We’ve had Bolt under our radar for quite some time, so when we heard that Instagram was also launching its own photo messaging app also named Bolt, we couldn’t help but wonder what kind of implications this could have on the existing competition. After all, we’ve seen things like this before (now-defunct Squawk Messenger and Squawk’s voice app as an example) but never with an app that’s still alive and well.
We’re getting a taste of those consequences with Bolt’s co-founder and CEO Andrew Benton’s recent blog entry directed at Instagram over their app’s name.
“We know it’s a great name, because we chose it last year when we set out to build a better mobile voice and messaging experience,” the CEO stated. “We’ve worked really hard since then building the Bolt brand and technology to where it is today. Please don’t destroy all that effort.”
Benton continues by pointing out that it has “no intention of competing” with the photo-sharing platform over the name, and says that “there is already confusion in the market” when it comes to social applications, confusion that we’ve already eluded to. The problem lies when people are searching for “Bolt” in the various app stores and mistakenly download the Instagram version instead of Bolt’s app.
Benton stated that the company had an obligation to “police our mark” or “risk losing it,” continuing that it doesn’t want to risk a legal battle over the name, even going so far as to offering Instagram a list of alernatives for a name change.
We’ve reached out to Instagram regarding this matter and will update this post when we receive any further information.