Instagram Quietly Unveils One-Tap Messaging App Called Bolt

Introduced by Facebook’s Instagram, Bolt is a one-tap messaging app for iOS and Android that is similar to the popular Taptalk app. Bolt is currently available in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa, with plans to launch in additional regions soon. The app allows users to send an image or video that disappears once it is viewed. Unlike Snapchat and Facebook’s Slingshot, Bolt only allows users to send messages to one person at a time, rejecting mass messages.

The user must either tap or long-press on a specific friend’s face depending on whether or not it is meant to be a photo or video message. The app also allows users to undo an accidental Bolt by shaking their phone. The favorites bar can hold up to 20 friends.


Instagram’s 60 million posts per day is strongly overshadowed by Snapchat’s half a billion snaps per day, despite Instagram’s overwhelming user base.

“You could hypothesize that a Facebook executive asked Facebook and Instagram to start spewing out ephemeral messaging apps, but I think Bolt came from elsewhere,” reports The Verge, commenting on the similarities between Facebook’s Slingshot and Bolt from Facebook-owned Instagram.

Instagram works independently inside Facebook, explains The Verge, and the app does not even contain a Facebook login — the app syncs numbers from a contacts list.

Meanwhile, Instagram is focusing on expanding. “We’re going to other regions soon, but are starting with handful of countries to make sure we can scale the experience,” an Instagram spokesman told The Verge. “Instagram has 65 percent of its users overseas, so an international launch, while different, is actually not all that out of order with what we do.”

Related News:
Snapchat Adds Geofilters for Quick Image Location Tags, and a New Revenue Possibility, TechCrunch, 7/15/14
Snapchat Said to Have Had Talks With Alibaba on Potential Investment, The New York Times, 7/30/14

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