The popular Facebook-owned app is reportedly testing a beta version of a new messaging app called Threads that is meant to promote constant, intimate sharing between users and their closest contacts.
This according to The Verge.
Threads is described as a companion app to Instagram. Once downloaded, users will be able to automatically share their location, speed, and battery life with friends, along with more typical text, photo, and video messages using Instagram’s creative tools.
It’s described as an extension of the Close Friends feature Instagram added to Stories last fall — a simple add-on that allows users to create a select list of their followers to show more intimate content.
Those who download the service will also be able to receive updates on when friends are ‘on the move’ for instance, although real-time location data will not be shared for the moment.
Allowing your friends to constantly know your location could feel akin to stalking on the surface, however, location-sharing has become increasingly common among families and friend groups as well, in large part because of Snapchat and Apple’s Find My Friends.
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Snapchat has roughly 190 million daily active users, which is significantly lower than the 500 million people who use Instagram every day. However, the average Snapchat user spends more time inside the app than the average Instagram user. This would explain why Instagram has been aggressive in challenging Snapchat.
The Verge reports in May, the popular social app ceased work on Direct, a standalone messaging app that it had been developing since late 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.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has long coveted Snapchat’s strong engagement among younger users, Threads could represent another effort to chip away at their rival’s appeal.
As of right now, it’s not clear when Threads might launch.
Source: The Verge