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Instagram Hopes to Shock Snapchat with New Messaging App Bolt

Bolt, the new ephemeral messaging app from Instagram, lets users send self-destructing photos and videos with a single tap.

Last month, Facebook launched Slingshot. Now Instagram is unveiling Bolt, the latest attempt to unseat Snapchat as the top ephemeral messaging app. It lets users send photos and video to friends with a single tap. Once that person views it, poof, it’s gone. Bolt even allows people to add large text over photos and videos, just like Snapchat does. While it's not clear how many users Snapchat has, it will be hard for Bolt to catch up: estimates put the number of Snapchat users at anywhere from 50 million to 70 million. This is not the first time Instagram — which is owned by Facebook — has tried to emulate Snapchat's success. In December, it released Instagram Direct. That obviously did not dethrone Snapchat, so now it has released Bolt, available for iOS and Android in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. Instagram said that Bolt could become available in other markets "soon."



--- Keith Wagstaff