The saying, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery,” does not apply in the world of applications, as the Rooms anonymous chatting app Facebook released last week raised the ire of the developers of Room, an iPhone app that debuted last month, as both apps allow users to create chat rooms and invite others to participate, without requiring real names.
The newest app from Facebook/Instagram — leaked last week — Bolt, is official. The company announced Tuesday that Instagram Bolt has been launched for iOS and Android users in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa. Bolt is a way for people to quickly share images via one-on-one messaging, somewhat similar to the most recent app Facebook launched, Slingshot.
Facebook’s tendency to brand its new applications and features with names that are already in use in the tech sector appears to have been adopted by its Instagram unit, as well, as Andrew Benton, co-founder and CEO of mobile voice app Bolt, penned a blog post in the form of a “Dear Instagram” letter to the Facebook-owned photo- and video-sharing network over its apparent plans to launch a photo-messaging app called Bolt.
Did Instagram repeat the mistake its parent company made when Facebook prematurely released its Slingshot video-sharing application? TechCrunch reported that some Android Instagram users were seeing banner ads for a one-tap photo messaging app called Bolt, but the “free” button to presumably download the app took users to a dead Google Play URL.