Instagram Launches Bolt Messaging App to Rival Snapchat

Instagram Launches Bolt Messaging App to Rival Snapchat
Social network Instagram has launched an ephemeral messaging app called Bolt which makes sending visuals easy. The app allows you to tap once to send a photo and long press to send a video. Undoing the sending of an item is done by shaking the phone, or swiping away the photo or video. The received photo or video disappears once it is sent, but recipients can also reply.

The move to release an ephemeral messaging app, first popularised by Snapchat, echoes similar steps taken by other companies, including Instagram's own parent company - Facebook - which launched its Slingshot app last month. Popular dating app Tinder also added a disappearing photo feature recently, called Moments. Notably, Yahoo recently bought Blink, another ephemeral messaging app - but it has yet to release its own offering.

For now, Bolt is available only in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa, according to The Verge. While the app is listed on Google Play India and the App Store, the app on Google Play reads "Incompatible with all of your devices," indicating region-based unavailability.

"We are going to other regions soon, but are starting with a handful of countries to make sure we can scale the experience," an Instagram spokesperson was quoted as saying.

With Bolt, you can send one message to a friend at one time, and the app also allows you to add text over your image or video. With the app, users can now share their Instagram stuff with the specific users they want, and onlyone at a time. Other features listed on the Google Play store listing include the ability to shoot and send photos with one tap; the ability to add up to 20 Favorites from the smartphone's contacts to swap unedited photos and videos; the ability to caption photos and videos; as well as the ability to swipe photos and videos away.

The listing page of the Bolt app adds that users need to sign up with their phone number, and no email address is needed.

Instagram's parent company Facebook's recent launch of its own ephemeral messaging app,  Slingshot, leads to some confusion - why would Facebook have two different offerings in the same field?

Slingshot lets users message more than one contact at a time, unlike Instagram's Bolt, and also forces users to send an image before they can view what they've received.

Written with inputs from IANS
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Further reading: Apps, Bolt App, Instagram, Messaging App
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