able to quickly share images and videos with close friends and family."
As you know, Facebook just recently launched a Snapchat competitor called Slingshot. It's not going so well.
Bolt will likely hit other parts of the world once Instagram has worked out the kinks. When it does, it's going to draw the ire of the CEO of Bolt, who today penned a post asking Facebook to please consider a new name for the app lest they have to "police [their] mark."
Image via TechCrunch