Do you need more apps on your phone to get in touch with your closest friends all throughout the day? If you answered yes then Facebook has good news for you! They’re introducing a new stand-alone app called Threads that is connected to your Instagram account. It will let you keep in touch with those you marked as “Close Friends” on IG and exchange photos and videos and maybe even text as well. It’s a camera-first messaging app that is a combination of Snapchat and IG’s Direct Messaging feature so it’s interesting albeit a bit redundant.
At its most basic, Threads from Instagram is a stand-alone app that you use to message those that you’ve marked as “Close Friends” on Instagram so that it’s separate from all your other DMs on the main app. But they also designed it to make it pretty easy to add photos, videos, text, and even IG Stories to your conversation. If you don’t have a Close Friends list yet, you can actually create one from Threads if you don’t want to do it on Instagram itself.
The app opens directly to the camera, which is somewhat familiar to those who have been using Snapchat. With just two taps, you can share what it is you’re doing, if you added any of the customisable shortcuts so you can easily reach the people you talk the most to. Take a picture or video, tap the photo of the person you want to send it to, and then swipe to send. There are no filters or other stuff here but they will probably be adding features later on.
The other feature of the app is that you can put up a status like studying or working or on a break and then set a time until when the status will last. But there’s an option called Auto Status where it will share “hints” as to where you are or what you’re doing based on the context and location. But even though it will be shared to close friends only, it seems a bit problematic, especially given the various privacy issues that Facebook has been dealing with.
Threads from Instagram is now available for download from the Google Play Store. The messages here will still appear on your main Instagram app’s Inbox or Direct, “so you have full control over how and with whom you want to interact”, according to Facebook.