Skip to main content

Instagram (possibly) teases its new photo messaging app, ‘Bolt’

instagram possibly teases new messaging app bolt
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.

Screenshot from Instagram showing the ‘Bolt’ ad.

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.

[via The Verge] [Main image: Areli; screenshot: Richard Grove]

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Instagram Top 9: how to see your top 9 photos of 2022
Instagram Top 9 app running on an iPhone.

The end of the year is traditionally a time of reflection, and recent years have seen a more modern spin on that, with various apps offering recaps of the last twelve months. From Spotify Wrapped, Apple Music Replay, and Snapchat's year in review Story, your options are endless.

Instagram offers an end-of-year Reels feature for users to create their own 2022 recap. Additionally, there are third-party apps you can use. Creator Kit's Top Nine app is the app of choice for celebrities and mega-posters alike, and it's finally time to recap your top 9 Instagram posts of 2022 using the app.

Read more
Sunbird looks like the iMessage for Android app you’ve been waiting for
Sunbird Android app screenshots.

The idea of iMessage for Android sounds like a pipe dream, and for the most part, it is. Apps like AirMessage and Bleeper do make it possible to get iMessage on your Android phone today, but they often require complicated networking and Wi-Fi port forwarding, plus a Mac or iPhone to run in the background 24/7.

These apps technically work, but they're not things the average user can comfortably and confidently rely on. A new app — called Sunbird — now promises to change that.
iMessage on Android, now simplified

Read more
I used an app to create 3D models with my iPhone, and it’s shockingly great
Alan Truly captures a 3D model of a figurine with an iPhone 13 Pro Max

The pace of innovation in artificial intelligence image generation is phenomenal. One company — Luma Labs — provides an excellent example of a practical, yet hugely entertaining use of the latest technology applied to 3D images.

Luma AI is in beta testing on the iPhone and eventually will be made available on Android as well. I got into the beta test group and can share some information about what this amazing app does and how easy it is to get incredible results.
What is Luma AI?

Read more