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Gadgets & Home Improvement

Instagram launches Snapchat competitor Bolt in Singapore

Photo-sharing service Instagram has launched a new photo messaging app, Bolt.
The Straits Times - July 30, 2014
By: Colin Tan
| More
Instagram launches Snapchat competitor Bolt in Singapore Screenshots of the app Bolt.

Photo-sharing service Instagram has launched a new photo messaging app, Bolt. It launched today at 4.30am local time in Singapore, New Zealand and South Africa.

The standalone app lets users share one-to-one messages with contacts in the user’s phone directory who also have the app installed.

In addition to photos, text captions can also be added; and short videos of up to 5 seconds can be sent.

Messages in Bolt are temporary - the receiver can swipe the message away to delete it.Users can select up to 20 contacts to place them on a “favourites” list.

Tapping the profile photo of someone in the user’s favourites list causes the app to capture and send a photo at the same time.

Photos can be replied to with a photo of their own or just text.Bolt appears poised to be the latest competitor to Snapchat, which refused Facebook’s acquisition offer of US$3 (S$3.72) billion earlier this year.

According to Instagram, Bolt was created to streamline the photo-sharing process.

Instagram said, “We realized that sharing an image still requires too many steps and takes too long, and we wanted to fix that.

Bolt is the fastest way to share an image - with just one tap, you can both capture and share an image with your favourite people.

”There is currently no release date yet for other regions. When asked why they chose to launch in just three countries, a spokesperson for Instagram said, “Instagram is starting small so that they can make sure the team gets the experience in (Bolt) just right, and maintain that experience as it scales.”

The spokesperson added, “Instagram chose these particular countries because they are a diverse group, they are primarily English-speaking and they have a compatible device profile (mainly on Android Ice Cream Sandwich or higher).”

Bolt is compatible with iOS (iOS 7+) and Android (Ice Cream Sandwich). It is currently available as a free download on Google Play and will be available on Apple's app store 'soon', according to Instagram.

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