Facebook (FB) owned social network Instagram is reportedly developing a brand-new messaging app called Threads. According to The Verge the app is designed to promote sharing between close friends.
What’s Instagram planning?
The new messaging app titled Threads is a private sharing app that allows users to share their location, battery, speed, and status with their close friends. They can also share their pictures, videos, and text. However, the app can only be used for sharing between people who are listed as “close friends” on Facebook. The app is reportedly being tested within Facebook.
This is the second time that Facebook is trying to bring a standalone messaging service for Instagram. It started working on a new app called Direct in late 2017 but scrapped it in May this year. Beta testers were frustrated with the app as they had to keep switching between Instagram and the second app every time, they wanted to send a message. This was a huge blow on user experience after which executives decided to lock the idea away. The Instagram employees who were working on the app were shifted to Facebook’s Messenger team.
However, this didn’t stop them from developing a brand-new messaging app.
A stealth attack on Snapchat?
The Instagram-Snapchat rivalry is one of the bitterest feuds in modern tech and social media landscape. In order to undermine Snapchat, Facebook copied the 24-hour ‘Stories’ feature from Snapchat and implemented in all its app in one full sweep. Instagram ended up raking the most of this change as its stories became an easy and fun way for users to share their lives without having to post with hashtags.
It is interesting to note that Snapchat users spend more time inside the app than Instagram users. The app has a very strong engagement amongst younger users, a demographic that Facebook and Instagram have been trying to woo for a very long time.
According to The Verge, the users can opt-in for automating sharing which will regularly update their friends with their location, speed and more. The app is not displaying real-time location to the users yet but may suggest that someone is “on the move.” The automated status sharing replicates what another app called Status tried to do way back in 2014.
Overall, Threads looks similar to the existing Instagram messaging service and allows users to see friends’ stories directly. It also gets access to phone camera to click pictures and videos. Instagram has declined to comment on the matter.