Instagram's Newest App Bolt Now Available Exclusively in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa

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By Reissa Su | July 31, 2014 10:38 AM EST

New Zealand is one of the first countries in the world to experience photo and video messaging app, Bolt, created by Instagram. The company has rolled out its latest app in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

REUTERS
Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab (front) and Apple's iPad are seen in Seoul, in this May 13, 2013 file picture illustration.

According to reports, Instagram may be attempting to get a piece out of Snapchat's large market share. Bolt lets users quickly take photos and send them to their friends with just one tap. Just like the images sent over popular Snapchat, photos can be deleted in an instant with one swipe.

Instagram has yet to announce the release of the new app, Bolt is not yet available for the rest of the world to download. The app has been released in the Apple's App Store and Google Play in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

Reports said Instagram is not yet ready to launch the app in the U.S. or UK until it has squashed any bugs.

A spokesperson for Instagram told CNET that the social network has decided to "start small" with the release of Bolt to scale its usage and ensure a "great experience." Instagram is reportedly planning to launch the app in more countries soon.

For New Zealanders, signing up for the app is easy by using their phone number. The app then lets users add friends with a "Favorites" section for a list of 20 chosen friends whom users communicate constantly.

Users can take and share photos by tapping the screen. Text captions may be sent along with the pictures.

Observers were quick to say Snapchat is the "obvious" inspiration for Instagram's Bolt app.

In 2012, Snapchat was the first app to introduce ephemeral messaging and attracted users with how quickly it can "snap" or send photos and videos before they disappear in 10 seconds.

Meanwhile, Instragram has been criticised for naming its new app exactly the same as a smaller company in San Francisco. The company created an app that allows voice calls for free.

It posted an open letter on Instragram and begged the popular photo-sharing app not to use "Bolt" because some people have downloaded their app thinking it was the newest Snapchat competitor.

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(Photo: REUTERS / Kim Hong-Ji/Files)
Samsung Electronics' Galaxy Tab (front) and Apple's iPad are seen in Seoul, in this May 13, 2013 file picture illustration.
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