Instagram soft-launches new picture messaging service Bolt – but only in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa

Instagram has released its new “one tap picture messaging app” Bolt, but currently only users in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa can use it. The launch of the Snapchat-style app follows last week’s accidental reveal of Bolt’s existence when ads for it briefly appeared on Instagram.

A standalone app to Instagram (users sign in with their phone numbers), Bolt is designed for speed and simplicity. Taking a photo and sending it is done by just tapping on the recipient’s profile photo, and there is no review feature. Videos are similarly easy, and are recorded for as long as the sender keeps their finger on the contacts’s profile photo. Users can also “unsend” photos by shaking their phones a few seconds after they are taken.
Instagram is expected to roll out the app to other countries quickly over the next few weeks.