Instagram takes on SnapChat with Bolt

Thursday, July 31st, 2014. Filed under: Apps Entertainment Home & Garden Offbeat Online Science & Technology Videos
Bolt Instagram is testing an ephemeral messaging app in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. ©Instagram

Instagram is testing an ephemeral messaging app in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

(Relaxnews) – The company’s first standalone app offers one-tap self-destruct messaging but only to smartphone users in New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore.

Instagram says that those countries were chosen for the initial launch because of their geographical diversity and because they are regions with high messaging app use. So, once the bugs are ironed out, expect to see Bolt appear in the Apple App Store and on Google Play in other countries.

But for now, if you are in Singapore or New Zealand and have either an iPhone or Android device, you’ll find Bolt to be a very simple affair. Like SnapChat, still images, video clips and texts sent to friends will automatically disappear the moment they’re viewed.

However, unlike its main competitor, functionality is pared back. Bolt can’t tell stories and can’t be used to message whole groups.

Although 20 contacts at a time can be imported into the app — via your phone’s contacts book rather than a linked social media account — backwards and forwards conversations are with one person at a time.

At the moment, Bolt’s strong point is ease of use — one tap is all it takes to send a photo and a press and hold to create and send a video.

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