Following the explosive success of apps like Snapchat many industry titans are starting to gain interest in the world of social networking through the exchange of short-lived pictures and videos. According to the latest reports, Facebook-owned Instagram is now getting in on the action with the release of their newest app, ‘Bolt’.
“When Instagram itself launched four years ago, we weren’t the first photo filter app,” an Instagram spokesman told The Verge. “Our tradition is that we look at a space and create a super simple, pretty experience to fit it.”
Bolt allows the user to send their friends videos, images and messages that disappear once they’ve been read. To send a picture users simply tap on the profile of the friend they wish to send it to and their camera will capture an image/video and insta-send it. Videos are relayed when the user presses down on their friend’s icon for as many seconds as they want the clip to last, and any accidental messages can be deleted by simply shaking the device.
So far, Bolt has only been released in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa for a trial period that will bring to light any developmental issues before the application is made available to the rest of the world. These locations were apparently chosen for their diverse communities. “We’re going to other regions soon, but are starting with a handful of countries to make sure we can scale the experience,” said the spokesman. “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.”
Bolt’s introduction and trial period began just months after its parent company Facebook released an application with a similar premise called ‘Slingshot’. While Bolt allows for the sharing of videos and images with one person at a time, Slingshot encourages interaction with many. The main difference between the two applications is that Facebook’s app does not allow users to see any images or videos they have been sent until they themselves have replied to the sender, thus suiting the title ‘Slingshot’.
“This isn’t a side project; we are totally behind this thing,” said the spokesman.