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Instagram launches Snapchat competitor 'Bolt' in select markets, US not included

post #1 of 14
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A week after rumors that Instagram would launch Bolt, the Facebook-owned company soft launched the new time-restricted image and video messaging app in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.




Instagram's first standalone offering outside of its flagship app, Bolt looks to take on other transient messaging services like Snapchat with more intuitive "one-push" picture and video sending controls.

Called "wicked fast" by Instagram, Bolt's user interface strips away unnecessary clutter with a main camera view. Contacts are shown in Chat Head-like circles overlaid atop a feed from a device's camera.

Instead of connecting via Facebook, email or even Instagram, Bolt requires direct access to a user's Address Book. From there, up to 20 "Favorites" can be selected and reordered on the main page to quickly shoot over images.

Tapping on a person's face will instantly send a still picture, while a longer press will start recording video. The moment a user releases their finger, the unedited image or video is sent. Options are sparse and include front/rear camera selection, flash controls and text input.

A shake to undo feature comes built-in and can be activated just after a message is sent.

Reading through messages is a similarly fast experience as recipients can simply swipe a photo or video away and it will be immediately deleted. Users can respond to a message with another Bolt or text.

Unlike Snapchat, which allows "stories" and mass posts to followers, Bolt touts a more personal experience by limiting conversations to one person at a time.

Bolt is available in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa App Stores, though plans are in place to widen launch worldwide after working out the service's kinks. Instagram claims the three locations were selected due to high usage rates and geographic diversity.

For those in the three pilot regions, Bolt is a free download from the iOS App Store.
post #2 of 14
This is an interesting idea however the last thing we really need is yet another network. This as a feature in Instagram might have made more sense. Cleaning up their apps would also help. It's insane that any app, especially for social media, doesn't have a tablet version. But there are several

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A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

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post #3 of 14
Interesting. Rolled out in English-speaking countries with fairly small populations.
New Zealand: 4.5 million
Singapore: 5.4 million
South Africa: 52.4 million (with 29 million cell phone users of which only a small fraction are smartphone users)
http://techtalkafrica.com/smartphone-usage-in-south-africa-infographic.html

Maybe they're trying to replicate the WhatsApp phenomenon.
Good luck with that.

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Sent from my iPhone Simulator

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post #4 of 14
Don't care.
post #5 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Unlike Snapchat, which allows "stories" and mass posts to followers, Bolt touts a more personal experience by limiting conversations to one person at a time.

.

Also known as- less features.

Oh to be a teenager again and have the ability to ask out girls without even having to talk. Only problem then is even the ball-less kids ask girls out too. More competition- although easier girls. So it evens out

2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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2014 27" Retina iMac i5, 2012 27" iMac i7, 2011 Mac Mini i5
iPad Air 2, iPad Mini 2, iPhone 6 Plus, iPhone 6, iPod Touch 5
Time Capsule 5, (3) AirPort Express 2, (2) Apple TV 3

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post #6 of 14
Originally Posted by Andysol View Post
Also known as- less features. Oh to be a teenager again and have the ability to ask out girls without even having to talk. Only problem then is even the ball-less kids ask girls out too. More competition- although easier girls. So it evens out

White text is fun!
Were I a girl, I wouldn’t waste time on a coward who couldn’t ask me face to face. What does that say about confidence and security of self? As such, I only ask out women face to face.

For heaven’s sake; what’s wrong with people these days?

“How does that go?”
True interaction is replaced with faceless, omnipresent technology, scuttling attempts at emotional attachment...
I’m a miserable failure at everything I attempt and will die alone and afraid, unremembered by any. :lol:

...and dehumanizing those around us. Lines split to keep things hidden on narrow displays.

post #7 of 14
Dammit.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Interesting. Rolled out in English-speaking countries with fairly small populations.
New Zealand: 4.5 million
Singapore: 5.4 million
South Africa: 52.4 million (with 29 million cell phone users of which only a small fraction are smartphone users)
http://techtalkafrica.com/smartphone-usage-in-south-africa-infographic.html

Maybe they're trying to replicate the WhatsApp phenomenon.
Good luck with that.

 

This is a fairly standard tactic these days - release your service in a selection of smaller countries, test it to death and then go for the big release.

 

Blizzard did the same with their latest F2P game.

post #9 of 14
"US not included"? That's a bolt move.
I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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I’d rather have a better product than a better price.
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post #10 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by SockRolid View Post

Interesting. Rolled out in English-speaking countries with fairly small populations.
New Zealand: 4.5 million
Singapore: 5.4 million
South Africa: 52.4 million (with 29 million cell phone users of which only a small fraction are smartphone users)
http://techtalkafrica.com/smartphone-usage-in-south-africa-infographic.html

Maybe they're trying to replicate the WhatsApp phenomenon.
Good luck with that.

 

These countries will be used just to test the app in the wild. Once the bugs are ironed out they will hit the big populations no doubt. 

My most recent app had the same strategy.

post #11 of 14

Perhaps i'm not the right demographic (married male, mid 30s) but I just can't see the point of these types of apps.

post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post

"US not included"? That's a bolt move.
Its public reaction testing.
post #13 of 14

Ya I don't think it's available yet in South Africa.
post #14 of 14
Here is a link to Bolt on the New Zealand store if anyone has been looking for it. 1smile.gif
https://itunes.apple.com/nz/app/bolt/id901534647?mt=8
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