Instagram prepares to launch its Bolt messaging app, but only in 3 countries

Instagram prepares to launch its Bolt messaging app, but only in 3 countries

Instagram today announced the launch of its Bolt app, but only to three countries: New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. The new app lets you send one-tap photo and video messages to your friends.

Don’t miss: Hands on with Bolt

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While Instagram has marked the release, the app has yet to show up on the App Store and Android in New Zealand, at least not for TNW Weekend Editor Owen Williams. (Update: The app is now live in New Zealand).


An Instagram spokesperson explained the limited launch as such:

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.

When the app does arrive, users will be able to sign up using their phone numbers without the need of an email address. They then add their friends to a list and start tapping to send photos and videos. Bolt will include support for text captions, and you can reply with text or photos. Similar to Snapchat, messages will disappear once you’ve swiped away from them.

Instagram accidentally tipped its hand last week when it showed users of its app a banner ad for Bolt. The app’s name carries some controversy, however, as a Bolt app for voice calls and messaging already exists.

➀ Bolt for iOS | Android [New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa only]

Read next: Hands on with Bolt, Instagram's Snapchat competitor

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