Channel NewsAsia

Instagram limits launch of messaging app Bolt to 3 markets, including Singapore

The "visual messaging" app is meant to help users share an image or video with their contacts faster, and is available only in Singapore, New Zealand and South Africa for now, the company says.

SINGAPORE: Instagram, the photo sharing app developer, introduced a new visual messaging app - named Bolt - on Thursday (July 31), and is only available in Singapore, New Zealand and South Africa for now.

Bolt is meant to "fix" the gap in the current messaging space - the quick sharing of videos and images - something Instagram said requires "too many steps and takes too long" right now. With the new free app, users can capture and send a photo by tapping the profile photo of someone on their Favourites list, according to its press release.

Users can sign up for Bolt with their mobile phone numbers, and the app will access the phone's address book to add friends and family who are using the app, it added.

It is also limiting the launch to the three markets initially to ensure it can provide a good user experience before scaling its reach.

"Starting with a small group is a great way to release products. When Instagram first launched nearly four years ago, we had about 100,000 downloads a week. This allowed us to start small and learn as we went. We expect to roll Bolt out more widely soon," Instagram said.

Bolt is available for download from Thursday, and is compatible with iOS 7 and above, as well as Android 4.0 and higher on the respective app stores, it added. Instagram was bought over by Facebook in April 2012, but has been operating autonomously since the acquisition.

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