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Instagram launches its own Snapchat rival called Bolt

Instagram has launched its own Snapchat-style app that allows users to share photos before they are deleted, called Bolt.

The new app has been given a soft launch and is available in New Zealand, Singapore and South Africa.

Read more: Snapchat enters into electronic payment transfer market with two new patents

However, Bolt has come under criticism from a small technology startup that is already using the name.

CEO and co-founder of the company, Andrew Benton, has asked Instagram to remember the "little guy."

"We've worked really hard... building the Bolt brand and technology to where it is today. Please don't destroy all that effort," he said.

"I know you haven't forgotten how hard it is to build something from nothing. And not just technology, but a brand and distinct identity for yourself."

His app allows users to make free calls by taking advantage of their data plan.

"We don't want a legal battle over this, and we think it's not too late for you to consider an alternate name before launch," Mr Benton said.

"I have a whole list of names we brainstormed last May that I'd be happy to share."

Instagram has not commented on the possibility of a name change but did reveal to The Verge that there were plans to expand its app to other areas.

"We're going to other regions soon, but are starting with handful of countries to make sure we can scale the experience," said a company spokesman.

Read more: Facebook's Slingshot app launches in the UK

As well as Snapchat, Bolt will be faced with a number of other rival apps. Last month Facebook, which now owns Instagram, launched Slingshot, which works on a similar premise, but includes additional features such as an unlock mechanism.

Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion (£589 million) in 2012, however 12 months later, it was reported that Snapchat rejected a $3 billion bid from the firm.