- Facebook has released a new app for Instagram made for instant messaging and quick photo-sharing with those on your Close Friends list.
- The app, called Threads, acts as a dedicated standalone platform for communicating quicker and easier with the people you talk to most.
- Threads draws lots of similarities to Snapchat, an app that Instagram has often borrowed features from or blatantly copied in the fight for teens’ attention and social media dominance.
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Facebook has debuted a standalone app just for Instagram users to exchange messages and photos with those on their Close Friends list.
The app is called Threads, and it’s available starting today on both iOS and Android devices. Threads is designed as a private, dedicated space for communicating with the people you talk to the most on Instagram.
Yet Threads offers a bit more than just a separate place for talking to your Close Friends, a feature Instagram introduced in November 2018 to let users share more intimate Stories with a select group of followers.
Threads also has the option for users to create a short status – similar to what you would put on your AIM profile back in the day- to offer context to your Close Friends about where you are or what you’re doing. Additionally, there’s an option to turn on “auto-status,” which will let Threads automatically update your status using your device’s battery life, real-time location, and network connection. That means Threads will be able to tell your Close Friends that you’re charging your phone, or driving, or at work if you let it.
Facebook notes in a post about Threads that auto-status does not share your “precise location,” and that your location information isn’t stored on Facebook’s servers.
Messaging on Threads is similar to how it works currently on Instagram: You’ll be able to send messages, photos, videos, and Stories, just as you can do via Instagram Direct. Chats with Close Friends will appear both on Threads and the Instagram app, but it remains to be seen how seamless the two messaging systems work together.
Threads’ design to prioritize messaging and camera use – the app opens on your camera upon launch – draws incredible similarities to Snapchat’s core product. Instagram and its parent company, Facebook, have blatantly copied some of Snapchat’s features in the past and integrated them into their own platforms.
Rumors about Threads’ existence emerged in August just months after Instagram killed off a standalone messaging app called Direct. Direct rolled out in 2017 in a small number of countries, but it never took off.