It is now Instagram’s turn to launch its ephemeral feature. Bolt (quite a popular name for an app) is an ephemeral one-to-one video and photo messaging app that will probably not be a game changer as it looks quite similar to other ephemeral product out there. Only released in Singapore, South Africa and New Zealand that were chosen for their geographical diversity, high Instagram usage, English-speaking places and especially their strong sense of community that is essential for ephemeral products. “We are going to other regions soon, but are starting with handful of countries to make sure we can scale the experience. Instagram has 65% of its users overseas so an international launch while different is actually not all that out of order with what we do,” said Instagram spokesperson.
How different Bolt is from other apps? Well the thing is – it is not really different from other ephemeral apps. Like WhatsApp, Bolt does not require Facebook logins but simply ask for your phone number in order to synchronize it with the app. Bolts’ specificity that has been described by Instagram as the value proposition is that you can send a picture to one of your friend directly from the camera screen. Snap a picture, tap on the picture of one of your friend and the picture is sent (see below) which also means that you cannot send one pictures to a group a friend. The rule is one picture per friend. But one thing that is actually new and different for an ephemeral app is the “shake to unsend” just like you can “undo” an email in Gmail. Users can unsend a bolt few seconds after having sent one by simply shaking their phone.
However, it seems that Bolt will not revolutionize the ephemeral space as it is entering a quite competitive market especially since two more ephemeral apps have just been launched: Tap Talk has been downloaded between 5,000 and 10,000 times and Mirage is said to have reach 200,000 downloads in the first 24hours and was number #4 of free iOs app in the US and number #1 of free social app. One thing is sure – competition will be tough for bolt!