Instagram Bolt (banner 001)

Facebook-owned Instagram may have unintentionally (or intentionally, perhaps?) leaked an image advertising its rumored Snapchat competitor, indicating the official launch could as well be around the corner. A banner for an app called Bolt was spotted by several online users in Instagram’s Android app.

Tapping the banner would yield a dead end in the Google Play Store. Although the banner went away a few minutes later, people have already screenshoted it and the image is now making rounds on Twitter and other social media channels online…

The banner advertises an app called Bolt, billed as a “one-tap photo messaging” solution. Given that Snapchat currently rules the ephemeral photo messaging space, it’s easy to see who Instagram has in its crosshairs with Bolt.

Also: Instagram rules the photo-sharing market so building the photo-messaging functionality on top of its mobile photography expertise could yield killer results.

Facebook, like many other companies, frequently tests unreleased features before they launch and sometimes slip-ups like this happen. For instance, Facebook’s ephemeral messaging app called Slingshot briefly appeared on the App Store before its official debut a week later.

I’ve reached out to both Facebook and Instagram and will update if they respond with a comment.

What do you guys make of this?

Do you think Instagram’s Bolt can take on the likes of Snapchat?

  • Merman123

    This service feels like it’s one of those that “first to the punch wins” kind of app. Snapchat got it right the first time around so it’s going to be hard to find all your other friends using other services, so you will always come back to snapchat.

    • im2slick4u

      What if all of your contacts on Instagram are automatically added as “Bolt” friends? I’m sure theres a ton more Instagram users then Snapchat.

      • Chaotic Buddhist

        I have never used Snapchat because it grew too big too quickly; it just felt like something I wanted to avoid.

        I think now I could get on board with something that might not attract quite the same crowd.

      • im2slick4u

        I’m in the same boat as you, I have snapchat downloaded just for the occasional person who asks “Whats your Snapchat” but I probably have like 10 friends on it and I never use it.

      • That could actually make more people try out Bolt.

  • Alain Vasquez

    Same as vine, Instagram came with the privilege of recording video

  • Riley Freeman

    the Facebook one doesn’t work. Never received a confirmation how many weeks has it been? Lol useless shitty app. I don’t expecr anymore from Instagram and their horrible customer service

  • Tony Trenkle Jr.

    OMG! So technically this is Facebooks 2nd app? Slingshot and now this? Who even uses Slingshot? I deleted it the first day. But I guess people are gonna try to be that ONE copy that succeeds.

  • MHCsk

    Facebook will never beat Snapchat. Everybody uses it, it’s fine. Why would you swich?

    • Chaotic Buddhist

      I’ve never even downloaded it. You may want to rethink that…

    • Marcus

      I agree with you. I’m yet to find someone I know around my age that doesn’t have Snapchat on their smartphone.

  • Jeremy

    I just want to be able to have multiple accounts logged in simultaneously like the various Twitter apps. I’m tired of having to log out and log in and log out and log in every time I switch between personal and business accounts.

    • aw81


  • Stefano ‘Graziani’ Polo

    I was getting into slingshot when it first launched. The design and ease of use was great. However after a while, it became more of burden or a task to use and I eventually deleted it. I knew I was going to stop using it at some point but didn’t know how long it would take. And to be completely fair, I probably gave it more of my time than I should have. I wonder if Instagram kept their own developers/creatives and aren’t influenced as much from Facebook. If so, then this app might actually be good

  • Jason Baroni

    I just want a new icon. Thanks.

    • onesimpleclik

      Damn right. Why the hell haven’t they updated Instragram’s icon? sigh.

      • Jason Baroni

        I think because they just want to be different, what is sh*t. I am sure they are aware of this situation, having a only icon non iOS7ed on everyone’s home screen. They are not idiots, or at least they shouldn’t be.

  • Andrew Roth

    So Facebook will have two Snapchat competitors now? Make a new icon for Instagram before making new apps. :p

  • neez

    Well, for a minute I thought my Moto G was hacked somehow and I almost restored it after finding nothing about the banner online. Now I can see that indeed it was an “official” banner… Interesting, as in my search all I could find about ads on Instagram was the sponsored type of posts, which led me to think that the banner was infiltrated on the app somehow through another app I had just installed (an iOS7 inspired animated wallpaper, which btw is crappy). There is so many crappy and malicious or mischievous apps on Android. I can’t wait to buy an iPhone 6 and return to the better smartphone platform iOS is… Don’t get me wrong, I’m not an Apple fanboy, and my phone is actually very good. But there is still nothing to compare to iPhone in so many ways. I regret switching from my old iPhone 4.

    • TechLove

      I see… You also got trolled by those paid bullshit people out there like me and bought an android device! I am a nexus owner but now it is so frustrating to use it, can’t even express on words. Waiting for the iPhone 6!

      • neez

        Yeah, something like that. I bought this phone a half year ago when my iPhone 4 died from batteries issues related to some problem I had during a charge in an unstable energy network (power outtages are a common issue where I live, which is not in US). Both the charger and the phone managed to get through it, but eventually the battery got vicious and kept getting uncharged quicklier until it died. I wanted to fix it and keep using it, but I got convinced to try the much cheaper Moto G, which I thought could be a very good replacement until the next generation iPhone. 3 months after buying it I was liking to use it and already had settled with the UI and systemwide functionalities and actually was very impressed about it at all, but then it started to stutter and crashing apps among a lot of other thing that really started to annoy me. I already restored it twice. The system is just unreliable, among other things that IMO are far from being as good as iOS and iPhone are together… Anyway, its a shame cause the phone itself is a very good and capable phone, but it lacks in software. I don’t know if it’s just this phone cause its cheap, or if its a general thing on this platform, but I didn’t like any of the galaxy phones, or the LG G ones, or the Droid ones, and even the Sony ones. Well, I know this rant is unrelated to this post, and I’m sorry for bitching about Android, but I thought since It’s the interwebs of things and this blog is full of trolls in the comments, and since I’m really frustrated and well, it is indeed the interwebs, I’m sharing my experience to the world.
        Here, have a potato!

  • bethcwhitehorn

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  • saradduclos


  • saradduclos

    Start working at home with Google! It’s by-far the best job I’ve had. Last Wednesday I got a brand new BMW since getting a check for $6474 this – 4 weeks past. I began this 8-months ago and immediately was bringing home at least $77 per hour. I work through this link, go to tech tab for work detail

    ✒✒✒✒✒✒ Jobs700.Com