The latest from Facebook is that it is developing a new app. ‘Threads’ has been designed as a companion app to Instagram, and invites users automatically to share their location, speed, and battery life with friends, along with typical text, photos, and video messages using Instagram’s creative tools. The app, which is designed for sharing with “closest friends” listed on Instagram, is now being tested internally at Facebook.
In May, Instagram dropped its own work on a project called “Direct” which would have been a stand-alone messaging app that it had been developing since 2017. At the time, executives said that beta testers were frustrated about having to switch between Instagram and a second app whenever they wanted to send a message. A messaging app built around your close friends might be more popular. That is what Snapchat already is today for many of its users. Reports have indicated that the average Snapchat user spends more time using its app than the average Instagram user does. For Facebook and Instagram, which have long coveted Snapchat’s strong engagement among younger users, Threads could be a winner.
The core of Threads appears to be messaging, and it looks very similar to the existing messaging product inside Instagram. Messages from friends appear in a central feed, with a green dot indicating which friends are currently active. If a friend has posted a story recently, it can be viewed in Threads. Threads also has a camera, which can be used to capture photos and videos and sent to close friends. It is not known when Threads might launch.