Instagram has launched its Bolt Messaging app that lets you share photo and video messages with your friends. Similar to Snapchat the messages will disappear once they have been read.
Users will be able to sign up using their phone numbers on the app and then add their friends to a list. Users can tap on their friends names to send photos and videos, and it includes support for text captions. The app has been launched only in Singapore, New Zealand and South Africa for now.
Instagram says that they decided to launch the app because of high Instagram usage in these countries, high penetration of Android Ice Cream Sandwich, deeply interconnected communities and speak English. This makes them good testing ground and the company plans to work out any bugs in the app before releasing it worldwide, including in the United States.
An Instagram spokesperson explained the limited launch as such: "We decided to start small with Bolt, in just a handful of countries, to make sure we can scale while maintaining a great experience. We expect to roll it out more widely soon".
Instagram had accidently revealed the app last week under a banner ad for Bolt. However, the app’s name carries some controversy, as a Bolt app for voice calls and messaging already exists.
Facebook also launched its Snapchat competitor app, Slingshot last month. The app allows users to share videos and photos with their friends, but the recipients will be able to view the messages only if they share something back. Slingshot app is officially available for Android and iOS users in US.