Published: Fri, October 04, 2019
Tech | By

Facebook's Instagram launches Snapchat-like 'Threads' app

Facebook's Instagram launches Snapchat-like 'Threads' app

To that end, Instagram has unveiled Threads, a standalone camera-centric app that allows users to send private photos and videos to close friends.

Almost a month after news first leaked, Instagram has introduced its new "camera-first" messaging app.

The Threads app opens directly to a camera - something Snapchat has touted as its advantage in image-based messaging. For example, it could show when you're at home. The social media giant previously adopted Snapchat's Stories format, which has since grown to attract 500 million users across Facebook, Instagram and Whatsapp each. The new feature will let users quickly share text, photos, and videos with those on your "close friends" list. It's meant to tie into the "Close Friends" feature that launched previous year on Instagram itself.

Threads looks like a nicely-designed app and could be a huge hit, but right now, I'm a little confused as to what Instagram's long-term plan is here.

Messaging on Threads is similar to how it works now 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 is obviously built for intimate interaction with close friends only, so it probably won't be much use to professional photographers who primarily use Instagram for branding and marketing their work.

Threads is Instagram's latest attempt to duplicate out some of its functionality in a dedicated app.

On Instagram, there is an option for Close Friends, and some Stories can only be viewed by these friends. Personally, with iOS and Android now providing features that cage in wayward apps, Facebook's potential damage with regards to privacy is now severely limited.

Mind you, Instagram's built-in messaging service, called Direct, isn't going anywhere. Status is an opt-in feature.

Threads also offers a way to automatically set this type of status, in which case the app uses location and other phone sensor data to guess what a person is doing.

Threads begins rolling out globally today, so keep your eye out on your respective app store for availability. Once again only close friends will see the status.

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