Eagle-eyed Instagram users this week spotted what may have been an accidentally posted banner ad for a “one tap photo messaging” app by the name of Bolt, possibly to be released soon by the Facebook-owned media-sharing site.
Showing up for some Android users of Instagram, the ad included a link to Google Play, though tapping on it led to an empty page in the online store. Some of the few users who clapped eyes on the ad took screenshots (shown above and right) before posting them on various social media sites.
It’s thought to have stayed visible for no more than 15 minutes before being taken down, leading to speculation that Instagram is on the cusp of launching a new photo messaging app, possibly along the lines of Snapchat.
Other suggestions include the idea that it may have been part of a Facebook test linked to bringing its app install ad platform to Instagram.
Adding weight to the idea that this could have been a clumsy mishap by a loose-fingered Instagram employee, or an ‘accidentally on purpose’ leak designed to get people talking about Bolt, is the fact that Facebook recently did something similar with Slingshot – its photo- and video-focused messaging app – when it released (and quickly pulled) the app from the iTunes App Store prior to its official launch. Is the social networking giant up to its old tricks again? Teasing the masses?
Look out for Bolt. It may be coming soon. Or not.