Earlier this week, Instagram launched their instant messaging application, Bolt. Following a similar format to the market-leading Snapchat, Bolt incorporates all of the features seen in its rival. Currently only available in South Africa, New Zealand and Singapore, Instagram’s instant messaging service looks likely to have a UK launch imminently.
So, what’s the difference? Well, there isn’t much of one. Users send self-timed photos to recipients in their friends list in the hope of receiving one back. Instagram currently has an in-built instant messaging service which allows users to send instant images and text to their followers. However, with Bolt comes an entirely seperate entity. Bolt has a slicker interface than Snapchat and users swipe rather than click to browse photos. Users are also listed by profile pictures as opposed to their screen name.
Facebook acquired Instagram two years ago and with Bolt, they will be battling two of their own apps, Bolt and Slingshot, against each other in an effort to overthrow SnapChat as the most-popular instant messaging app.
Snapchat rebuffed a $3billion takeover bid from Facebook last year and has since retained a dominance of the instant messaging market. And whereas competitors have come along to try and overthrow the app, forecasters have suggested that there will be no decline in Snapchat’s success.
Can anyone overthrow Snapchat? Maybe, but no time soon. Snapchat was the niche in the market and with it grew an audience who only saw them as the only instant messaging. Slingshot hasn’t been as popular as Facebook initially hoped but with Bolt, they may fare a little better. Snapchat may have had the instant success, but new instant messaging apps will constantly be trying to overthrow them.