FACEBOOK has revealed a new Snapchat rival messaging app called Threads.
The messaging platform will be a companion to Instagram and encourages users to message with pictures rather than text.
Threads will revolve around the “close friends” list feature on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook.
As well as pictures, you can share share location data and statuses with friends, much like you can in Snapchat.
We don’t yet know when it will be available to use or what countries it will be launching in first but it will be free.
Facebook is describing it as a visual first way of messaging.
However, Threads will reportedly invite users to automatically share information like their location, battery life and speed with friends as well as the standard text, photo and video messages.
Sharing location data, battery life and speed are all features commonly associated with Snapchat.
Facebook wrote in a blog post: “Over the last few years, we’ve introduced several new ways to share visually on Instagram and connect with people you care about – from sharing everyday moments on Stories to visual messages on Direct.
“But 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 in a separate app to Instagram but they will be linked.
“Currently, users can share Instagram Stories to a select list of friends that they pick out themselves.”
Users will be given suggested status options like “Studying” and “Procrastinating” or they can turn on automatic status which automatically shares little bits of context on where you are, without giving away your exact coordinates.
Only your close friends will see your status, and it’s completely opt-in.
Threads will have its own dedicated inbox and notifications so won’t affect how you currently use direct messages on Instagram.
It will essentially just be a separate section designed to keep you in close contact with your best friends.
WhatsApp, which is also owned by Facebook, already has a similar simple status feature.
Threads is expected to be more like current Instagram messaging just with all these new features and more image related like Snapchat.
Earlier this year, it was revealed that Facebook would be merging the messaging part of its Messenger app with both WhatsApp and Instagram.
The project is believed to involve “thousands of Facebook employees” working to merge the apps together.
Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp and Instagram, will still exist as standalone apps however – but their messaging services will become one unified system.
Instagram – the key facts
Here’s what you need to know…
- Instagram is a social network for sharing photos and videos
- It was created back in October 2010 as an iPhone-exclusive app
- A separate version for Android devices was released 18 months later
- The app rose to popularity thanks to its filters system, which lets you quickly edit your photos with cool effects
- When it first launched, users could only post square 1:1 ratio images, but that rule was changed in 2015
- In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram for $1billion in cash and stock
- In 2018, some analysts believe the app is worth closer to $100billion
- In October 2015, Instagram confirmed that more than 40billion photos had been uploaded to the app
- And in 2018, Instagram revealed that more than a billion people were using the app every month
In other news, Instagram has rolled out an anti-bullying ‘Restrict’ tool that lets you hide nasty comments posted by users without them knowing.
This new Facebook Dating feature lets you find secret admirers in your friends list.
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And, a huge Facebook leak recently revealed the phone numbers of 400million users – including 18million Brits.
Will you be using the new Threads app? Let us know in the comments…
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