Facebook has announced the launch of a new Threads messaging app from Instagram, which is geared towards messaging close friends. The Verge had first reported that Facebook was testing Threads back in August, and the app is now official. Threads is being pitched as a camera-focused messaging app designed for chatting with close friends.
In a blog post, Instagram’s Director of Product Robby Stein, wrote, “…For your smaller circle of friends, we saw the need to stay more connected throughout the day, so you can communicate what you’re doing and how you’re feeling through photos and videos. That’s why we built Threads, a new way to message with close friends in a dedicated, private space.”
Threads will be a standalone app, and Instagram says this is designed with “privacy, speed, and close connections in mind.” Just like any other messaging app, users will be able to share photos, videos, messages and Stories with those friends who are on their Instagram close friends list. Users will be in control of who can reach them on Threads as well.
On Instagram, there is an option for Close Friends, and some Stories can only be viewed by these friends. When posting a Story, users have the option of sharing it with their entire follower list on Instagram or with Close Friends. With Threads app, there will be a dedicated inbox and notifications just for these close friends. If users have not created a list, they will be able to make one directly from Threads when they download the app.
Threads will open directly to the camera and allows users to add shortcuts, so they can share what they want in just two taps. It also has a Status feature, similar to WhatsApp. The user will be able to choose from a suggested status such as Studying or create their own status to post.
They can also turn on Auto Status, which automatically shares little bits of context on where a user is without giving away their coordinates, claims Instagram. Once again only close friends will see the status. Status is an opt-in feature.
Threads will also offer an option for Direct messages from Instagram. According to the blog post, Messages from those on the close friends list will appear in both Threads and Direct. The app will begin rolling out today.