Is Bolt Instagram's answer to Snapchat?

Leaked images reveal that the photo service is launching a new one-tap photo messaging app

Screenshots showing what seems to be a new app from Instagram have been making the rounds. The images show a link to a free "one tap photo messaging" app – though clicking on that link takes you to nowheres-ville.

Instagram has been something of a one-trick pony to date, and it's found increasing competition from rival apps that offer the same things it does: photo and video sharing with nice filters. Web services like Twitter and Flickr have also been more aggressive about sharing photos and videos.

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Teaser or test?

The situation resembles the recent one where Facebook's new app Slingshot was accidentally outed. Facebook, of course, owns Instagram – and this raises the question of whether it really needs another photo messaging app. After all, it already has Slingshot and Instagram's Direct message feature.

TechCrunch's Sarah Perez speculated that it could just be a dummy app – in other words, Bolt isn't real. Perhaps Instagram is testing a new function to place ads inside messages. Though popular, Instagram is still trying to improve on its monetisation options.

At present moment, Slingshot and its novel featureset aren't getting much buzz. Gimmicks are nice, but with more established apps in the market, an app that consists merely of photo exchanges is proving a hard sell.

That brings up the question: why can't the one-tap photo message just be integrated as a feature in Instagram? Is the coding too hard? Would it create difficulties and changes in the app itself?

Looking at how Facebook responded to the Slingshot buzz, there's a likelihood we might see Bolt (if it's real) sooner than later.

[Source: The Verge]

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