Instagram has just unveiled a new messaging app. The app, christened Bolt, enables for quick and hassle free sending of photos and videos. In addition, the item being sent, i.e. photo or video, is immediately deleted once it has been read by the recipient. The app is available for both iOS and Android platforms. Windows Phone OS version is yet to be unveiled. However, the iOS and Android versions of the app are currently not available in many countries. In fact, the app is only available in South Africa, Singapore and New Zealand. Official communication from Twitter suggests that the app is only available in the three countries to help in overseeing its overall feasibility especially in relation to the diversity presented by the three chosen nations.
Bolt is pretty easy to use. To send a photo, all one is required to do is to tap on the recipient’s face. On the other hand, sending a video requires a long press. And accidental action can be undone through a mere shake of the phone. In its current form, Bolt can only be used to send photos and/or videos to one individual at a time. However, it has a Favourites portion where one can add up to 20 contacts, though the in its default setting it only holds only four contacts.
Bolt exists as a part of a large family of messengers, such as Facebook’s Slingshot, and the likes of WhatsApp and Snapchat. Each is designed for a particular function. The need to send photos has already been met by most messengers, of course, but the contemporary society is always wanting more. Consequently, Bolt is designed to meet these demands, as it provides a platform that makes it much easier for discreet sharing of photos and videos. The ability to share only one at a time could be interpreted as a means to enhance the privacy. It is worth noting that Instagram already has the Direct feature, and this allows the sending of private photos to up to a maximum of 15 individuals. Bolt’s focus, therefore, is on privacy and ease of use.
With the array of apps currently available in most mainstream platforms, only the best can really carve out a niche for themselves. Instagram hopes to achieve this with Bolt.