Following up less than a week after it prematurely let the cat out of the bag, Instagram's new messaging service, named Bolt, is now available for users in some countries. It's what can basically be described as a Snapchat clone, where you sign in and quickly send pictures back and forth between friends. You use your phone number to sign in rather than an email or Facebook account, and sending pictures to friends is just one tap away — there's no actual shutter button to press and review the image before it's sent.
According to TechCrunch Instagram is launching Bolt in just a handful of countries as an initial release to work out the bugs in the app. Those countries include Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand, which were chosen because of their high Instagram usage. If you live in one of the aforementioned countries you can get your hands on the app now, but Instagram isn't quite spilling the beans on when it'll be available in other markets.
We'll have to see how well Bolt is received in the initial launch countries considering the stiff competition in the quick messaging and photo space, where even Instagram itself competes with in-app direct photo messaging and chat of all types from its parent company Facebook. Are you looking forward to trying out Bolt for yourself? Let us know in the comments.
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Andrew was an Executive Editor, U.S. at Android Central between 2012 and 2020.