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Facebook working on new messaging app “Threads”, to take on Snapchat

The working logo for Threads, a new messaging app from Facebook and Instagram
The working logo for Threads, a new messaging app from Facebook and Instagram: TheVerge

Facebook is working on a new messaging app called “Threads” which will be in competition with Snapchat. The app is being designed for Instagram users and meant to be used between close friends. The Verge reported on Monday that Threads will aid its users to share intimate details. These include information about friends’ location, speed, battery life, as well as photos, videos and texts.

“Threads” doesn’t support display of friend’s real-time location. As per the sources, it might show that he/ she is “on the move” instead. Somewhat similar to its earlier app “Direct”. It also allows users to capture photos & videos and share them to close friends. As of now, personal status needs to be changed manually but Instagram is working towards automating status sharing. It is expected to be implemented with one-tap initiatives and phone sensors. The status shows up in the app’s feed along with other messages. Direct messages and Stories from the circle of close friends will show up in a feed. A green dot will be visible by their side to confirm if they’re active.

The working logo for Threads, a new messaging app from Facebook and Instagram
Illustrated screenshots from Threads – The Verge

Threads” is designed as a companion app to Instagram and is meant for use by the intimate circle of friends. It sends an invitation to the users who are on the “close friends” list on Instagram to share details automatically. It was an attempt by Instagram in 2017 to reinvent the friends’ list and bring excitement in social dynamics. But it was limited to Stories and let people post to a more limited group of their followers.

The app is being tested by the Facebook team, according to the report. Further details on its launch date are awaited. Facebook has declined to comment anything on it. But it appears to be on high priority at Facebook, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg said earlier in a blog post in March,

“As I think about the future of the internet, I believe a privacy-focused communications platform will become even more important than today’s open platforms….Many people prefer the intimacy of communicating one-on-one or with just a few friends.”

Instagram had earlier been working on the development of a standalone messaging app, “Direct”. But with the reports coming in May, the work on the app has been discontinued. It was a “camera-first” app designed having a close likeness to Snapchat. “Direct” was announced in 2017 and the app was tested in Chile, Israel, Italy, Portugal, Turkey and Uruguay but couldn’t be released worldwide. But the passion of Instagram to build new messaging experience is still alive in “Threads”.

In January 2019, Facebook had announced its ambitious plan to build a single messaging platform for WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram. The “family of apps” will be stitched together by a standalone Messenger app. The users will be able to send messages to one another without switching apps.

Written by Rashmi

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