Last night, some Android users reported seeing a notification in their Instagram feed announcing Bolt, a “one tap photo messaging app," The Verge reported Thursday.
The notification, which apparently linked out to a nonexistent Google Play page, was taken down soon thereafter.
A Facebook representative declined to comment, and Instagram did not immediately return a request for comment. But several screenshots of the notification have been posted to Twitter:
Did anyone else get this weird bolt notification on their Instagram earlier? pic.twitter.com/SBrLH7qTTK
— areli i (@yo_areli) July 24, 2014
This is the second time in recent months that Facebook has accidentally released a Snapchat copycat ahead of schedule. The company debuted its own version, Slingshot, last month, but not before accidentally uploading it to the App Store several days before its official launch.
Bolt could be Instagram’s own Snapchat clone, perhaps because adoption of the Snapchat-like feature Instagram Direct -- which lets people send private photo messages to other users -- is not meeting expectations.
But The Verge wondered whether Bolt could wind up looking more like Taptalk, a new photo chat app that’s apparently faster than Snapchat. That would make some sense, considering TechCrunch reported last month that Facebook may be building a Taptalk copycat of its own, a rumor that has not yet been borne out.