Instagram is causing a buzz with their new messaging application, Instagram Bolt. Bolt is an ephemeral messaging application imbedded in Instagram designed to send pictures and short videos with text overlay to small groups or single friends. It is reminiscent of Snapchat, or the original pioneer which just never gained the same amount of steam, Taptalk. But it targets a much smaller audience. Instead of instantly sending pictures to a large group of friends like on Facebook’s Slingshot, which was also inspired by the success of Snapchat, it focuses on a much more intimate or one-on-one personal interaction.
Currently, it is only released in South Africa, New Zealand, and Singapore, qualifying it as an international launch. But with sixty-five percent of it’s users international, and with many of the nationalities – especially those chosen to receive the launch first – with tight knit communities where this kind of application would thrive, it makes sense that they chose this option. It also will not have to compete with Taptalk in these countries, as Taptalk has not even broached the list of 1000 most downloaded apps in these regions. It will have a niche group, but hopefully they will be able to start a trend with it’s use.
Upon it’s release, the name Bolt was also a source of commotion. There is already a free application called Bolt which wishes Instagram to change the name. But as Instagram is now a part of Facebook, and Facebook never addressed the concerns of another application called Paper which it released it’s own application with the same name, it seems dubious that the name will change. With the name and user interface and general project idea mimicking lots of other applications, some concern has been raised about the application. But Instagram reminds the public that they were not the first photo filter application either, they simply look to make the most simple and sleek experience for whatever idea they decide to tackle.
The introduction of Bolt could tap into a whole new audience for Instagram. The picture filter application now targets individuals who wish to leave a lasting photograph for everyone to see, a photograph that it has taken time to edit and share. This application would promote the sharing of pictures in a more private, casual, and quick fashion.
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