Jacky Yap  |  SG
Published 2014-07-30 12:30:36

Instagram, one of the most popular photo sharing app, has just launched a new photo messaging app called Bolt. Interestingly, Singapore is chosen as one of the 3 countries it launches its service in. The other two countries are New Zealand and South Africa.

How does it work?

The new standalone app allows user to share photo messages to contacts in the user’s phone contacts who also have the app installed. Once you download the app, you are required to sign up for the service with your phone number. The good news is, you don’t need to have an Instagram or Facebook account to use the app.

Bolt Mobile App
Bolt Mobile App

Once you are signed up, you would see the whole new Bolt camera, where the faces of all your contacts are shown as a scrollable row across the bottom of the screen. Tapping one of their profile pictures instantly sends them the photo you take. In addition to photos, text captions can also be added; and short videos of up to 5 seconds can be sent. Oh and you should know this too: messages in Bolt are temporary, and the receiver can swipe the message away to delete it.

“We realized that sharing an image still requires too many steps and takes too long, and we wanted to fix that. Bolt is the fastest way to share an image – with just one tap, you can both capture and share an image with your favourite people.” – Instagram


Essentially, Bolt is a copy of the latest photo messaging app TapTalk, which also allows you to quickly send a photo (or video) to a friend, which then disappears once it’s been read. It seems that Taptalk has become the talk of the town, since Ashton Kutcher tweeted his support for the app earlier this month. The star of Two and a Half Men, liked it so much that he tweeted, “This app just secured homepage real estate on my phone. Taptalk.me” to his 16 million followers.

What does TapTalk has to say about Bolt? “F*ck Retakes”. That was Taptalk founder Onno Faber’s reply when TechCrunch’s Josh Constine asked for his reaction to Bolt.

taptalk response to bolt
TapTalk Response to Bolt. Image Credit: TechCrunch

There is currently no release date yet for other regions. When asked why they chose to launch in just three countries, a spokesperson for Instagram told The Verge that while they are going to other regions soon, they are “starting with handful of countries to make sure we can scale the experience.”

“Instagram has 65 percent of its users overseas, so an international launch, while different, is actually not all that out of order with what we do,” added the spokesperson.

The app is available for download from the iOS app store and the Google Play.

So, are you team TapTalk or team Bolt?

Update: 12:35pm When we tried to download the app in Singapore, it says it is not available. Anyone manage to download the app?


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