NZ gets first taste of new photo messaging app

Bolt, a new photo messaging app, has been launched in NZ. Photo / Thinkstock
Bolt, a new photo messaging app, has been launched in NZ. Photo / Thinkstock

A new photo messaging app from the team behind Instagram has launched in New Zealand.

Bolt is a new app that allows users to send photos and videos to their friends with one click.

Users download the app and sign up with their mobile phone number to send and receive photos between their friends on their contact list.

Instagram spokesman Gabe Madway said the app was unique because the process was done with one click.

A screenshot of the new Bolt app.

"Sharing images can still be a pretty cumbersome process, it takes a lot of steps, it can take too long. Depending on what app you're using it can take anywhere from three to more to than 10 steps to send a picture to someone....

It can really take you out of the moment."

The app interface shows users their 'favourite' contacts. The user points the camera to the subject of the photo and taps on the person they want to send it to then the image is captured and sent.

Once the image has been seen it is discarded.

While the app has similarities with Snapchat, Mr Madway said Bolt was not developed in competition to the biggest photo messaging app on the market.

Bolt doesn't allow users to apply any filters to the images they capture.

"It's really not refined or edited, it's just fast," Mr Madway said.

If the user has changed their mind about the image they have sent a quick shake of the phone would bring up a message allowing them to cancel the sending of the image.

However, Mr Madway warned this wouldn't work every time.

He said while images that were received can not be downloaded on to the camera roll, people who receive the images could screenshot the image and save it.

A screenshot of the new Bolt app.

"As always, you want to think before you share anything," he said.

The app has launched in New Zealand, South Africa and Singapore first before launching around the world.

Mr Madway said the three countries were chosen because they were primarily English speaking, digitally well connected, and use a high number of Android devices.

"The international market is really important to us... 65 percent of people on Instagram are outside the US."

Technology commentator Bill Bennett said launching new software in small countries like New Zealand and Singapore was common a long time ago.

"They used to be quite common tests markets because they're relatively small, so if you screw up big time only four million in New Zealand will know about it and it won't damage your reputation."

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"It's a relatively cheap place to monitor what is going on."

Mr Bennett hadn't seen the app in person but said it sounded like a defensive move by Instagram against Snapchat.

"Defensive plays like this are often not very successful, they tell the world there's a weakness - that Instagram feels threatened by Snapchat.

"I'm not sure it will knock Snapchat off its pedestal."

Bolt is available free in app stores for iOS and Android.


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