Facebook’s Instagram has launched a new one-to-one visual messaging application for iOS and Android called Bolt – and it’s launched the product first in South Africa, New Zealand and Singapore.
The Bolt app, which appears to be a response to the wildly popular Snapchat, lets users “capture and send photos and videos to friends with just one tap”. Instagram describes it as the “fastest way to share an image or a video”.
“Mobile messaging is how people communicate today, but sharing an image still takes too many steps and too much time,” Instagram said in a statement.
Users sign up with their phone number rather than their e-mail address. They add their friends (up to 20) to a “favourites” list and can then shoot and send a photo or video with one tap. They can also add text captions and reply directly to messages with a photo or text.
To remove a photo, users simply swipe it away.
An Instagram spokesman told US technology website The Verge that it was launching in only three markets at first to ensure it could “scale the experience”.