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Is Instagram Prepping Its Own Snapchat Rival?

The photo-sharing app appears to be taking a page from its parent company.

Is Instagram Prepping Its Own Snapchat Rival?
[Image: Flickr user Tina Lawson]

Like Facebook, like Instagram.

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Last month, Facebook accidentally leaked its Snapchat clone before formally launching the app Slingshot. On Wednesday night, Instagram users on Android noticed a link that was swiftly pulled to a new photo-messaging app called Bolt. However, when clicked, the link took them to the Google Play storefront, not to the app.

Media reports speculate that Bolt–described as “one tap photo messaging,” according to screenshots–is the photo app’s Snapchat rival.

But TechCrunch suggests it might merely be a test of app-install ads. The ad unit, which allows users to download third-party apps directly from the interface, has been one of Facebook’s “best performing ad products,” according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

After Snapchat spurned massive acquisition offers from Facebook and Google, a number of companies have copied its model, including Tinder and Path.

About the author

Based in San Francisco, Alice Truong is Fast Company's West Coast correspondent. She previously reported in Chicago, Washington D.C., New York and most recently Hong Kong, where she (left her heart and) worked as a reporter for the Wall Street Journal.

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