Will Facebook Launch Another Snapchat Clone Within Instagram?

Instagram seems to have accidentally leaked a new mobile app it’s currently testing, as last week several Android users posted snapshots of an Instagram banner ad that said, “Introducing Bolt.”

instagram-bolt

“Bolt” is described as a “one-tap photo messaging” app, and looks a lot like ephemeral service Snapchat. But when users tried to click through to learn more about the product, they were linked to a dead end on the Google Play store.

The leak of “Bolt” may sound familiar. In June of this year, Instagram’s parent company Facebook mistakenly unveiled its own Snapchat clone, “Slingshot,” but pulled the new mobile app shortly after the premature release.

Facebook has clearly been focused on creating a product to rival Snapchat after the start-up turned down its $3 billion takeover bid in 2013, and many are speculating that “Bolt” is the platform’s latest attempt. However, so far neither Instagram nor its parent company Facebook has confirmed the launch of the new app.

Meanwhile, some in the industry think that rather than a new mobile app, the “Bolt” banner ad was simply a test of mobile app install ads. If that’s the case, the launch of mobile app install ads within Instagram also makes strategic sense for Facebook, whose most recent earnings report shows that mobile advertising accounted for 62 percent of the total ad revenue during the second quarter of 2014.

So what do you think of the leak of “Bolt”? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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