In a sneaky move, today Instagram has unveiled its new “one-tap” messaging app, called Bolt, for both iOS and Android. With Bolt you will be able to quickly send a photo (or video) to a friend, which then disappears once it’s been read. Think snapchat for pictures and video. When you tap on a friend’s face, you can send them a photo instantly, alternatively you can long-press on their face to send a video. Shake your phone to undo an accidental Bolt. But there is a limitation, this app is only available in New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa.
The company has chosen these three countries based on usage and for their geographical diversity, but also for their tight-knit communities, which Bolt hopes to ride on. Bolt’s launch comes at a time when it’s mother company Facebook also launched an app called Slingshot, which is a transient messaging app that is similar. Slingshot, however, emphasizes sending photos and videos to multiple parties.
Instagram still operates largely as an independent company within Facebook. Just like WhatApp, in order to use Bolt , you have to sync phone numbers from your contact list.