instagram bolt

So what if we’ve heard from the initial reports that Facebook’s Snapchat rival Slingshot turned out to be a dud? Never mind since the company decided to make another similar app, launching it under Instagram’s banner. Called Bolt, the Snapchat competitor from Instagram has hit the Play Store and Apple App Store. It’s a soft launch and the app is currently available only in Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand. As the name suggests, the app has been designed to send photos and videos in the quickest way possible.

So how does Bolt expect to stand in the crowded market that has many in-house competitors besides the successful ones? User need to sign up using their phone number and the app doesn’t require an Instagram or Facebook account. The app then searches for other contacts in your address book who are using the app and allows you to add them to your favorites list (much like WhatsApp works). Once you open the app the camera opens up, but rather than the shutter button, there are your friends photos as icons on the screen. Clicking on of their faces sends them the photo. To send a video, just tap and hold instead.

You can only send a photo or a video to only one person at a time. The app also allows you to adjust a few settings like flash and add text to your images. Another useful feature that the app offers is “shake to unsend”. If you shake your phone within the first few seconds of sending the photo, it will recall the  sent photo.

How much of a success Bolt turns out to be will only be known in the future. But it seems like Facebook is throwing everything to get back at Snapchat, which declined the company’s $3 billion offer.

Bolt – Play Store

Bolt – Apple App Store