A few weeks ago, screen shots of a suspicious looking promo banners for a “test app” emerged on the interwebs. In the pictures, it looked like Instagram was advertising “one tap photo messaging” function.
If the idea behind it being a “one tap photo messaging” app sounds familiar to you, it’s because one such app already exists. And it’s none other than Snapchat.
Snapchat isn’t extremely popular where we are. It’s basically an app where users send “Snaps” (take photos, record videos, add text and drawings) and send them to a controlled list of recipients. The catch is, however, that users can set a time limit (ranging from 1 – 10 seconds) for how long recipients can view their Snaps. After which, the Snaps will self-destruct.
Now, Instagram has quietly unveiled Bolt for iOS and Android. Built on the similar modal as Snapchat, the app lets you quickly send a photo (or video) to a friend, which then disappears once it’s been read. To send a photo, tap on a friend’s face. To send a video, long-press on a friend’s face.
Here’s the thing though: The app is only available in New Zealand, Singapore, and South Africa for now.
The Verge got first dibs deets from an Instagram spokesperson who said, “We’re going to other regions soon, but are starting with handful of countries to make sure we can scale the experience. Instagram has 65% of its users overseas, so an international launch, while different, is actually not all that out of order with what we do.”
The spokesperson also elaborated that the 3 countries were chosen for their geographical diversity, but also for their tight-knit communities, which Bolt hopes to piggyback on. Oh, now we get why Bolt was rolled out in all its royal secrecy, since it’s not available to most countries yet. Perhaps it’ll come to us soon?
It has come to our attention that Bolt has been made available in Malaysia! We spotted the suspicious yet familiar looking icon in the Google Play Store just yesterday (iPhone users go here). So, we downloaded it and it’s legit, you guys. It works!
Refer to this gallery for the step-by-step:
Our take? It’s fun, for now. We especially like how you can set your privacy to disallow people from finding you by your phone number or add any pesky senders to a blocked list.
We foresee spending the entire weekend playing with the app, to see just how much we can do with it. Who else would use this app though? Would you?
Let us know in the comments!