We knew Instagram’s effort to nab a bit of Snapchat’s thunder was imminent thanks to leaked promo banners and of course no shortage of rumors, and the launch date has arrived. Bolt is now available in both Google Play and iTunes, at least if you’re from Singapore, South Africa, or New Zealand.
Bolt takes a page from Snapchat’s ephemeral messenger, though it aspires to be faster than Snapchat. It’s a one-touch Snapchat competitor similar to a number of others we’ve seen (if those contacts are in your favorites), so it’s not without it’s competition. The app also featuers a nifty “undo” feature that allows you to retract a message in the first few seconds by simply shaking your phone.
Bolt requires a phone number to sign up, but you don’t have to have Facebook or Instagram, despite the app’s origins. The phone number is used to allow your contacts to find you similar to Instagram’s approach.
“Bolt is the fastest way to share an image or a video — just one tap to capture and send. 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.”
The interesting (but almost expected) thing here is that the app has retained its name despite Bolt’s co founder and CEO’s request for a name change. It will be interesting to see what, if any, response it gets from the company.
Bolt can be downloaded via iTunes or Google Play if you live in one of the above locales.